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Shoot the "Wow"

Apr 22, 2014
Maureen Spagnolo

Wheatlike Grass Bluesky

[Click on photos for larger images]

So, we've been taking photographs for years and years – shots of our children growing up, and of their special days, and maybe if we’re old enough, shots of our grandkids. Sometimes we happen to be in a photograph when someone else offers to take the shot, but mostly we're invisible – the unseen photographer.

Now we have albums of precious photos, and we probably own a digital camera – whether it’s an expensive model or one that’s in our phone. We no longer have to be concerned with the cost of film and developing. Many of us now shoot for fun and for the sake of creativity.

Perhaps we have learned the basic “rules,” such as not to center your subject, or to take time to “frame” your shot, or to avoid shooting in the midday sun and so forth, but we are not feeling artistically challenged, or satisfied.

Fall BridgeA quick fix remedy for that artistic boredom is to shoot what you love!

If you love flowers, shoot them! Spring is coming, plus even when it isn’t warm, there are arboretums, and year-round nurseries.

Looking UpMake shooting the things you love your focus – literally – and then experiment. Try a macro lens, or set your camera to that mode, and get the fine details of the blooms. And try photographing the same flower in different kinds of light – early morning, on a cloudy day, or late in the evening. Each type of light provides a very different effect.

Fallen Fall LeavesI have learned that photography has enabled me to learn a new way of looking, and I’ve also learned that life constantly presents new wonders for me to shoot.

A walk in the woods presents lovely vistas of trees and pathways, and sometimes meandering streams. And dogs exuberantly running off-leash, full of slobbery-mouth excitement! Look down, look around as you walk. What is the light doing? Take your time to see. Think of it as a meditation, and let nature speak to you – calling out, “look at me!” It’s our opportunity to showcase our unique point of view – how we see, and how we present what we see. This may not have been seen before by others and therefore may have gone unappreciated.Silver and Gold

Leaves in the SunThink about what it is that you love, and make a special project of photographing it. At the end of the year, you will have a special album to show off your creativity.


Sunny Fall MorningSunblessed Yellow Leaf
Yellowleaf NovemberSnowleaf Cup
All images taken by Maureen Spagnolo

Maureen Spagnolo is a photographer, living in Washington, DC. She writes on a variety of social issues in addition to her photography articles.

Her passion for photography began in her twenties when she fell in love with a photographer, and then took her first photography class. She used any camera she could get her hands on - until she got her first DSLR camera several years ago. Since then, she has gone gangbusters - taking photos like a junkie (!) and reading everything about photography she could find. She now owns enough (never enough!) cameras, lenses, tripods, and camera paraphernalia to warrant an add-on to her home owner's insurance.

Yet, photography is not about equipment. It's about passion, and seeing - qualities that can turn a cell phone into a tool which can compete with the most expensive camera.

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