Good things happen when you get uncomfortable. And I mean really uncomfortable.

Canon T1i wet from the rain.

And I mean really uncomfortable.

Truth be told, unless you’re shooting [macro – bug and reversed lens] photography or experimenting with [creative scenes – light trails, art droplets, etc.], then you’ll probably quickly run out of interesting pictures from your backyard.

I’ve found that making myself go somewhere – even somewhere close by – can give me the motivation and subject necessary to get in a really productive, creative mood.

I’ll share one example: I took my camera with me while I got pizza. Walking around my favorite pizza place, I saw a building that looked interesting. When I started taking pictures, a man ran up to me, exclaiming, “Finally, someone who appreciates architecture!”

Ends up, the random building between my old dentist and the pizza restaurant was designed by Philip Johnson – renown architect of the Crystal Cathedral.  The excitable stranger took me on a high-speed tour of the small building and pointed out some interesting features and a bit of the building’s history.

I’m not normally inclined to take architectural pictures, and my film camera with a 35mm lens wasn’t exactly what I’d pick for that. But I think I made it work:

[photo – scan film]

That’s not to say that it’s wise to drag your T1i through the rain just because, but hey, many cameras are built tough. That’s an entry-level DSLR, and it was more than up for the task. Don’t be afraid; it can take it.

You don’t need to go far – but I think for most people, you do need to go somewhere. Find someplace new – or someplace familiar for reasons other than photography. Keep your photography fresh by keeping your subject fresh. You’ll have fun, refine your style, and produce something interesting and surprising.