Can ordinary be interesting?

A while back I took Tracy out for an afternon/evening in Denver.  I agreed to leave my camera behind, but in case she wanted to catch a moment for posterity’s sake, I grabbed the P&S one she asked for as a Christmas gift.  After her initial interest waned in taking pictures, I ended up with the camera in hand (go figure) and even shared a few here on the blog (remember the bottle caps in the grocery?).  Anyway, it got me to thinking about how to take ordinary scenes and make them interesting.  I guess that’s part of the role of being a photographer:  making the ordinary extraordinary.

We do see the world differently than others, and by capturing our vision, and then sharing it with the world with our particular expression, otherwise ordinary scenes can be seen in a new and different light.  With that idea in mind, here’s one I captured recently (with my own camera) that kind of spoke to me in that way:


What made this unique for me was the ambient light.  No gels, no lighting tricks or anything – it was on our weekend getaway, and since not very many places outside of mountain cabins have things like wood stoves, the idea hit me to catch this scene.  What makes it (for me) is the fact that the ambient light is very “fireside”.  The tungsten light combined with the sun setting behind the trees outside made this a perfect scene.  So, up went the tripod, the shutter went long, and I kept the aperture up, and noise down.  (5 seconds, f10, and ISO 100 for the techies in the crowd).

I think it worked, but would like to hear from the readers out there.  Does this work?  Can ordinary scenes be made extraordinary?  What about the role a photographer has?  Is there really a “symbolic” or larger purpose for people who enjoy taking pictures?  What do you enjoy about photography?  Feel free to sound off in the comments, as there are no wrong answers here…

In the meantime, happy shooting and we’ll see you back here Friday!

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4 comments for “Can ordinary be interesting?

  1. February 19, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I think it works Jason. I think any photo that connects with the photographer has to work. Where I live, wood burning stoves are quite common so thats not the “wow” factor for me, but I agree with you about the ambient light and I think the long exposure works well. I took a shot yesterday of a famous bridge in my hometown which is on my blog. Not a great photo, but I wanted to bring back an emulation of my youth and I love the photo, it connects with me! Great work. Kevin

  2. February 23, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I like your thought process Jason –

    • February 23, 2009 at 8:40 am

      Heh…at least the process got a compliment if not the photo! 🙂

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