Extraordinary Everyday Photography by Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring

Rating: 8/10

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High-Level Thoughts

A fantastic resource for finding great photos all around you. Helpful ideas for when you can’t travel but want to get practice near home, and for finding more photos in any setting you’re in.

Summary Notes

There were a mix of categories of notes here.

Finding Ideas for Photography Around You

  • Schedule photography playdates with yourself each week to go somewhere near your home and see what you can find.
  • Look inside of your house, how do the items in your kitchen look? The books on your shelf?
  • Walk around your neighborhood, even if you think there’s “nothing to photograph” there.
  • Choose a place nearby that you haven’t photographed before and go there.
  • Force yourself to take a large number of images within a small radius, like making 30 within a city block.
  • Put your camera on auto to focus on finding interesting subjects, instead of fiddling with the settings.
  • Visit places that typically have a lot of interesting images to be made, like farmers’ markets, festivals, and busy streets.

Prompts for Noticing More Images

  • Are there repeating items, like crops or bikes?
  • Are there interesting reflections anywhere?
  • How about shadows?
  • What about interesting patterns, shapes, textures, or strong lines?
  • Are there any interesting contrasts of color, size, or brightness?
  • Is there some juxtaposition you can focus on, like an old man and a young girl, or someone in a suit and a hippy?
  • Can you find a particularly interesting object to study and make a good image of?
  • How about something humorous?
  • See if there are any demonstrations of man against nature.
  • Faces are always an interesting option.

Ideas for Expanding the Creative Process

  • Try putting your photos in black and white. It doesn’t have to be high contrast light, but you need a range of tones so that everything stands out.
  • Create a wider view by taking panoramas.
  • Pan your camera, moving it with a moving subject or moving it against a still subject. This is great for catching motion, like a dog running or someone catching a bus.
  • Use artistic filters like you find in Photoshop or Instagram.
  • Try interesting new lenses, like the ones by Lensbaby.
  • Create deliberate blur by putting the subjects out of focus.

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