What shall we do today?

Are you sitting around, stuck in a rut? Here’s an Nspired idea. Get out of the house! Grab your dusty camera, call a friend, bring the family, ask a loved one, or go by yourself and take some pictures. You bought a camera didn’t you? It’s time to use it outside of the occasional birthday or holiday. By the way, you don’t need a big, fancy camera with all the lenses and attachments. I have always lived by the theory ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’. I’ve captured many shots taken with a simple pocket camera and you would never know the difference.

Being outdoors is my ‘release’ from a hard day at work. I make it all about discovery. My senses go into overload taking in everything that surrounds. The temperature touching my skin, smells of nature taken deep into my lungs, every sound (natural or man-made), and lastly, the one that fill my mind the most, visual stimulation. My eyes move from the general area, quickly narrowing to study every detail down to the finest blade of grass. The texture and lines formed on the bark of a tree, colors, shadows, shapes and contrast intrigue.

Some think you need to spend money travelling to an exotic location to get really cool pictures.  There is a whole world right outside your front door, down the street, or certainly within a 15 minute drive, waiting to be discovered! Go to a local park, lake, vacant field, bike trail or your own yard. Just get out there.

Change your perspective… Pretend like you are seeing a nearby park for the first time. Get down low in the grass to take a picture. Move close, back up, kneel, squat, climb the monkey bars and see how the view changes.

Use the light… pay attention to shadows, reflections and highlights. Notice how angles and shapes are formed from natural objects. Acknowledge color changes while the sun moves through the day. They say the best times for photography are early morning and evening sunsets, also known as ‘the golden hour’. I tend to disagree. Anytime is the best time for an outdoor activity. Some of the most dramatic photos have nothing to do with an amazing sunset or diffused light. Pictures are about subject matter and tying an emotion or story to the subject.

Composition… this is what separates a snap shot from a ‘keeper’. Take a look at the background. Make sure poles aren’t sticking out of people’s heads. Focus in on the subject, pausing an extra second to look at what else is in the scene. Does it belong? Sometimes less is more. Another tip is to tilt the camera. The perfectly horizontal/vertical pictures are out! The new thing is… dramatic angles.

My last bit of advice is to have fun… take shots being silly and making funny gestures. Pack a basket lunch and make it a memorable event. Worst case, not a single picture turns out but you’ve had a great time with people close to you or self discovery with Mother Nature. Photography is a great hobby to get you out and moving, creating what I call forever’ies. Finally, with technology on our side, makes it literally cost-free to capture an unlimited amount of images to share online with the world. By looking through ‘child’s eyes, not only will you see things in a new way, surely you will want the experience again and again. I would love to have you share an image from ‘your’ discovery. You can post here, or on my facebook page

Take care and keep shooting,

Michael @ Nspired Photography

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