Finding Beauty in Lesser Things

People have been coming up to me and told me how they admire my persistence when it comes to shooting, more specifically put, having my shutter therapy sessions. No matter how busy I am, I still somehow managed to squeeze time to satisfy that itch for camera action. I have been asked how did I find the source of motivation and drive to continue shooting week after week, without getting bored of shooting?

Well, for starters, if you love what you do, you do not get bored doing it that easily. And if you love what you do, you will want to do it again, and again.

I think the common problem that many photographer hobbyists faced was trying too hard to get that perfect shot. You know, looking for that sexy sweet young things to pose for a full on model portraiture shoot, or going to some uptown expensive fancy fashion show, or anything that can help produce awe worthy shots. It is true the subject content plays a very important role, but if your interest is solely placed into the subject content alone, the photography process will not be complete. Surely, a photograph of a beautiful girl is beautiful, because the girl is beautiful. A coverage of that incredibly famous singer on stage is easy to impress your audience, because everyone admires her talent and looks. What if you strip all those high-placed subject contents away? What if you were to just pick up the camera, and start shooting the things around you? Would you be able to capture the beauty around you?

All Images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 mk1

Photography is not just about capturing something interesting. Photography is also about capturing the beauty you see. The beauty may exist around you, in less than ordinary things, subjects that you take for granted everyday without giving much of a thought. It is the process of seeing, identifying the beauty around us, and then approach the beauty with an intention to create a photograph. This is the stronger motivation to keep on shooting for photographers who do photography as a hobby. It does not have to be necessarily a full day outing into the forest hunting for tigers and sun-bears, or braving the treacherous mountain slopes to grab the sunrise scenery. When you feel like you want to shoot, at that moment and time, you can pick up the camera, and shoot the beauty in the lesser things around you.

I particularly dislike hearing people telling me they want to shoot and do photography as a fun hobby, but:

"I do not know what to shoot"
Photography is not about planning every single thing out in detail to get everything exactly as predicted, if that is the case, then what is the fun of it? Of course you do not know what to shoot, just go out, and shoot what photography opportunities come to you.

"1 have shot at that street already, I don't think there is anything interesting left to photograph"
Same street or place, may have different people and activities at different times. Walking down the same street the second time will give you different subjects. Also, you may be more open to different opportunities, since you are already familiar with the street. Going to the same place to shoot again can help to improve your photography, because you can approach your subjects differently, with a different lens and perspective, or different shooting style. Nothing is the same in each shooting session, you decide your own variety.

"I do not like to shoot alone, my photography friends are busy"
Shooting alone can help you to focus on your own photography vision. Less chit-chatting and chimping in a big group also means more shooting time for yourself, and you get to shoot what you want, without sacrificing the time to do what others want to do and less waiting time too. Shooting in a group is a good thing, I agree, but shooting alone sometimes, can be beneficial too. No reason to stop shooting just because your friends are busy.

"I only have a basic camera setup, I do not have the expensive fast aperture lenses, hence I don't think my photographs will come out good".
Nonsense!! Shooting for fun or as a hobby does not require you to use expensive or more capable photography equipments. If you shoot professionally, that is a different story. The best camera is the camera that you can bring with you at all times. Just turn it on and start snapping away. Who cares if the high ISO noise creeps in, who cares if the colours are not accurate? Who cares about highlight and shadow clippings, or if your lens does not have macro or long zoom capability? Accept the weaknesses, and work around them. Just shoot and make photographs happen !! The simpler your equipment is, the more you can concentrate on making good photographs.

Earlier this evening, my hands got very itchy hence I decided to just grab the Olympus E-PL1 and just walked around the park nearby, and snapped away whatever caught my attention. Were those photographs good photographs? I doubt so. Were there anything specific I wanted to achieve or capture? Not exactly. Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely YES !!

I just looked for the ordinary and lesser things, which may not seem attractive, but I captured them anyway, because I saw the beauty in them, and I wanted to show them through my photographs. As simple as that, I have come home with a series of photographs from a short walk.

So what is your excuse for not picking up the camera?


  1. If there's a "Like" button, I would have clicked on it like 10 freaking times. :)

  2. Thanks Jason !!
    Your one comment is worth more than 10 likes. So yeah no worries ahhaah

  3. Indeed. Photography is not about equipment, but the eye and creative mind to capture an image. Whether on a 5DmkII or iPhone.

  4. hello calex,
    and the iphone is killing point and shoot compact camera market!

  5. Robin,
    Beautiful images. I particularly like the images of the Carlsberg bottle and also of the road markings.

    I can't put it any better than Jason.

    And I agree with your thoughts on the iPhone too. This from someone who only got consistent with his photography thanks to an iPhone!

  6. My excuse for not picking up the camera?

    Am tired, emotionally. :)

  7. I loved your photos with ep3 & i want to know your potraiture photos if u're used any flash.. If yes what flash, external or internal??

  8. hey ben,
    thanks for the compliments! I am loving the calsberg picture too!!

    hey jason,
    what??? still emo?hey ben,
    thanks for the compliments! I am loving the calsberg picture too!!

    hey jason,
    what??? still emo?

  9. hey anonymous,
    I dont have ep3 and I did not use flash at all for my previous review works with the camera

  10. Love your points of view of photography .. and your pictures. Thanks :)

  11. Thanks Frank !! Glad to share.

  12. Happy to read your blog....really fun cos u share what inside my heart..

  13. My excuse is nobody takes pictures of me. It's always me taking pictures of everyone else..:-P

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