I held a photo walk and a photo workshop this weekend so I got extra photos in this week. It's been interesting grouping photos together and seeing different subject themes.
Some observations from this week:
Back in the day during one of the time periods I used to blog often (I started blogging back in 2001, yep, that long ago!), I'd post photos I took over the course of a week. It motivated me to photograph daily and there was a sense of satisfaction of seeing how my week looked through my photos.
So I'm planning on picking up this old tradition and will do my best to commit to it on a weekly basis. I want to do this personal project to not only improve my photography and reflect on my week visually, but to also show you my photography isn't perfect.
My photography is far from perfect. My photos aren't staged. My photos don't have perfect lighting. My photos aren't heavily processed. My photos aren't shot with a DSLR camera. My photos are just moments of my everyday life that I take with my phone or point & shoot camera.
A lot of people struggle with photography because they get so caught up with the technical side of it. But it doesn't have to be hard or complicated. We can focus on being creative and enjoy the process of experimenting with photographing our life. We can focus on photographing the world around us, wherever that may be.
So, how are you working to improve your own photography? What's challenging for you? Let me know in the comments below!
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When I shot a roll of film last month, I hadn’t shot film since last year.
I challenged myself to go out and not go home until I shot all 36 frames.
I walked around the neighborhood with my camera in hand “looking” for things to photograph. I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 12 years and after a while, everything looks the same and anything but interesting.
Since I had black & white film, I had to imagine what a scene in color would look like in black, white and varying shades of gray. I had to think about the way the light fell on things. Would this subject look better in color or best in black & white?
As I wandered around the neighborhood, I found myself stopping in at an empty laundromat. Laundromats are one of my favorite places to take photos.
Some of the dryer doors were left open while others were closed. All the washer lids were open waiting to be filled with dirty clothes. Random books were left above the washers waiting to be picked up and read. A vending machine was near the entryway for the person who forgot to bring their laundry detergent.
I looked for the details in an everyday public place that most people just go in to use to take care of a weekly chore.
Sometimes my favorite photos are the ones I take within my neighborhood in the most mundane places. It pushes me to learn how to see things in a different way most others overlook or don’t see.
So where can you go and take photos where you live? A grocery store? The library? The post office? The gas station? Pick a place and see if you can capture the place in a different way than you’ve seen before. Have fun!
When I was on a road trip last year for my honeymoon, I made the mistake of not researching what I wanted to see in specific cities. So when my husband and I would be discussing what time we needed to get up the next day to head out our next destination, he’d ask me, “So what do you want to do or see there?”
My answer? “I dunno.”
On our way into Atlantic Canada, our first stop was Saint John (New Brunswick).
We didn’t have a lot of time there (but we stopped to catch the Sea Dogs play!) and as we were driving and walking around, we weren’t really feeling the city. In a way, we wished we weren’t staying again a few nights later in the city on our way back into the US.
We drove the next day to Halifax and while we were there, I was trying to research places to photograph in Saint John on our way back.
I wasn’t having much luck in my research and I also don’t like touristy spots when I’m vacationing. I like to find local spots and interesting neighborhoods, especially when I have the intention to photograph.
I then had the idea of looking on social media. There must be photographers in Saint John, right?
I had the crazy (at least to me) idea of finding someone local online and messaging them for help.
I did and found Scott! I took a chance and messaged him. I told him I was struggling to find places to photograph and that I was looking to capture the spirit and feel of the city and open to any suggestions he might have. He replied back the same day and told me to check out Uptown which had great architecture along with a few specific streets. I thanked him and was excited to explore the city again with a local’s suggestions.
A few days later, we were back in Saint John.
While it was chilly for us Californians who didn’t properly pack for cold weather (like gloves would have been smart), we had a lot of fun exploring Uptown.
We ended up at the Loyalist house (it was so cold outside we were seeking shelter) and learned a lot about the history of the city from a guide who pretty much gave us a private tour.
We found some good food spots, continued to take photos as we walked around and as we got back to our hotel, we realized how much we ended up liking the city.
So my handy dandy travel tip for you is if you’re looking to find local spots to visit while traveling hit up Instagram. Search hashtags with that city’s name and if you find a local who takes great photos, send them a message to see if they’ll help you out by making suggestions on where to explore.
Not only will you get a local perspective of a place, but you may find yourself learning to appreciate a place the second time around.