Photo Tip Friday: Find Interesting Subjects in the Midst of the Ordinary

by Mary Denman     Twitter: @MaryDenman    Instagram: @MaryFDenman

Sometimes we have false thinking that if we could just go somewhere gorgeous, we could get fantastic pictures and be a better photographer. 

But really, we can look for beautiful or interesting images all around us. 

So today, I want to show you a part of my yard that's a bit overgrown with weeds. 

Why in the world would I do that?

Because there is interest to be found for the looking. 

Let's get started.

TIP 1: If you look hard enough, you can find something interesting to appreciate and take a picture of. Take your camera or phone outside and walk around your yard or down your street and LOOK for interesting subjects.

PHOTO 1: Here's the overgrown part of my yard near the creek. At first glance, it's easy to see there's nothing good about this picture. It's too cluttered, no focal point, and overall, a pitiful shot. 
PHOTO 1: Weeds near a tree

But I took it just for you, my reader. 

Why? To show you how to FIND something interesting or beautiful to photograph.

TIP 2: Look for the play of light. 

PHOTO 2: In this case, I moved to the tree trunk and focused in on the English Ivy. 
PHOTO 2: Light on the ivy
Don't you love the warm colors and textures, highlighted by the sunlight?

TIP 3: Take more than one shot of the subject. MOVE around.  

PHOTO 3: By stepping just a little bit to the side, I was able to focus on this single part of the ivy growing up the tree. 

Notice the lighting is very different! 
PHOTO 3: More ivy
TIP 4: Find something unique to focus in on. 

PHOTO 4: While the tall weeds look just like that in Photo 1, look at how interesting they are when I moved in and focused on the tops of them. 
PHOTO 4: Heads of the weeds
It almost looks like silk.

TIP 5: Look up or down to find something interesting. 

PHOTO 5: These berries caught my attention. They are not edible, and the leaves are partly eaten by bugs, but I still liked them and got this shot that I love. 

The deep purple against the soft green of the understory is so soothing. 
PHOTO 4: Summer berries

So the BIG IDEA is to go in search of beauty and interest. By taking the time to look, you can find it. 

ASSIGNMENT: You got it....go get your camera or cell phone and walk out in your yard or down the street in search of the interesting. It will only take a few minutes but you can get some really cool shots.

BLOGGERS: Breaking out of your routine can help you clear up your thinking. And by looking for the interesting in unusual places, you can be inspired for fresher blogging. 

What 's your favorite picture?




  1. Love this. Interestingly, I've been housebound a lot lately. It means I've been photographing the mundane around the house but in interesting ways. I will tag you in on an image when I share it later on Instagram.

  2. I'm not at all visually artistic so I don't see beauty in things myself but when someone else photographs or draws it (as you have) and presents it I think... "Wow, I didn't even notice that!" It's definitely a skill!

    1. Well, it's a skill you can learn Deborah! Try it and see! :)

      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Mary I love this. I find myself walking down the street and my photographic eye will take over and I'll see a "shot" because I'm doing exactly what you said, focusing on the interesting details. Too bad I don't have my camera with me.

    Ever since I picked up a camera I find that I do this more and more, it is definitely something that comes with practice.

  4. So true, i just looked around our garden and saw photograph worthy material

  5. What great advice. Tomorrow I'm heading out into our garden to give it a try.

  6. Great pics, Mary! You make it look so simple. I don't spend near enough time looking with a camera's eye.

  7. Oh, Mary, these photos are absolutely stunning! Thank you for reminding me to see the beauty in the simple :) x

  8. Great advice and photographs! Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday!

  9. Beautiful. Such a simple photo tip. I think, though, you can even use that tip in a larger context, like LIFE! ;)

  10. Yes! Great tip. It's hard to do sometimes, but important! Love your shots.