Photography Tips - Finding Beauty in Mundane Things

Discovering Beauty in Mundane Things

When I started my photography adventures after retiring from the university, I would always go out to my garden and take pictures of almost anything that I find there. Since I have a very small garden, most of my pictures were that of flowers, insects, raindrops and anything that catches my fancy. However, during times that the rain is too heavy for raindrops photos, I would wander inside the house and look for something to focus my camera on. That’s when I learned to focus on mundane things and find beauty in them. So how do we find beauty in mundane things?

what is it?

can you guess what #1 is? Answer the challenge below
can you guess what #1 is? Answer the challenge below
Can you guess what is #2? Answer the challenge below
Can you guess what is #2? Answer the challenge below

Change your angle or perspective

If you change the angle or perspective at which you view something, then you discover a new facet that you have never seen before and that is when the fun starts.

Just take a look at the first photo on the right. Can you guess what this is? I submitted this photo to a magazine that had a contest on “what is it?” and happily I won. Can you believe that? Anyway, what is your guess?

Take a look at the second photo on the right. Have you ever looked at this object this way? Can you guess what it is?


A challenge

What is shown in the photo above?

  • guitar
  • egg slicer
  • primitive string instrument
See results without voting

challenge #2

Can you guess what?

  • scissors
  • headband
  • pliers
See results without voting

Move closer

Just like changing angles, moving closer when you are looking at something makes you discover a new point to focus on. Then you discover a unique symmetry or pattern or texture of that thing. You do not have to guess what the first photo is . Do you see how this shoelace exhibits what a friend told me as “sliding symmetry”?

The second photo exhibits not only symmetry but patterns that normally we do not pay much attention to.


symmetry and pattern

sliding symmetry of a shoe lace
sliding symmetry of a shoe lace
patterns on a wicker chair
patterns on a wicker chair

This photo below is something that you may have encountered several times at home but never looked at in this manner.

swirl pattern
swirl pattern | Source

painting with light

soap bubbles
soap bubbles

use the light

Since photography is “painting with light”, another way of bringing out the beauty in mundane things is to use the light to enhance the mundane thing. I use the way the light is reflected on the gift wrapper and seen through a transparent bowl to bring out the beauty of these soap bubbles. Don’t you agree that the bubbles make a pretty picture?  

a dozen other ways

I am sure there are a dozen other ways of bringing out the beauty in mundane things but these three are what I have discovered for now. If you have other ways, please share them here. I would greatly appreciate it.  


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Comments 61 comments

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I like your Hub. Gorgeous photographs. Thanks.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thank you very much James. You always inspire me with your comment.


fvohra 7 years ago

It is great I enjoyed the little details that close up pictures give from a certain angle.

fvohra


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello fvohra,

Thank you very much for dropping by. I'm happy that you enjoyed the photos. Sometimes we miss seeing those details if we don't look close enough.


coffeesnob 7 years ago

Jill,

Awesome! Awesome! I have a good friend who thinks and photographs like this. In fact i use his pictures quite often. I have never really had an interest in photography, but after seeing his artistic perspectives I am inspired to give it a try. Now looking at your photos along with great information I am even more encouraged. I really like how you see things. I have you pictured as a very fun person! thanks for sharing this hub.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Coffeesnob,

Thank you for your inspiring comment. It's great to know that you also have a friend interested in taking photos of mundane things. Between the two of us we might be able to encourage you to try your hand at photography. It's really fun! Then there will be three of us comparing notes and sharing photos. I have more photos in my photoblog. The link is found below. Thank you for visiting.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

There is (or was) a fascinating blog called "Hints & Guesses" built around photographs of mundane objects (or parts of objects) close up.

I read somewhere there are two types of photographers: those who shoot from far way to get the whole picture, and those who shoot close in to capture a look or an expression, or one object framed in an unusual way to bring attention to it.  I'm one of the second category. Except for a great sunset or something similar, most wide angle shots leave me cold.  What's the point?


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for the info about the blog. I will google if it's still there.

Hey, we are two of a kind, I also belong to the second category. However, I have also learned to shoot from far away since I joined a camera club. When I started my photography, I was always shooting close up and macro. I think it's a carry over from my microscope days in school.

