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Exploring your city through photography

16 Mar

One of my favorite things to do lately is to take impromptu photo field trips. There are so many areas to explore in our current city that we still have not visited. As you’ve seen in my past several Project 365 recaps, I’ve been out and about with my camera lately and finding photo ops in various places around town.

A couple of weeks ago, I went downtown to try to get some shots of architecture, store fronts and perhaps some fun street photography. Once I parked in a garage and adjusted my settings on my camera to shoot outdoors, I headed out on the chilly street, but wasn’t feeling very inspired. I did get a great shot of a hand-painted sign at my favorite downtown coffee shop. I never noticed that the windows were also hand-painted until I really stopped and looked at this brick wall. I’d only ever passed it in traffic and never stopped to really take it in.

Day128_Downtown signageWhile I was out on the street, I noticed that an antique shop was open and decided to head inside to see if I could find any cool items that might make a nice photo. I lucked out and ended up with at least 8-10 interesting shots (check out the past two weeks of my Project 365 recaps), as well as a few vintage items for our home. If I hadn’t been on that street exploring and trying to pay attention to small details, like the hand-painted sign, I might not have noticed the antique shop that was open and wandered inside.

Another weekend, I found myself in a park by the river downtown. It was pretty cold and there was still a lot of snow on the ground, but just by spending an hour walking and observing, I ended up with this shot. It was very touching and I felt so lucky to have witnessed it.

Day107_Love never abandonedIt made me wonder about Jim and Joyce and their life together. I thought it was beautiful that he came and cleared away the snow from this brick to leave her a fresh flower. It was the only brick uncovered at the time.

On a different Sunday afternoon, I decided to check out a local church. I had seen the steeple from afar and figured that the church must have some really intricate details (simply judging from the architecture I could see from a distance). When I got there, I realized that the church itself was as beautiful up close. It was absolutely freezing outside (ok, far below freezing), but I was determined to get some photos after having ventured out in the single digits on a weekend. I saw an old-fashioned diner that was closed, which allowed me to get this shot from just outside the window. If it had been open, it might have been full of people and I wouldn’t have gotten this shot.

Day114_DinerNext door to this diner was another old-fashioned establishment, the Sweets Shop. I went inside with the excuse of buying some chocolate for my husband, but really, it was just to warm up my hands and get out of the cold for a few minutes. I was so excited when I saw that they still had vintage equipment behind the counter, like this scale.

Day115_ScaleAgain, if I hadn’t headed out in hopes of getting photos at the church, I wouldn’t have seen this sweets shop and gone inside to warm up, wouldn’t have gotten this shot and wouldn’t have been able to document this small nook of our city.

By going outside my home and shooting in various places around town, I have been able to explore other areas and get to know our current city better. It’s kind of like traveling, but without the price tag and the lack of leg room. The best part is thinking of the next place to visit and wondering what lies ahead that I’ll be able to capture with my camera.

Are there areas of your city that you don’t know well? Perhaps they could make a great photo opportunity for you. Have you ever gone somewhere with the intention of taking pictures of one place/thing and ended up getting much more or something completely different than what you bargained for? Please share! 🙂 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Photography

 

4 responses to “Exploring your city through photography

  1. Mary

    March 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Absolutely agree with @teaandtadpoles – great reminder for us all to get out and explore what’s around the corner. Thanks for the inspiration!

     
    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      March 23, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks, Mary! I always love to see something special in the everyday, ordinary things we don’t typically seem to notice when we’re in a hurry or just trying to get through the day. I am also inspired by you and your photos! 😉 xo

       
  2. teaandtadpoles

    March 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Great post, Lena! Now you have my wheels turning- I think this is a great way to explore the city and also try your hand at different types of photography. I tend to get in a rut, and you have offered a wonderful solution!

     
    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      March 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you! It’s fun to go somewhere that doesn’t seem that special and find the little details that do make it special. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

       

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