Think you live in a boring area and have to wait to travel somewhere better to get great photographs? Think again! It may seem like the grass is greener on the other side, and even if it is, that doesn’t mean there aren’t artistic photo opportunities all around you. Some might even be closer than you think. And the great thing about the digital age is that you can click to your heart’s content without the worry of film processing and fees. There’s no excuse not to take advantage of what your locality has to offer.
From landscapes to people to wildlife, here’s how to open your artistic eye and find beautiful photo opportunities wherever you call home.
Have you ever looked at old photos of your town? Interesting, right? But what if the photographer at the time didn’t think that particular area was worth capturing? You wouldn’t have anything to compare to the modern city you know. So go ahead. Contribute to tomorrow’s archives by photographing what your city/suburb/neighborhood looks like now. Future generations will thank you.
The Wheel of the Year
Your local nature scene has a unique way of displaying itself throughout the year. Capture it in all its beautiful (and sometimes not-so-beautiful) moments from spring to winter. What does each season look like? Does your area have wildflowers? Blossoming trees? Snowy sidewalks? You could even take a photo of one subject throughout the seasons to see how it changes.
Is there a festival or fair that’s big in your area? How about the smaller celebrations? From farmer’s markets and art strolls to music fests and SXSW-type happenings, there are probably plenty of get togethers to enjoy and photograph.
From Your Window
Challenge yourself to take photos from the windows in your home and/or office. Although the scenery may not seem to change much, you might end up capturing an interesting wildlife photo, and at the very least you’ll be able to see how the light throughout the day changes how the subject shows up in the image.
Related: What is the Blue Hour and How to Photograph It
City parks and recreation departments often offer nature walks and tours through local parks and gardens. Take advantage of these free outings to get some interesting photos and learn about your area’s natural flora and fauna.
Get up close and personal with the objects around you: food, flowers, insects, fabrics, books, artwork, jewelry, whatever you can find! Get close, then get closer and see how the subject transforms from recognizable to what is that?!
Some of these ideas and opportunities may seem obvious, but they often get overlooked when our schedules are packed, we have tunnel vision, or when we get a case of wanderlust. When you have some downtime, feel in a rut, or long to snap photos in exotic locales, look around you first. Because when you think about it, what may seem boring and old hat to you may be another photographer’s dream.
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