Standing in front of more interesting stuff

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson supposedly said “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” A quick rooting around on the web didn’t find a qualified quote, hence the supposedly.

I’m not sure I totally agree with him.

A good photographer can find a way to make even the most boring subject (to them) interesting. It sure helps if the subject matter is so unique or odd that it stands out, but let’s face it, we can’t all go to Spain or deserted towns in Montana. The vast majority of us are stuck photographing what’s around us.

I started thinking about the definition of boring. It’s pretty darn subjective. What’s boring to me might be highly interesting to you, and what’s boring to you may enthrall someone halfway across the world. What’s boring, uninteresting today, might be hilariously attention grabbing 50 years later.

For example, most cities and towns that are a few hundred years old here in the U.S. have some sort of vintage photographs of their town the way it used to be. We call those photographs historical, when really, it was probably some amateur photographer snapping away to test his or her new camera.

This photograph is part of a challenge I made to myself – find a way to take things around me and photograph them in an interesting way.  It’s been one of those weeks where I simply can’t go shooting somewhere.  As much as I would like to, life gets in the way.  I would dearly love to head off somewhere with my camera, but since I can’t, might as well make the best of it.

Life happens.  One day I’m waiting for not one, but two plumbers to show up and fix a leak one of them actually caused.  The next, I’m waiting for someone to come fix the air conditioner that gave up the ghost.  Somewhere in these few days I need to buckle down and deal with the accumulating clutter – it grows and grows until I go nuts and start tossing things just to clean up.   The mundane happenings of life interfere with what I would really prefer to be doing. 

So for the next few days, expect lots of odd abstracts.  See if you can guess what they are – I’ll give you a hint: most of this stuff sits in my kitchen on a normal day.

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10 thoughts on “Standing in front of more interesting stuff

  1. Very True – nothing’s really ‘boring’ if you approach it in a positive way. Just going for a walk close to home to take photographs where we’re often over familiar with what we see can be a great exercise. I’ll keep a close eye on the results!

  2. These tines are interesting. There is composition here, a gradual diminishment of light. There are signs of wear and tear, an oblique reference to life lived (and enjoyed) and time passing. I rarely photograph indoors, but apparently I’m missing a whole world of interesting subjects!

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