How To

Bored, Nothing to Do?

A View of My Work Table from the Floor
Surplus equipment in my studio: turntable, amplifier and computer monitor
Looking down on my work table
Detail of my desktop
Bookcase and pictures in my studio

When you have to choose from a world of subjects, it can be hard to focus on a single idea or theme. Here is an idea for those days when you feel like shooting, but the weather is bad, or you just can't decide what to photograph. Pick a room in your house (or any other convenient location) and make several photographs of things in the room. You might even try making light the subject of some images. Get creative. Try shooting from the floor looking up, or above a subject looking down. Try standing back and shooting up close. This exercise can help fill the time, and, who knows, maybe you will learn something about light, exposure or depth-of-field in the process. You may even discover a whole new realm of subject matter worth further exploration.

I have notice in trying to post this story that JPG requires a minimum of 300 words. That might not seem like a lot of words, and in another story, I might easily find more to write about. However, I have learned in teaching that it is best to keep things simple and to get to the point. I think that I have said what I have to say in the paragraph above, and that I have accomplished what I set out to do. So, I am thinking, "That should be the end of it. Why continue to add verbiage when you have said what you have to say? But I notice that I need thirty more words, The easiest thing to do is to just keep typing until my quota is met. Well now, that should do it. Please feel free to disregard this paragraph as it does not add anything of importance to what I have already written. Have fun with your project.

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14 responses

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (22 Jun 2012):

    Great idea, Charles. An exercise I'll happily do the next time the weather's bad. I think it would be fun and informative for more than just me to engage in this lesson and post the results. For sure my vote.

  • Susan B. Griffith

    Susan B. Griffith   said (22 Jun 2012):

    This is good advice for any photographer that lives in a snow belt and trapped in the house waiting for the snow plow to arrive. There is always great stuff from the dishes on the table to playing with light and available objects. I've posted some snow day images on jpg. You have my vote for the story and images...also I can't imagine you ever be bored with all those books and equipment?

  • Amanda Rodriguez

    Amanda Rodriguez said (22 Jun 2012):

    Great idea!! and man the last paragraph totally made me smile :)

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (22 Jun 2012):

    Voted! Esp. love the last paragraph. Seems odd that editors usu. want you to whiddle down the story!

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz gave props (19 Jul 2012):


  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper gave props (23 Jul 2012):

    I love the images... the intimacy of each. I love the essay as well and the ending disclaimer. There are certainly more ways than one to skin a cat or meet the requirements with panache. Story of the week from where I'm sitting.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (29 Oct 2012):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Deborah King

    Deborah King said (19 Dec 2014):

    Love the superficial paragraph at the end. I get bored sometimes and do photograph the mundane in my home. This is a good reminder to keep it up.

    got my vote.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (20 Dec 2014):

    My favorite is the stool on your first picture, shot from beneath it, giving it long legs and a narrow top but probably wouldn't be as flattering to a human subject from that angle:) You got my vote!!!

  • JPG

    JPG gave props (21 Dec 2014):

    Congrats for getting the Story of the Week!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (22 Dec 2014):

    Congrats for story of the week...Well deserved!!!

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey gave props (22 Dec 2014):

    Congrat's well deserved...I love this story and really shoot a majority of my images right at home, Never Bored!!!!

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (22 Dec 2014):

    Congrats Charles! Very nice way to break in the new jpg.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (28 Dec 2014):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

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