This is Nate Lawson’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
This is for you Photographers out there who may be having a hard time coming up with new ideas for photos. And if you’re not a photographer but want to take some cool pictures, you can benefit from this list also.
All creative minds have been in the situation before: writers have “writer’s block”, designers have “designer’s block”, artists have “artist’s block”, and by golly photographers have “where the heck can I take new pictures block”.
It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or the country, the U.S. or Canada, if you’re an amateur or a professional. I can guarantee even Ansel Adams had moments in which he didn’t know what else to do.
I happen to live in a small rural town in Wyoming. I’ve often thought that if I just lived in a large city, I would never run out subjects to shoot. And I’m sure people who live in the city wish they could drive fifteen minutes to the Rocky Mountains to get some breathtaking landscape shots.
But after researching photo ideas and not finding exactly what I wanted, I decided to brainstorm places that might not be thought of as “photogenic.” I’ve also given some examples of my work to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.
Here are my Top 5 Places to Look for Unique Photos:
1. Look Up. There is one place that I learned in the military where nobody looks that may be the difference between life and death, up. Most people never look up. They have their eyes forward or down. Stop once in awhile and take a look to the sky. If you live in the city, the many tall buildings will give you countless possibilities. And if you live in the country, looking up may expose you to unique cloud formations, a flock of geese flying in their famous “ V Formation”, or some pretty cool trees. (I would recommend you stop before you start looking up!)
2. Look Down. The very opposite of looking up is, can you guess? Right, looking down. How many times have you been looking down and found a quarter? Well, try going to a parking lot and spending an hour or two just looking down. There are some pretty cool pictures ready to be captured in the oil spill, rain puddle, or ice formations. If you don’t happen to live near a parking lot, walking around in a field, on the beach, or forest will give you countless possibilities.
3. Another take on looking down, is to get higher up. The top level of an open parking garage, rooftop, or even a ladder will elevate you enough to get a different perspective on life. Some of my favorite shots were taken from a higher elevation. And with the use of some Photoshop magic, you can turn these photos into special “miniature pictures” as seen here.
4. Urban areas are some of my favorite places to take pictures. Not only are there great old buildings with a lot of history, but there are also unique patterns and textures on the walls. With the correct composition, a simple fire escape on the side of a building will give you a great picture. The use of a wide-angle lens will allow you to be closer to your subject in tight alleys and still be able to get the full image.
Candid images of people are quite common, but have you ever taken a candid picture of nature? Don’t use the live view or viewfinder when taking pictures. Shoot from the hip as it were. Too many times we over-think our photo opportunities and miss something. So just hold your camera and point and shoot. You’ll be surprised at some of the shots you’ll get. And you thought you had to see to take great pictures!
I hope this short list will help you get over your “block” and get you some great images. And although the list is far from complete, it will definitely get you started and get your creative juices flowing again!