Enjoy What You are Shooting


I know nothing about photography, but have always dreamed of taking great photos. After years of wishing, I was finally inspired by Lisa at Travelin’ Local to start improving my photography skills. She loves her photography and is passionate about finding adventures in her hometown.

Based on my lack of knowledge, I needed[singlepic=15,320,240,,right]to start at the beginning. No matter where you look, one of the most important parts of getting better is simple, practice. I had to get out there and start taking more photos. One piece of photography advice I read was “Enjoy what you are shooting.” Following this advice, I spent some time staring through the camera at the keys and keyholes in our apartment. My wife found this quite amusing. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I find the old-fashioned keys in our apartment fascinating. It is helpful that they are convenient and readily available (and inside… it’s cold at night!)

Of course, we don’t have keys like this at home. I have seen them in a couple of the older homes I have visited, but only on interior doors, not on the front door. Since I don’t expect to live anywhere else that has them, I plan to enjoy them while I have the opportunity.

[singlepic=17,320,240,,left]I know I am not the only one who is interested in an everyday item in my house. I’m sure that you possess something that is different, something that either you or others find fascinating. Don’t let your familiarity blind you to how interesting something can be. You might need to change your perspective. An easy way to look at those items in a new way is through the lens of a camera. You don’t have a fancy camera? That’s ok, neither do I. Mine is a fairly cheap point-and-shoot, an older version of what you will see at any electronics department. It is neither fancy nor feature rich. I am using it as a starting point; it’s easy to use, has few options to confuse me, and will enable me to focus on taking pictures (things like composition and lighting).

Having trouble thinking of an item to re-look at? Here are some suggestions: [singlepic=16,320,240,,right]

  • something that you collect
  • a gift you received
  • a well-worn item
  • a heirloom
  • something different from everyone else’s (different color, shape, etc)

Now that you have your subject in mind, begin looking at it in a different way. My first key photos struck me as boring and plain (I must have taken 50 total, over half of which I deleted.) After some frustration it finally occurred to me that I was looking directly at them. While this worked in the picture above, highlighting the light coming in through the keyhole, it did not work with anything else. I finally realized that I should try a new angle, and ended up with the picture at the beginning of the post. I tried re-arranging the keys, holding them in my hand, combining them with the door, looking from every possible angle and more. (You wouldn’t believe how many tries it took me to get that key to stand on it’s edge… or how frustrated I was when I knocked it over before getting a satisfactory picture!)

Once you have done this a couple of times, you will be surprised to see how you will begin to look at everything differently. You will wonder how you can arrange the stuff on the coffee table for a good picture. “I wonder how that glass will look over here with the light hitting it just so.” Everything in your house is interesting, if only it is seen in the right way. It’s up to you to be looking!

[singlepic=14,320,240,,left]Another piece of photography wisdom I recently read was “Don’t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, it’s worth publishing.” So while I know they could be better, I like these photos and hope you enjoy them too!

6 thoughts on “Enjoy What You are Shooting

  1. Nicole says:

    Sweet post!
    And very inspiring.
    Yes, if you don’t love what you do or shoot, it has no point.
    Lovely shots you got there 🙂
    My husband long since gave up on wondering what the heck I am shooting this time.
    Lately he even points birds out to me 🙂

  2. Matthew says:

    Thanks! I’m glad you like the post and the photos! 😀

    It took me a couple of days to get some that I liked. All of my first ones were straight-on and boring. As I was going to bed it occurred to me that I needed to change the angles, and finally managed to get these. Much better! All that reading on how-to’s finally paid off! 😀

    My wife is interested in taking photos, too, but only sometimes. She has to be in the mood, otherwise she couldn’t care less.

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