This week on Through the Lens I want to cover one of the most dreaded issues in photography: what to photograph. There won’t always be an obvious scene to capture, unfortunately, but there is always something to photograph. When going to take pictures there are some things that you, as a photographer, as drawn to capture. But there are some times where you just want to take pictures but there isn’t anything obvious in sight. This happens to me all the time. But there are a few different ways to combat this feeling.
Different angles mean different subjects. If you are in a place but you don’t see anything extraordinary to take a picture of, try laying down or kneeling. Sometimes just being on a different level can bring out a great image. Another great way to mix things up with angles is to tilt your camera slightly up or down. For example, to make a person or item appear more intimidating or more “in charge” tilt the camera so that you are looking up at the subject. And to give the viewer the power of intimidation try tilting your camera so that you are looking down. This downward angle is one of my personal favorites for taking pictures of flowers because you can start to see inside the petals as well as the side.
There is also something to be said for the random approach to finding things to take pictures of. I know some people like to use the point and shoot method, where the face any direction, let their lens focus and take a picture. There is also the option of asking someone else to pick what you photograph. Just text a friend or ask someone walking by for their opinion. I have also heard of using a compass and taking a picture in a certain direction or even finding something that starts with a certain letter.
Something I keep in mind when taking pictures is that a picture can be on anything. If you have a water bottle, play around with pictures of that. My brother and I have even taking pictures of a mini action figure with napkins on a train before. If you really want to better your skills, practicing with anything can help. As well as taking pictures of anything, there are great ways to take pictures that contain mostly negative space (empty space). You can even play around with shadows.
The last way I find something to photograph is by looking for a specific element, like contrast or balance. This was actually an in class English project that we did. And I found so many cool places and things that I had never even thought of before.
There are so many things to take pictures of, you just have to look. I promise you will never run out of images to capture as long as you keep an open mind. Keep your eye out for those moments when you have a unique opportunity to capture the moment and see life through your own lens.