I've been photographing for a couple years now, and since that time I have been looking at everything with a completely new set of eyes. Naturally, people want to capture these grand, epic landscapes or portraits in exotic locations. I am certainly one of those people as well. It's taken me quite some time now, but getting out and exploring closer to home is still just as interesting as exploring new places. It all depends on your mental eyes approach to your surroundings.
All of the photo's in this post are within a few minutes drive from my home. The photo at the top includes a very iconic bridge in Newport, the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Years ago there was talk and movements to building a new larger bridge to increase traffic flow. It ultimately got turned down, and is now constantly under repair to maintain it's historic stature. There is no shortage of pictures containing this bridge in the world. I've got quite a few myself where the bridge is the sole focus of the image. Wanting to try something different, this sign for the public fishing pier is so obvious, that I never considered it. While walking around one day, I decided "what the heck, lets try it".
Got my tripod low, composed the shot with the bridge in the background, and it has turned out to be my favorite shot containing this bridge, and it's not the sole subject in the photo as so often seen, like the photo below. Sure, the image may be beautiful to some, but what's so interesting about it that you haven't seen before? Nothing!
This boat here has been along side the highway about 3 miles from home forever. I remember seeing it when I was a kid, and just simply thinking, "what an odd place to park a boat." To this day, I still don't know why it's there or who it belongs to. I have driven by this boat thousands of times. Every time I drive into Newport and back home, I pass by it twice. Took me quite some time to decide to stop and photograph this boat, even though it's been there for such a long time. Who knows when this boat may fall apart, be moved, or even vandalized completely changing what has long been an after thought for me. Now, I have some great shots that if anything were to happen, I can always look back on.
If you follow me on social media, you will have recently seen this picture I got (above). This is at a popular state park, well known for it's flat, boring ol' beach. There is no shortage of just sand, and it certainly makes for a great family outing. However, that's not very interesting to someone who lives just a few miles away. We see that all day every day. What's interesting about this park is, that if you walk south instead of the usual north, you'll run into this beautiful area. An interesting tidbit, these rocks are usually covered by sand during the summer, and only exposed during the winter. If we have had a stormy winter, there are even more rocks revealed. Put these rocks in your scene with the vibrant colors, include the famous sunsets as just a part, and you've got a whole new look than what is usually found.
Lastly, the photograph below is from another very popular spot, Seal Rock. This tiny little town has some gorgeous rocky landscapes that provide for consistently great photographs. I drive by this place twice a day for work, and shoot here a lot. It's easy to capture a beautiful landscape, but it's a little more difficult to capture something new in such a highly photographed area. I went exploring and walking around in different areas that I don't normally walk through trying to find a different vantage point. That is when I found this small little overlook that provided a great view of the setting sun, the ocean below, a little bit of the famous Seal Rock itself, while providing some new elements that are much more prominent in the frame.
This post isn't to simply tell you about what I've found or show off my images. The goal is to help inspire you get out and explore closer to home and see what new interesting places and things you find. Whether you shoot landscapes, architecture or even people, I guarantee you'll be able to find A LOT of new and inspiring subjects to shoot.
Check out some of your favorite places as a kid during different seasons, you may find a completely different scene different times of the year. I certainly found one I wasn't aware of. Go explore with different weather conditions. Everyone loves a beautiful sunset, but what's so interesting when you see a million of those every day? Go shoot the same place when it's snowing, raining, cloudy, you never know what amazing stuff you will run across. When it comes to objects, capture them, before they are gone. You just don't know how long things will be around, and that can include major structures like a bridge.
Who knows, maybe you'll capture a historic moment that will live on well beyond your own years, all because you decided to take a closer look at exploring close to home.
Let me know your own thoughts on this subject. Feel free to link to
your own photo's and interesting things that you've found close to home
that you may not have noticed or appreciated before. What inspires you to go out and explore close to home?