Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting out of the rut

Have you ever felt like there's nothing exciting to take pictures of? I have. I got into a rut where I felt that the only things worth taking pictures of were the things you have to take a vacation to get to—Paris, Rome, all the famous travel destinations around the world. But as I looked at the work of photographers I admire, I kept noticing that many of the photos I liked best were of everyday things— a reflection in a puddle, curtains in a window, people's feet in a subway.

Two things happened next. First, I read about The Best Camera Is the One That's With You, a book by photographer Chase Jarvis. Jarvis's idea is that good pictures come from keeping your eyes open and being ready, not from having the latest and greatest equipment. In addition, Jarvis says, “There are at least 10 great pictures within 10 meters of you right now,” wherever you are, whatever you're doing. I felt challenged to find the beauty where I am instead of where I would rather be.

Second, I started a blog, along with two friends, called Downey Daily Photos. Our goal is to post a picture each day that is taken in our hometown of Downey, California. Now, Downey isn't Paris. Or Rome. But once I started looking, and more importantly, once I started looking while I was walking rather than driving, I started to see all kinds of picture-worthy things.

Here are some of the things I've noticed during the last month.

What did I learn?
Getting out of this rut involves a change of mind instead of a change of scenery.

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