Sometimes people would look at me strangely because in a location for example, I am bending over and focusing on a blade of grass or a broken glass while all the others are taking each others pictures or the scene around. Ha ha.


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

You have the eye for finding beauty and creating it with angle, light, and magnification. You have a real talent. Very pretty.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Cool...all things are beautiful......from the perspective of art....thanks! :)


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

I will never see a training shoe, in the same light. The photos were awe inspiring, great hub


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Pete,

Thank you very much for your kind and inspiring comment.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for dropping by and leaving a comment.

You are very kind.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Brenda,

I am happy that you will now look at a training shoe and maybe other things too in a different way.

Thank you for your inspiring comment.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

I have added more photos to this hub. Check them out please.


KatieE39 profile image

KatieE39 7 years ago from Colorado

Beautiful photographs. I think the bubbles are my favorite...or maybe the shoe. (-:


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi KatieE39,

Thank you very much. I'm happy you like them.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

I like the bubbles, too. Thanks for sharing this. I shall look more carefully at a lot of ordinary things now.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

nice hub, very informative...oops just realised I have already commented sorry


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Red Elf,

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. You know what, I never gave a second look to ordinary things until I started photography. It's always exhilirating to discover something new about them.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Brenda,

I don't mind you dropping by again. Nothing to be sorry about. I actually appreciate it.

Thank you very much!


Catlyn profile image

Catlyn 7 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

Hi Jill! Love this Hub! What type of camera are you using? I am ready to upgrade my digital "happy snappy" and am shopping around. I love zooming in on things to see the intricacies of things! Looking forward to reading more of your pages!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Catlyn,

Thank you for dropping by and leaving an inspiring comment.

For these photos, I used my Canon 350D with 50mm macro lens. If you like zooming in on things (like I do), either you get a macro lens or some magnifying filters. My husband however gave me a Canon 50D recently, so I gave my 350D to my son but I'm keeping my macro lens.

Do you also have pictures in your hubs? I'll check them out after I post this.

All the best!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi jill, it's so cute! I love all of the photos you posted above. Now you are making want to grab my camera and do some picture taking too. LOL Thumbs up!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi ripplemaker,

Thank you very much!

Yes, why not grab your camera? It's fun!


puppascott profile image

puppascott 7 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

It's all about the way we see things isn't it? That is so true about so many aspects of life. Thanks for the ideas.

Scott.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello puppascott,

It's nice of you to visit. Thank you.

Yes, you are right. It's really how we see things not only in photography but also in other aspects of life.


Tesa Adams profile image

Tesa Adams 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

HI, You have inspired me to start a photo hub. I love your photographs, they have made me rethink some of the items I have in my house that might look different with a closer view. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

That's great Tesa! I'm happy that I have inspired you to start a photo hub. That will surely be most welcome here. Yes, moving closer or changing angles can give us new insight about things.

Thank you too and good luck! Tell me when you have your photo hub.

All the best!


mrslisae 7 years ago

Beautiful! I too love finding beauty in the mundane and perhaps a little unusual


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi mrslisae,

That's great! I'm happy we share this thing about mundane things.

Thank you for dropping by.


Madame X 6 years ago

jill - you have a wonderful eye and your photos are beautiful! It's no surprise that you won that contest. Please post more. I know you don't get such hot ratings on hubs if you post "just a photo" hub but in your case, IMHO, it would be worth it :)


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Madame X,

Your words are music to my ears! You are very kind and inspiring. Thank you very much.

I promise to post more as soon as we recover from the effects of the typhoon and flooding that recently inundated our country. Please see post in forum, hubbers hangout.

Right now I am just taking a break from cleaning. Besides, our internet connection has been unstable so I can only manage short notes at a time.

God bless and thank you very much once again!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Lovely, lovely pictures--I especially like the one on the gift-paper/bubbles. Your take on a new perspective with pictures brings out a pertinent point--we all need to look at life from different angles and find beauty in the most mundance of things. Like how I have to wash dishes right about now and how if I focus on the beauty of the soap suds instead of the dried up left-overs on the plates, then maybe, even dish-washing can be an adventure. Or maybe not?

