Find only ONE scene, large or small, from tabletop to scenic view, something that you like and something that is static. Then close in to it like you would close into a treasure found.

Analyze why you like that scene. Think about why and what could be made even better. Is it the basic aesthetics? Balance? Color? Light play? A synergism of various traits? Then begin photographing it in various ways: more exposure, less exposure, more development, less development, different filtration, different vantage points.

Darin, 'seeing' is hard work as is the acquisition of technical proficiency. Boredom comes easily and we must fight the impulse to refuse to see beauty in our own back yards. Sometimes something seemingly unrelated can manifest where it theoretically should not. When I was a child I was brought up in the Byzantine (Ukrainian) Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. There were pesky 'holy days' often and many a time after coming home from high school my father would command us all to go to church in the evening for the holy day. I despised this because I was exhausted. I forced my self to do this (by necessity, there was no way out!). One of the times was the stations of the cross. I was forced to analyze the various Icons in that church (St Michaels Ukrainian Catholic Church in Terryville CT) and come to grips with the fact that, aesthetically there really was something there. The next week I dragged my Minolta Autocord into the Church when it was empty and came back with literally revelatory, beautiful B&W photos that are possible with unrushed time exposures. that was when I was 16 in 1966. Moral: from pain and suffering I acquired an appreciation for beauty which, before then, I simply took for granted.

Darin, beauty is hard work, like studying, digging a ditch, making enemies your friends, acquiring empathy without selfishness. That is really the REAL facts of life. You are justified in feeling this boredom, especially in these uncertain times. But remember, you have easily at your disposal, equipment and materials, no matter how inexpensive, that Matthew Brady would have killed for. Thankfulness begets and precedes aesthetic wisdom. - David Lyga