Exotic vs. familiar #111


1. Exotic , Lake Bled in the Slovenian Alps


2. Exotic-idyllic retreat on the way to Grossglockner in the Austrian Alps


3. Familiar– just boring brooms


4. Familiar– the ubiquitous fork and plate (after Andre Kertesz)

You hit the wall. The creative juices aren’t flowing. You are desperate. You struggle to find a new subject to photograph. You have a day job and a family and can’t just embark on that dream photography expedition. You are not a professional guy with exceptional commissions and unlimited resources.

Now the question is what to do? How important is to travel to an exotic location to make that proverbial picture postcard perfect shot (picture 1 & 2)? We all know in real estate location, location and location is what makes the difference. However, I am not sure that this is true in photography. You might not need to travel around the globe to get that shot we all dream about. A familiar object around you (picture 3 & 4) may be a great subject. You just need to use your imagination and creativity.  Open your eyes and look around, get closer to the everyday subjects, watch for the details, use selective focus, diagonal composition or repetitive pattern (picture 3), play with the light and shadow (picture 4)  and you discover a whole new world to photograph in your own house, backyard and neighborhood. No need to go too far.

I have just discovered a great site where you can find ample example of great shots of the exotic and the familiar:


Now the topic is open to discussion. If you like photography I want to hear from you. Did you ever feel you lost your creative energy? Did you ever struggle to make that great shot? Share your story!

Look for the light.

Happy shooting.



7 thoughts on “Exotic vs. familiar #111

    • Yes, creativity is more important than the subject. The most exotic subject won’t make it a great shot without imagination and technical execution.

  1. Great post Robert! I sometimes struggle with my thought process to find something “new” to capture photographically speaking, lol. However, if I open my mind and my eyes there are so many little things all around me, down the street, in the woods, etc. it’s just the act of finding it that is hard.

  2. Thanks Sherri. True, we might feel we did all the shots around in the neighbourhood and we need to travel farther to find new subjects. The challenge is to find something new nearby, to look in a different way at familiar subjects and be creative.
    A great project could be to do landscape shots in the local park at the same spot in the changing seasons or weather conditions.

    • Yes, we can learn a lot discussing why we choose a particular subject. The idea of a preconceived picture is also very interesting where you imagine the shot in advance and then just find the right conditions, light, background and subject.

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