15 Photos of One Thing

Have you ever been tempted to think that there just isn't anything around you to photograph? I know that when I live in one place for a while, or go to the same place many times, it becomes harder and harder to be creative in those spaces. The novelty is gone and with it goes my creativity. 

But what I've found to be helpful is to throw that attitude out the window and challenge myself to tell a story of something that appears simple or normal in a totally new light. 

Hence 15 photos of the same thing. Here's a look into how I go about the process.

For this challenge I chose a bright yellow forsythia bush. This is one of my favorite spring sights, and one of the first to bloom. It was midday, with harsh sunlight, but this actually worked in my favor. The bush popped off the landscape and the subjects around it.

Some of these photos clearly display the forsythia bush as the subject, while others just have the bush in the image. The main point was to use the bush in every frame, starting with the bush as the main subject and them moving around to see how I could use this bush from any angle.

And I took photos from every angle. I walked all around the bush, covering almost every side except straight down (which would have been neat if I had brought my tripod). I varied my aperture to create dramatic sun flares as well as shallow depth of fields. I varied the shutter to show a deep blue sky and lighter variants. The ISO was the only constant, never going above 160 in this bright light. The only lens I had with me was the 24-70mm F4 lens, and I found that my most popular focal lengths were 24 and 70! For an even greater challenge I would suggest a single prime lens.

Overall this was a great exercise and a neat way to look at a single subject. You start to see so much more, and it you realize that it is far more than "just a bush." This is a simple exercise, but it is a great way to hone my ability to share any story and challenge me to see beyond what I normally see in every area of photography.