Photography in the Suburbs
I live in a fairly boring suburb of a fairly boring town called Reading, in the UK. As you'd expect I often feel a little envious of people coming back with great photos from really great locations (Yellowstone, Cornwall, Scotland, etc etc.) What is there to photograph in the suburbs? What exercises/studies can I do? I've been looking at Chris Crawford's work and it is an inspiration of sorts - any more ideas?
My neighbourhood is available on Google Street View: Erleigh Road, Reading, UK.
It is always easy to find low hanging fruit everywhere else but home.
Just start at your front door and take 10 photos every third step. Shoot every thing in sight; high , low, etc. don't censor yourself. Do this for about a block or so. You might be surprised at what you come up with.
I too live in a boring suburb–photos are everywhere, it's a matter of seeing them (best to have no preconceived ideas). For years I carried a camera with me when I took our dog for a walk and was delighted with what I found. Unfortunately Rocco died not too long ago...
everyplace is kind of boring.
the trick is make believe you don't live there
good luck !
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I am certainly acquainted with that feeling, but I believe it requires a little fine tuning of the imagination. If you wander through the galleries on this site I think you will find examples of all sorts of possibilities. For example, zero in close to objects, reducing some small portion of a scene to an abstract, emphasize texture, that sort of thing. There's no denying the stunning aspects of viewing snow-capped rocky mountains, but there are other patterns with interesting interplay of light and shadow, hard line against soft objects, etc. that people walk past every day without noticing. The trick is to see some of that. Am I good at it? No! But I do try to think along those lines as I wander armed with a camera.
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Shoot what you wanna shoot. If you don't wanna shoot nuthin', then don't shoot! You'll figure it out.....or not! It'll be ok either way.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Check out Bill Owens' Suburbia
The other trick is to try to find the time to take in the usual sights at a different time of day.
I too live in the land of the bland.
But when I find the will to get up Sunday am at 5:00 on a day predicted to be light on clouds, I am out for a walk before the sun has risen.
I have pre-scouted possibiilities , and get great shots off all sorts of things in the hour or so before the light becomes part of the usual blandness again.
Yes, macro and texture can be your friend too.
I usually drive to work after dropping the kids off at school, but when we bike I can usally see intersting things, and the effect is even more pronounced if I walk. It is just a matter of getting an extra 15minutes in into the morning routine to walk in rather than drive, since I live close to work, but that 15 minutes always seems to go to other more domestic tasks.
my real name, imagine that.
There is something to this. Familiarity can make something boring to you that might be interesting to someone else, or you would find interesting if you were a visitor. I was thinking about this at lunch, when I was looking around, seeing the stuff I see every day, that I could see tourists taking pictures of. I see ghosts, too: places that used to be bookstores, cafes, etc., and are now cell phone shops, banks, chain clothing boutiques. It's a challenge to throw off your own blinders.
Originally Posted by jnanian
That's what LSD is for. Kidding, just kidding. But if you do try it, shoot in auto. And post your pics!