Pretty frequently, I hear photographers lamenting that they can’t find anything interesting to shoot. The best advice I ever received as a tog was ‘don’t look for interesting things, make things look interesting.” – Joel Sartore in his Fundamentals of Photography courses.

Fundamentals of Photography I

Fundamentals of Photography II

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When you’re out shooting and not finding anything that jumps out at you as interesting or photo-worthy, here are a few tips to use to Make them interesting:

(Photos featured in this article are a few of my stock photos available on Dreamstime.)

 

Reflections – mirrors of course, and find reflections in windows, puddles, rivers, any shiny surface like a vehicle outside or tv screen indoors.

Idaho State Capitol Building north side facade reflection in winter
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Angles – get up above and shoot downward, get low and shoot upward.

Hershey`s Christmas Candy Kisses scattered in a cotton glitter background overhead view
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Up close – get in close and show some fascinating detail of your subject.

Safflower blossom closeup macro
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Far away – wide landscapes offer a feeling of vastness; foreground objects help define the field. Try getting low to the ground and shoot at a slightly upward angle, or any other position that offers a unique perspective.

Boise Idaho Foothills 5
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Contrasting colors – find layers or sequences of colors that make each stand out, red/green, blue/yellow, etc. Often fall foliage shoots will be a good opportunity for this with the reds, golds, and greens, but you sure can do it indoors with household objects!

Dahlia black background red tipped yellow petals with yellow eye closeup
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Shadows – can be fun indoors using lights or the sun through a window, or outdoors using light from sun, moon, street lamps, etc.

Fancy Fence shadows on sidewalk
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Patterns and textures

Vintage Pineapple Ornament glass
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Lines – leading lines, zig-zag lines, contrast of parallel and vertical.

Idaho Capitol Building through art deco awning Boise Street Photography
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Shapes – interesting, overlapping shapes are fun, circles, squares, triangles.

Idaho State Capitol Building Rotunda Three Floors Holiday Decorations
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

 

Dim light – you can get some soft, romantic, even spooky looks in dim light.

Row brlightly lit hot air balloons Boise Idaho 2019
© Photographer: Michelle K Wood | Agency: Dreamstime.com

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