Explore Your Neighbourhood

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Going new places with the camera is always exciting. Quite often though, not being able to go on a holiday/roadtrip/out of your neighbourhood can be the biggest excuse not to take a photo. Over familiarity can make even quite beautiful places seem mundane. It can be quite a challenge to see the beauty of someplace you drive past everyday. Or to get a new take on somewhere you have captured before.

Water treatment station 10 minutes from my house.

The challenge is to see your suburb with a fresh pair of eyes. What makes it different? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Sometimes the trick can be to isolate your subject from the background placing a new emphasis on it, or going there at a different time than you usually would.

Sure you can argue that everyone else lives somewhere more interesting than you do. People in the country envy the neons and streetlights of the city. People in the city envy the light across a paddock in the evening. If you live somewhere you dislike, odds are someone else is wishing they could get gritty, grungy photo’s of your ghetto.

On the outskirts of where I live, but only a short drive away.

Flickr is a great tool too. I have joined groups for the region I live, and neighbouring towns and districts. Seeing other peoples photos can be eye opening. Often someone has found a spot you never knew existed or seen a detail you never noticed on a building you walk past every day. It can be inspiring to see someone else take an image of somewhere you think you have done to death and see that their interpretation is quite different.

Next time you go for a walk around the block, take your camera. Or leave for work early to give yourself 15 minutes to stop somewhere on the way. Even if you don’t take the camera, be on the lookout for a new take on your corner of the world. You may even gain a new appreciation for your community.

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