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On the Importance of Photographing Simple Things

We all love photographing famous landmarks, stunning landscapes and vibrant sunsets. We try to find a different angle, a new take on the well-known view, we wait for the right moment. As a result we get a great photo that looks nothing less than a quality postcard. It is a relatively easy and pleasant task to photograph something that looks good - a nice photo is almost guaranteed. But can we do the same thing in our everyday surroundings? With the mundane little things that we see every day? Will we come up with interesting photos by taking the unexplored path during our travels? Sounds challenging, right? And yet, this is where photography becomes more interesting. Here are 5 reasons why pointing your camera at ordinary things will help you become a better photographer.

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1. Train your photographer's eye

Bright, well-known or beautiful sights easily attract our attention and we often find ourselves heading in the direction of the crowd. It is, however, more challenging to find something interesting and attractive on a back street of a sleepy little town, in your own city, where everything looks so familiar, or in your own backyard. Exploring familiar places is a great opportunity to think outside the box and to train your photographer's eye to see things beyond the obvious. There are so many great photos out there, and your task is to go find them.

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2. Make ordinary personal

The best way to make the ordinary and the mundane look interesting is to make it feel personal. Find subjects that move or surprise you, even if it's a little cobweb covered with morning dew or a combination of lines, colours and shapes that caught your eye. Remember, if you don't feel anything for the subject you are taking a photo of, even the latest and greatest camera will not help you. Train your personal sensibility for fleeting moments and simple things around you, and find a way to transmit your emotions through the image you're taking.

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3. Get closer

Often what looks ordinary from the outside, hides many photo opportunities when inspected up close. Simplicity is the key: combined with good lighting or a colourful background, even simple subjects make stunning photos!

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4. Try harder on composition and lighting

Composition and lighting become ever more important when the subject is not "pretty". Take it as a challenge and try harder to explore the light, the angles, the perspective, the background, the shadow it casts, and of course the subject itself. Look for patterns, repetitions, match lines and shapes. If you can create a nice photo of a simple subject, imagine what you can do with an outstanding one!

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5. See limitations as opportunities

You don't need to go to the most beautiful places in the world, to buy the most expensive camera or to set up a top-notch studio to get a great image. Life can be unpredictable and you may find yourself stuck in the crowd, exploring the new place at midday in the harshest light, or maybe the lens you have is not the most suitable one for the occasion. Accept the challenge and ask yourself what you can do to make it work.

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Simple and ordinary does not mean boring, it simply means challenging! Get off the beaten path to train your photographer's eye and sensibility, master the composition and, most importantly, have fun!

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