One of the great joys of photography and videography is going to new places, capturing it and sharing with others.
But what’s helped me the most as a photographer is not all the different locations I’ve traveled, but where I go every day.
Taking pictures of the same thing might sound boring, but it is the most helpful way to hone your eye and your skills.
Light changes, shadows shift, weather is different, there are different people doing different things. Seeing the same streets, buildings and trees is never really the same. Actively looking for a new way to capture the places and things you’ve seen countless times helps train your eye.
When I lived in Lansing, Michigan, I walked past the State Capitol every day to and from work. It’s a beautiful building that anyone who visits will take many pictures of.
Seeing it multiple times a day, I challenged myself to notice something new every time. I would start seeing how the light, weather and other factors would effect certain parts of the building. I would look at different ways of framing the the photo and if I'd see something cool one day, I would rememebr it when the sky or light was just right.
Here’s a gallery of my favorite photos over the couple of years I live there.
Out front of the Capitol building there is a statue of Governor Austin Blair, who served during the Civil War. Something about the statue always stuck out to me and I grabbed some of my favorite shots of the Capitol area with the statue in it.
In Kalamazoo, I’ve been doing the same thing. I got for a walk every night through my neighborhood, Bronson Park and the downtown mall. I normally listen to an audiobook and always have my iPhone with me.
When I'm going on my walk, I ask questions like these: How can I take a different picture of the same thing but make it different? What is unique about today? How could this change with the changing of the light.
Do this for a couple months at a place you frequent. It can be your back yard, a sidewalk you take to lunch, or a trail you frequent in the woods. Start thinking about
This type of exercise will help when you are in a new situation to notice things to make beautiful and compelling photos and videos.