Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Can’t Find Anything To Photograph? Get Closer!

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One of the most frustrating things I often hear from my students is that there’s nothing to photograph because there are too many distractions around the subject. However, in the real world of photography, distractions are just a fact of life so you learn to deal with them.

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Tonight I went for a walk with my son and didn’t bring my camera because I fell victim of the “there’s nothing to shoot where I’m going” excuse. However, I did have my iPhone so while I was out I challenged myself to try to come up with a shot for each colorful flower I saw along the way.

Copyright (c) Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What you see in before shots sections this article are the scenes that my eyes saw that made me say “yeah, there’s nothing to shoot there” and the after is the shot was a result of me getting closer. I’ve not heavily cropped – what you see is mostly what was in camera, except I’ve used a 3:2 aspect ratio for the images in the article (iPhone 6 uses 16:9 aspect ratio).

These shots do have simple 2 minute edits – done mostly with Perfectly Clear.  While the after shots aren’t necessarily good photographs, they do illustrate my point about getting close to my subject to remove distractions and capture something that was an improvement over the scene before me.

Copyright (c) Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In all of these cases I could have just walked by and not taken a photograph, and to be honest that is often what I do when I’m out walking with my son.

Copyright (c) Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

However, my friend Bryan Peterson wrote a great book called Learning to See Creatively that reminds us that the world is filled with things to photograph. You simply need to open your eyes and find them!

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As you look through the shots in this article, I challenge you to think this way on your next walk.

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I challenge you to post a before and after image to the ronmartblog Facebook page or flickr group.

Copyright (c) Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Show me what you saw and what you actually took!

Copyright (c) Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Even if you don’t end up with art, it’s a good exercise to remind you that shots are all around us if we just look for them and take a couple steps to get closer to our subject!

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