How to Find Great Subjects for Photos at Your Doorstep

modest beauty
by Eliza Donovan

Have you ever browsed a photography blog and then felt envious because the photos you saw were simply awesome? And then you thought that you could never take anything like that because you lived in the wrong place. Let me tell you that there is no wrong or right place in photography – you can take great shots right at your doorstep, without having to make expensive trips. Here are a few simple ideas that will help you create beautiful and creative images. You don’t have to use expensive equipment, nor use software to heavily manipulate your photos. All you need is some natural light and your imagination.

Turn an Everyday Scene Into a Photo

This is the first thing you’ll need to learn if you want to take beautiful photos. And to be able to see an everyday scene as a photo, you’ll need to:

  • mentally separate a scene into various elements that may look good on a photo
  • concentrate on the selected element(s) and develop your idea
  • study the scene and mentally “preview” it as a photo
  • recognize the potential of light, color and focus
  • take your camera and try different angles to see which one works best

By doing all that you’ll be able to see the beauty of everyday thing and turn the mundane into something magical with just your vision and your camera.

Some Subject Ideas

Interested in landscape photography? Love street photography? Or perhaps you’re a macro fan? You can find great subjects for all that close to your home. Have a look at the photo of that cornflower. I found it literally within five minutes walk from my house. What I loved about it was that it stood alone against the field and the hills. I tried shooting it from different angles (and got into an anthill in the process), and I also made sure that the flower was in focus while the background and the immediate foreground were blurred. It was a beautiful sunny day, so the light was perfect for my shot. I’m not saying that this shot is a masterpiece, but it’s pretty and I’m happy with it.

And here are some more photos I shot with an HTC phone while making a trip to the local market.

youth of cardiff
by Eliza Donovan

The first one is in the city center. I love how contemporary it all looks and I think there is a beautiful harmony of contemporary glass and concrete buildings and the metal sculpture. And the young couple make a lovely centerpiece.

The first thing I noticed when walking there was the colors and the light. I liked how the colors complemented each other – the blue of the sky that reflected in the glass and the grey of the metal that worked well with the grey of the tiles.

When I was planning to take the photo (and I thought it would be just architecture), this young couple entered my photo frame and sat down to examine their purchases. They completed the composition, so I waited until they were sitting comfortably and paying no attention to me, and took the photo. As you can see, this photo was born from an everyday scene that most people wouldn’t have paid attention to. But you as a photographer should always look for beauty in the mundane.

I took the second photo when I made it to the market. I love markets for their colorfulness – each stall is different! There is the fruit and vegetable stall with bright colors, there is a cheese stall with different shades of yellow and bright wax, there is a jam stall with all those beautiful jars filled with glowing substances – I can go on. But this time I was attracted by a sausage stall. I loved the strict geometry of it thanks to the baskets, plus the different shades of dark red. So I took my phone out and snapped the shot. Here it is:

by Eliza Donovan
by Eliza Donovan

As you can see, life is full of photographic opportunities! It’s up to you to keep and eye out for them.

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