Your Neighborhood’s Boring? Look Again


Think you got nothing to shoot? Try looking at your own neighborhood again. You’ll be surprised at what you can find if you looked hard enough.

Walking around your stomping ground with the intention to snap some photos requires a mindset change. After all, you’ve seen these things every time you pass by that way and it seems normal to you. As such, it can be hard to get off the beaten track mindset, especially when you are walking around your neighborhood with a camera in your hand and looking for things that stand out.

Even so, you need to ignore the weird stares from people, wondering why you are taking such mundane things like a covered walkway or a neighborhood Chinese temple.

Sometimes, you got to ignore the natives too.

But I can tell you that there are great photo opportunities to be found or rediscovered in your own backyard. You’ll never know what will pop out at you and hit you in the face, like this beautiful piece of 3D wall sculpture outside an Indian template. I won’t be surprised if hundreds of people have walked pass this everyday but not notice it anymore.

I find that if you look hard enough, you can also find interesting artworks, like this pair of lion head door knobs. It was the right door knob that got my attention. It is so heavily used that the gold paint has been rubbed away.

Children at play make the best subjects. It also helps if the playground is colorful. But a word of caution to the male Lomographer, be careful how you appear. Taking photos of children can make you look rather suspicious.

During your walk, try looking out for extra ordinary things that may look ‘normal’ at first glance, like this old and abandoned ball. I walked by this but quickly doubled back as I thought it was really out of place, yet it somehow was able to blend into the environment so well.

Or this rotting jackfruit that was left lying where it fell.

Or even how things are laid out to dry.

It helps to open your mind and look at the lighter side of things like this bicycle parking station. I think something’s missing, don’t you?

Or this bicycle still locked in place but in dire need of a tire replacement.

Who knows, if you’re lucky enough, a photo opportunity may just appear right in front of you.

But if it doesn’t, then look out for interesting designs.

Or features you think are unique to your locale perhaps?

But if all else fails and you can’t find something interesting to photograph during your walk around your neighborhood, then try this ambush technique. Find an interesting background and wait for a subject to walk into your sights.

I believe that there are lots to photograph around your neighborhood. What I’ve shown here were shot during a walk around just one small section of my neighborhood. I still have other areas to explore, which I will do so in the near future.

So now, you do have something interesting to show.

It may not be interesting to your next door neighbor but it could be to your friends living on the other side of the big pond.

Now that I’ve shown you a glimpse of my backyard, care to show me yours?

written by uncle_jay on 2012-05-16 in #world #locations #mitsubishi-color-film-100 #urban-adventures #children #olympus-trip-35 #color #singapore #expired-film #street-photography #playground #iso-100 #toa-payoh #backyard #temple


  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Very good article jay. It is true that we tend to ignore some real good foto opportunities simply because we are too farmiliar with the surroundings. I should challange myself in this aspect and try to get some different fotos . Quite inspired.... Thanks for sharing...<:)

  2. saysaysay
    saysaysay ·

    @uncle_jay nice! I agree wholeheartedly. which neighbourhood is this?

  3. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @wuxiong: Thank you. I look forward to seeing your neighborhood soon. :)

  4. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @saysaysay: Thanks! And the place is Toa Payoh :)

  5. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    This is a great article, I was just sitting around thinking I had nowhere to go and nothing to shoot, but I think I might have a walk around where I live this lovely sunny afternoon - thanks

  6. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @kneehigh85: Thanks! Hope you'll rediscover many interesting features and scenes unique to your neighborhood. And it would be lovely if you could share the photos you took with me, I would love to see your neighborhood. :)

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