Keeping myself motivated to take photos and to write are dual challenges. Some days it seems that I’ve already taken photos of all the things around me, that everything feels the same–ordinary, boring, done–without inspiration. But then I zoom in, turn my camera, snap from another angle, find a different frame, crouch down or climb a hill…and everything changes.
I’m lucky to live near the beach, just a short drive takes me to the beauty of the ocean, the waves, the birds, and endless sunsets. But sometimes it seems that I have hundreds of images of those very same things. Yesterday I decided to use my zoom lens at the beach, hoping for some pelican and other sea bird sightings. The birds were scarce, but as I looked up I noticed this wind flag against the brilliant blue of the December sky.
The monotony of long car rides makes me prefer planes and other modes of transportation. Some motion sickness keeps me from reading or using my computer in the car…and face it, there’s only so much to talk about on an eight hour drive! So I started playing around with taking photos out the car window. It’s not the best of photographic environments. You have to dodge the bug splats, the reflection through the window, the rear view mirrors…you get the idea! But sometimes, you can catch a moment that turns that monotony into something beautiful like the glow of the coming sunrise as we headed away from Walnut Creek toward the I5 to head home from a visit to my son and daughter-in-law.
Or the sun peeking above the horizon, illuminating the power lines that stretch out along the long, straight freeway that connects northern California to southern California.
Sometimes I find that I have to open myself up to the serendipity of noticing something usual in a new way. Finding kelp on the beach is usual…noticing the curve that reminds me of a smile is something quite different. I got down low, kept my camera field large, and found this!
And anyone who follows this blog knows that I take tons of photos of seagulls. Seagulls in flight, seagulls in silhouette, seagulls alone, seagulls in groups… And sometimes you find a pair of seagulls sitting on a railing that you simply can’t resist. I love these seagull butts!
So for the month of January, take our your camera and find it! Find that new angle, the light that casts the magical glow you hadn’t noticed before. Find the treasure among the things you see everyday and take for granted. Find inspiration. Find perspective. Find ways to make the ordinary extraordinary, find the interesting in the mundane.
Here’s some prompts to get your creative juices flowing:
1. look up
2. crouch down
4. through the window
6. find the light
7. on top
8. move closer
10. on the go
11. find a natural frame
14. something you can smell
15. a new angle
16. zoom in
17. seek color
19. get close (macro if you can)
25. a worm’s eye view
28. try a filter
29. black and white
31. right in front of you
As always, our challenge will allow us to learn from each other as we shoot our own photos and study the photos others shoot. The prompts are there to help you find new ways to look at your world, to find the unexpected in the ordinary and the beauty in the mundane. You can use them in order or pick and choose as you like–you are welcome to add a new prompt into the mix if you are so moved. You can post every day, once a week, or even sporadically throughout the month…whatever works in your life.
Be sure to share and tag your photos with #sdawpphotovoices so we can find them! You can share on Twitter (follow me @kd0602), on Instagram (@kd0602), in the CLMOOC community on G+, on Flickr, or even link back to my blog here.
Let’s find it as we focus our camera lenses in January…whatever “it” might be that inspires, motivates, and keeps us all learning and growing–one photo a day!