Finding Photo Opps for the Hobbyist

One of the harder aspects of many budding photographers is finding photo opportunities.   This won’t be a long lecture on making things happen, more of an antidote about making images from our everyday surroundings.


I once believed a great photographer could take any subject and turn it into a great photograph.   A fire hydrant, mailbox or something so simple as a pencil, all potential masterpieces to the photographer with the right mindset and sense of art.  This is a hard position to take as it really puts the burden on the photographer verses the subject.

While its true that many a would be photographers have made poor photographs of tremendous subjects, a great subject sure doesn’t seem to hurt!

We never seem satisfied with our own neck of the woods, many say those proverbial words, if I could only go here, or only find this, then I could make great photos.  They are all roadblocks for a person of ordinary means and one will spend far more time focused on what they don’t and can’t have verses what lay before their eyes.  It doesn’t just apply to photography, that is a life lesson in general I spend time discussing in my book which I am shamelessly pitching here quickly. Smile!  End Advertisement!

Enter my local lake, its about 2 miles or less from my house.  Its partially residential and partially a small park.   Its just big enough that some water foul occupy its banks and since its man made, there are some trees just submerging from its waters that Heron like to perch upon at times.


I have found passing by the certain overlooks that I might be able to photograph some of these herons.  So far the opportunity has afforded me one picture as I would like it with three to four more future possibilities.  It will take the right morning, weather, wind and a cooperative Heron to perch in these spots.   They will be very nice photos when they happen though and so the work is in the chase for now!

Speaking of Herons and that lake, here is another hap chance.  This is actually a spillway, however, the heron at its top greatly takes notice away from the man made falls.


If you look around you, there are all kinds of opportunities if one puts the right mindset and eye to seeing whats is available rather than thinking in terms of what is not.

At this lake, in one of its corners is a little access point, a small trash laden path (carefree polluters) and an extraordinary singular view that makes a great landscape.


When I saw this spot the first time I started to make some pictures and was extremely please upon returning home and reviewing them.  There was potential here and I wanted to tap into it.  This first shot above was from that first visit and it also inspired a vision of catching this when the weather afforded me the right clouds.  I stop here on my morning loop to see if things are right.

Below is the best it has gotten, however, I do have one more better picture of it I can make in my mind.  I had to pick up the trash on the little path for these to get it cleaned up to complete the vision.  Yes, good photos take work of all kinds!


I hope to get the puffy kind of clouds we get that look like cotton balls in this same light with little to no wind disturbing the waters.  And that is how I will turn a local lake hidden spot into my one of a kind masterpiece.  Well, in my own mind I will!

There are all kinds of places you can go to get photos, nearest city, downtown, botanical gardens, free concerts, free high school sporting events, the list is virtually endless if you open your mind to them.  One of my favorites is taking a drive in the country and making landscapes.

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They wont all be masterpieces and really, as long as your having fun, learning and expanding, its all good!


Then, you look to see what kind of special photo you can make from the surroundings you have.


What are you waiting for, go find those spots, work them, make your own magic and pictures you’ll be proud of and cherish for years to come.

There will be extra satisfaction in knowing you worked for them as well!

This entry was posted in Talking Photography.