They just have an eye for it” = wrong.

Half the fun of learning photography is seeing beauty and interest that everyone else misses.  Ever hear someone say that a photographer “just has the eye for it?”  I disagree

This is a learned skill, not something that you are born with.  As you walk around and observe the world, start mentally cropping your view.  Instead of seeing everything 180 degrees around you, imagine you could only see a smaller portion of your field of vision.

The old-school movie director cliché of making opposing “L” shapes with your index finger and thumbs on each hand and looking through the rectangle they form is a great illustration.  This creates a crop so they can see the smaller portion of their field of view to “see the scene”.

How to find interesting things to shoot

 Take notice of buildings and windows for interesting patterns and shapes.

I was walking by a building I walk by all the time and something suddenly ‘clicked’ and I realized there was a really cool pattern in the brickwork I had never noticed before.  I ran home and grabbed my camera to shoot it before I forgot again.

building geometry

Look for repeating patterns in everyday items

I was walking down a street in Milan and noticed a row of bicycles.  I positioned myself low so the bikes would trail or in repetition:

repeating-bike-pattern

Get really close to everyday objects

There is a saying in photography: get close to your subject…then get closer.  I saw this snail crossing the sidewalk which didn’t look all that interesting from above.

I laid down on my stomach to get closer and a more intimate angle to the snail and compose the photo so its trail lead off into the corner of the frame.  This was much more interesting than shooting it from eye level.

beginner-photography-tips-book-hacking-photography-snail-photo-mike-newton

 

Shoot every day objects from interesting angles

Everything we see in a daily basis happens at eye-level.  To make everyday objects more interesting, shoot them from interesting angles.  I got directly underneath this sunflower on a public street to shoot it from a ‘heroic’ angle to emphasize its height.

sunflower-from-below

Have fun with long shadows:

I always enjoy going out to shoot around sunset or sunrise.  When the sun is low in the sky the shadows get really long

long-shadows

Look for interesting leading lines:

I was photographing a new restaurant in downtown San Diego when I thought it would be fun to create a different angle.  I sat my camera on one of the benches under a table and show down the length of the bench.

This created a fun diagonal line from the top right to the bottom left.

 

Shoot at night

Things just look cooler at night!  Using long exposures at night can bring out some interesting colors that make photographs stand out.  I took a long exposure of this diner in Columbia Missouri at night.  The neon lights give it some nice color pop.

The-Diner-Columbia-Missouri

Class dismissed!

Tomorrow we are going to show you different ways to add style to your photographs while you are shooting them.  See you tomorrow!