Essence of Photography: Look for the Little Things

Every day we walk past hundreds of cool and unusual things that most people never notice. How can you learn to see the little things in your photography.

July 04, 2022

Learning to be a conscious creator starts by learning how to see the world a little differently.

You can train yourself to do this by being more observant of everything that is around you.

How many things do you look at every day but don't fully notice or see?

The process of developing as a photographer often starts by imitating photos of other photographers that we like or admire. But soon you will want to create your own unique images and to find that inner voice requires you to connect to your own inner awareness.

Sometimes ordinary objects take on a unique appearance with the right light, or at certain times of the day. Shadows can create shapes and patterns that exist for a short time and disappear.

If you you have already started to practice close up or macro photography, you have likely started to pay more attention to smaller things around you and how they might look when seen in a larger photo.

You may even start to find little moments that exist briefly and are gone. Like a feather sitting on top of a flower before being blown away in the wind. Or a flower at your feet that may soon get swept away.

Perhaps you find yourself in a situation that deviates from your normal routine, and can find some small detail to focus on to remember that moment. Like this close-up of someone feeding an elephant.

Remember that the way that you both see and photograph things can change how it looks as well.

In the photo below of a leaf in the water, the way the photographer set the exposure so the water appears dark black, and the position and shape of the leaf make it almost seem like a boat or something different.

Imagine in a park or busy area how many people would walk past this leaf and not notice it in the water. Yet it caught the attention of one observant photographer and they captured a unique and creative moment.

While the idea of this exercise is looking for small details, you could also apply it to larger subjects which you might represent in a way that other people may not have noticed.

Most important is to be alert for when something catches your attention. If you hear a little voice in your mind that says, "That seems cool or interesting", you should snap a photo to honor that feeling.

Here someone envisioned and photographed the colorful pattern and arrangement of windows on the side of a building.

It is likely that most people did not ever see the building like this, or maybe they did for a moment before that moment was gone.

As photographers, we can capture those fleeting moments and preserve them in an image for an eternity.

Essence of Photography is a series of tips, tutorials, and visual inspiration on a variety of photography skills and techniques.

You can practice these skills and more by purchasing a deck of Photo Cards from Zoom In Reach Out, a non-profit with a mission of teaching to see the world from a different perspective.

All photos in this article were posted to the Aminus3 Photography Community and are copyrighted by their respective photographers.

Click on any photo to see a larger version or to leave a comment for the photographer.

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TOPICS: essence of photography

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