Thanks for sharing.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello anglnwu,

If we change our focus or our point of view on certain things then we indeed will see the beauty in them.

Thank you for visiting and leaving a beautiful comment.

Have a wonderful year ahead!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for sharing these lovely pix. I think we often in the rush of daily life forget to look at the things around us and appreciate their unexpected beauty. Thanks for the reminder of this.

Love and peace

Tony


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi tonymac,

It's great to see you again! Thank you for your inspiring comment.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

I do not think I will ever take a picture the same way again! And not that I am a bad picture taker but I really did need a few good tips and thanks to you , you just supplied me with some! I cant wait to let you know how it goes:)))


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi wavegirl - your comment brought a smile to my face! I am very happy if this hub makes you look at things in another way. Sometimes all we need is a little change in our point of view.

Please tell me when you have some new pictures. I am eager to see them!

Thank you very much for dropping by.


Betty Reid profile image

Betty Reid 6 years ago from Texas

I really enjoyed your hub! It's great to see some photography that is clearly original. Your images show a lot of creativity and insight.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Betty,

Thank you very much for your kind words. You just made my day!

Hope to see you around again!

God bless!


yellowstar2000 profile image

yellowstar2000 6 years ago from WestCoast Florida

your artistic talent is amazing. Thanks for sharing your perspective on 'mundane things'...you make them so NOT mundane and highly enjoyable. wonderful work!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello yellowstar,

It's so nice to see you again!

You are making me blush with your kind words. You just made my day!

I am happy if I was able to make you look at mundane things differently.

Thanks again for dropping by and leaving a wonderful comment!

God bless!


Sandyksk profile image

Sandyksk 5 years ago from Sanger

Wow...I enjoyed this hub, for sure...I'll be looking at things a lot closer, for sure! It looks as though a lot of others have enjoyed this hub too...great hub...still...:)) I think I'll have to come back for more...I 'followed' your photography blog, I like that too! :)) So definitely voted up...and useful!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Sandy,

It's nice to see you!

Thanks very much for the visit and wonderful comment! Thanks too for voting this up and useful.

You are most welcome to check out my other hubs on photography.

See you around!

God bless!


Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Thanks for the tips, ideas and advice. Great hub!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Becky,

Your visit and comment make me happy! Thank you very much!

You are most welcome. I'm happy if I can somehow help you discover more the wonders of photography.

God bless!


IdeaMorphist profile image

IdeaMorphist 5 years ago from Chicagoland

These are definitely great hints!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello IdeaMorphist,

I'm happy that you think so.

Thanks very much for dropping by.

God bless!


FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 5 years ago from Cold Mountain

Cool! Voted "up"!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello FCEtier,

Nice to see you again!

Thank you very much! You are cool too!

God bless!


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

Those were great pictures! I love using my digital camera. I will visit some of your blogs.

Best wishes,

Debbie aka DJ Lyons


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Debbie,

Thanks very much! That makes two of us who love using our digital cameras.

I saw you comment in my blog. That you very much! It's really nice of you to visit.

God bless!


pinkytoky profile image

pinkytoky 5 years ago from Singapore

In present-day hectic lives, people tend to overlook beauty in mundane things. Thanks for sharing your discovery.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Pinky,

You are most welcome. The pleasure is really mine. I love sharing what I discover during my photography adventures.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a wonderful comment!

God bless!


TheMonk profile image

TheMonk 5 years ago from Brazil

I love macro photography myself. I have a ring flash and an external flash that I use along some paper sheets to make a mini studio with an endless backdrop and all! It´s always fun to get lost in the details of something really ordinary.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello The Monk,

It's great to meet another macro lover! I really love macro photography because you can take and create photos that are sometimes out of this world! Wow, you got a complete gear there! I hope to see some of your work after I post this.

Thanks for dropping by!

God bless!


ShonEjai profile image

ShonEjai 4 years ago from California

great post. love the iidea of finding beauty and art in the mundane. best. www.picture-speak.com


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello ShonEjai,

Thank you very much for your visit and heartwarming comment! I really appreciate it!

God bless!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Wow...!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello livingsta,

That's a powerful single word! Thank you very much!!!

God bless!

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