View Full Version : I know there is a picture in those old boots but darned if I can find it

03-01-2013, 12:38 PM
I found a pair of old boots a welder left on their abandoned boat at our storage business. The boat is nothing special and has no character but the boots are cool. I just can't make an image out of them. I searched for images of old boots in hopes of a revelation but nothing I found turned my crank.

Anyone else ever find an object or objects that you KNEW had a picture in it but just can't get the darn things to talk to you?

03-01-2013, 02:23 PM
Many times. Abandoned cars or farm equipment in a field or woods has been common with me.

Kevin Kehler
03-01-2013, 03:00 PM
I found a broken crystal paperweight in an abandoned house once - I took 2-rolls of film from various angles and positions but none of them looked right. I am convinced there was a picture there but I can't put it together.

03-01-2013, 03:59 PM
Definitely but don't give up. If you still can revisit the subject later, your brain will do the work in the background and may come up with the right composition or idea. I feel sorry for the subjects that I can no longer revisit, I feel like I failed and wasted a good opportunity :(

03-01-2013, 04:42 PM
I've had this happen on more than one occasion. I take some solace in the fact I have company.

03-01-2013, 05:45 PM
There is an, overgrown WPA era park (stone staircase, fountain, and a grill) near my house that I've not figured out yet, but I think I'm getting closer.

03-01-2013, 05:57 PM
Yes. It's even happened with naked women*...

* I am IN NO WAY implying that naked women are objects!

03-01-2013, 06:30 PM
It's very common. Think back to the feeling that you had when you first saw them and had the thought if an image and its probably it there somewhere...

03-02-2013, 07:26 AM
It's not the boots, it's the light. Wait for it and have a camera with you always:)

03-03-2013, 04:15 PM
Same thing happened with me. There was a pile of old weathered fencing in our back yard for 3 or 4 months that I "saw" a photograph there. I tried different lighting, night flash etc. I even tried different format 35mm, 120 (6x4.5 & 6x6) After several times with everything I had I was not happy with the outcome. Fortunately for me it was removed.
I printed a few that were better and sepia toned a few and it only turned out to be that it was only old lumber I was looking at. "Nothing here folks just move along". Another photography lesson.

03-03-2013, 04:24 PM
When wandering about certain areas you can sometimes feel there is a possible image in a certain location. You then turn into a sniffer dog to find where it is, at what angle etc.

03-03-2013, 05:13 PM
Take the boots back to the yard, abandon them, revisit them. If only you could put them back on the feet of the welder, in the yard, then try again. The story is not in the boots but in who wore the boots. Take the boots back to where the story happened, take them home.

ME Super
03-03-2013, 10:09 PM
I agree - the story is not in the boots but in who wore the boots. A little background here. I grew up in a small town. My high school history teacher was always involved in the community, including serving on the local rescue squad as an EMT. After she retired from teaching, she was often one of the first ones to arrive on the scene (they called these two people the "geriatric squad" because they were retired from their day jobs but still were active on the rescue squad/fire department). Sadly, she died on her 70th birthday in 2011.

To honor her, the fire department threw a party in celebration of her life. At the end of the party, they took her boots and fireman's outfit to the corner a block from the firehouse, where US 24 runs through town. Everyone who attended the party gathered at the corner where the boots were. The entire fire department and rescue squad then got on one of the fire engines and went from one end of town to the other with sirens blaring.

There was no picture in the boots or gear. The picture was in the person who wore them. Rest in peace, Miss Nancy Burnett.

Find the person who wore the boots, and you'll have your story.

Rick A
03-04-2013, 07:59 PM

My daughters hunting boots.

04-22-2013, 04:11 PM
I've spent ages trying to find the photo of various things. More than once, it took till I had picked up a few other random things and put them together before the photo revealed itself to me.

But sometimes, you just have to accept that you ain't gonna get it. Well, I do, but still life isn't my strongest skill.

01-11-2014, 07:24 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I'll opine on I anyways.

With interesting objects as still lifes, think about why you think they're interesting, then convey that in your photo. It usually involves adding context to the object. Shoot the boots at an unfinishd work site, in an old shop, in an entryway to an old home with a leather weding apron hanging above them, etc. You're adding context to the boots, not just cataloging old boots.


01-11-2014, 08:56 PM
It's not the light or the boots - it's the context they fit into. Sometimes an image just cannot stand on it's own without surrounding context - which could be words or associated photographs. Sure, if you want to get all fine-arty about it, then yeah "here's a picture of a pair of boots in the desert, complete with foot trails across the dunes." But that's artificial.