To stay somewhat in shape, I usually take a walk at lunchtime. My walk isn’t a leisurely, stroll around the block. I normally will change and wear a pair of running shoes with a shower after I’m all done. But guess what, I still take my camera with me!
My problem is that I like the familiarity of the same route every day. I like to know where I’m going and like the idea that I’ll be out for a set time and distance. I also need the predictability of knowing when I can make it back to the office for the inevitable early afternoon meetings. That familiarity becomes a challenge with the camera in hand. I’ve pretty much exhausted all the easy to find subjects on the paths I normally take. In the early days of this particular route, I found it all fresh and relatively easy to find a subject to shoot. Now, not so much. Now I need something that’s different and new. It’s a continual and growing challenge.
But, here’s the rub. That increasingly difficult challenge exercises creative thought. Now I can’t be content with the routine shot. I’ve found that I’m doing one of two or three things. Either I’m dismissing subjects with a “been there, done that” kind of attitude or I’m looking for new, interesting subjects that just happen to pop up because they’re dynamic subjects. By dynamic, I mean things like people or other things on the streets that are relatively temporary or in the moment. But I’m also looking for different and new perspectives on the common things I’ve already shot or seeing things that I’ve previously missed altogether.
Yes, but what’s your point Bill? Well, my point is that no matter how often you’ve passed by an area you normally frequent, there are always new opportunities to shoot subjects that you might have previously missed and there are always new ways of looking at subjects you’ve already shot.
So, keep shooting. Look at your familiar environment more closely.
Break the paradigms of your normal shooting experience. Exercise your imagination and stretch your creative thinking. Actually staying with what you know in your environment can be a strong stimulus to think in new ways. It’s the left brain stimulating the right. Staying with a rigid routine might have some unexpected consequences to your right side talents. You might even turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.