Nothing to photograph?

June 27, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Before moving to the current city I live in, I lived in a picturesque area. Within ten to fifteen minutes' drive from my house in any direction were photogenic spots. If I saw the sunset was going to be beautiful I could just hop in my car minutes before go time and I would be on location and ready to shoot in no time. Since I knew all these spots so well I did not have to arrive long before sunset.

          The city where I live now is in a flat valley. There is nothing to photograph (for a landscape photographer). Many nights I look at the brilliantly lit sky in frustration because there is nothing in the foreground to photograph with it. So the question begs, what do you shoot when there is nothing to shoot? You will remember from previous blogs that I advocate shrinking your world when you find yourself in such situations. Photograph smaller things.

Locked Chain, Hollister, California Stuff like this is everywhere. Go to antique stores or stores that have old things on display. Shoot only parts of what you see. When you isolate things the background area is much smaller so you can hold a blanket or something behind what you are photographing. Drive through the neighborhood and look for beautiful gardens. Remember to ask for permission before you photograph.

Cactus FlowerCactus Flower

Visit the cemetary.

Dying Roses in cemeteryDying Roses in cemeteryFading Life It does not matter where you live, find small things to photograph. Develop a list of go-to places so that you are ready. Note which places need what kind of light. For example, gardens photograph best on overcast days, especially just after rain. You may not be the world's best landscape photographer if you only shoot at a photographically boring city, but you can get great imagery no matter where you live. You could even photograph still life images indoors. Just be creative.


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