Laura,I know what you mean about alleys....
The street in front of my house is even paved with brick (but it's not yellow).
You sound like the old complaint: there's nothing to eat but food!
Relatively accessible, you have:
*all of the UK. (many people -here- travel daily 50 miles to work, each way!)
I should live in such a "bland" neighbourhood!:laugh:
Try to re-educate your eye to see things it has become blind to (none are so blind as will not see):D
The familiar numbs us, sometimes.
When you see no photographs around you, take yourself somewhere else, a very different environment. Study the differences. When you return to where you were, you'll find yourself surrounded by photographs.
Your question brings up two things I would like to talk about. When my mother was in the nursing home, I noticed a lot of blank walls without pictures. I sent off some negatives to be made into 16X20 enlargements and donated them to the home. One was a scene next to the river that runs through town in our largest park. It was in the fall so there was a big orange maple tree in the picture and a path that ran along the river. The city had put in a new wooden boardwalk about 5-6 years before I took the picture. I gave it to the maintainance man to put up and he asked me where I took that picture. I looked at him unbelieving he could ask such a question and said, it is about a mile from where we stand, in the park. He said he had not been over there in a few years.
The other thing I wanted to say is that when I took the NYIP course through the mail, I was suppose to take a picture showing texture for one of my assignments. Knowing there there was nothing in my boring town I jumped in the car and went to another town to see what I could find. Not finding anything I came back and passed a gas station a half mile from my house that was made out of a type of block that I have not seen anywhere before. It had a design on it that made a good example of texture. If nothing else I would have to ask, are there no pretty girls in your town? Are there no cute babies? No puppies or kittens? If so, then it is a boring town.
Try night photography, eg urban landscapes on a tripod. Even boring stuff can look interesting as a night photo, and it will extend your photographic knowledge if you haven't done it before.
Everything can get boring after a while, I live at a lake with some great views, but after about 100 photos of the lake it got boring for me, in fact I am on a theme of avoiding photos of water now.
In the suburbs a transport theme comes to mind, cars, bikes, buses, trains, even shoes come to mind.
What about the number on your house, the door knob, a low shot of the grass, your reflection in a window, sunrise or sunset as viewed from your garden?
Wow, I was taking a tour of your city compliments of Google street view and I was impressed by what I saw. I realize you have gotten used to your city, but from an outsider's point of view it is quite interesting.
I would love to photograph the Reading rail station, and what about The Mill at Sonning and the surrounding waterways at different times of day and season. The countryside would be another area I would love to visit and photograph.
Living in the Western United States all my life, your city seems very interesting and exotic to me.
Alex from L.A.
If that is Reading in Berkshire, in the UK, I think it is pretty much interesting. I spent an academic year there in 1989 - 90. Should not have changed much.
The prison where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned;
The medieval bell tower in the historical centre;
Market scenes at the fresh market in the centre;
Typical British houses which are uncommon in Europe even if they are common to your eyes;
The University campus with its beautiful park, with bridges over the water, sterns fishing, squirrels, majestic old trees;
University scenes of all kind: graduation ceremonies, sport events, bonfires...
Wantage Hall (Upper Redlands Road) certainly merits quite a few shots; Some other Edwardian University buildings as well;
The Old Campus, if it is accessible, and its clock tower;
Old traditional houses with wooden frame;
And the Chemist's with the sign "Pharmacy" :-)
You wouldn't complain about Reading if you came to live up here in the grim northern city I live in, If the World had to have an enema this is where they'd stick the tube :(
Anyway, the above it not so true, I shot a roll of FP4+ and was pleasantly surprised by the results. This is my fave from the roll: I entitle it 'Suburbia: Land of Contrast'
What do you think?