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Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Make the "Stuff" you stand in front of more interesting"

Captured with Camera+ Processed in Snapseed
I just love getting inspiration from other photographers and artists and one never knows where or how it will come. A good friend who attended Nature Visions posted on her Facebook page one of her favorite quotes from the keynote speaker Bob Krist, who is a tremendously talented travel photographer, she wrote "Stand in front of more interesting stuff."
Well a bit out of context but I can imagine what it was in reference to...creating compelling images.

So as I read that, I was inspired to think:
"Make the stuff you are standing in front of more interesting!"
I was at the beach when I read her post in the morning and when I went out for a beach walk in the late afternoon, I was challenging myself to,  "Make the stuff I was standing in front of more interesting."
What do you do with sand, and windblown dead plant life? Study it! Look at the, shapes, textures, light and how it interacts with your subject, look at how you can put the material into the frame so that it makes a pleasing or dynamic composition. Then make a correct exposure, then shoot it again..then go home and do your best processing! Monochrome or color with software does not matter, its what makes the image work.

I don't believe you have to be in exotic locations or have amazing subjects to create a compelling image! In your own back yard there are subjects and light situations that can work! But you have to stretch your imagination, "see" the opportunity. See how to make the image! See light!
In other words, challenging yourself to,
"Make the stuff you are standing in front of more interesting."

 When you can do this you can create compelling images anywhere you are standing! I will admit though the beach is a pretty cool place! But I was the only photographer out there looking for images on a simple beach walk on a bright sunny bluebird sky afternoon. So get out there, take your iPhone and see the stuff you are standing in front of in a more interesting way, then work hard with your skills to make it compelling!
Tidepool light
Captured with Camera+ processed in Snapseed
It has been a great and busy fall season of iPhone education, teaching two courses at Johns Hopkins in the Odyssey Program and one at Osher as well as weekend workshops at Capital Photography Center.
Look for spring course listing in a couple weeks! I will be teaching in Odyssey in the spring and maybe Osher again...and as always at Capital Photography Center!
Hope to see you  in a class!! I have three more spots open on December 18 at Union Station. Click here for more info:

Also we will be adding an iPhone photography walk about next spring at Capital Photography Center, that will be fun!


  1. excellent! i use this technique in watercolor painting and will now apply it to my iPhone photography. glad to have found this article.