New Project: Photographing the Mundane

I frequently hear, “but there’s nothing good to photograph here.” Our next project requires you to find beauty in boring or ugly surroundings. The point of this project is to open your mind to photographing things you would normally overlook. With enough practice, this exercise will eventually teach you how to take a good photograph of just about any subject matter or location.

We will examine the work of photographers who purposefully take photos of mundane subject matter, and come up with our own take on finding beauty in the mundane.

Here are some examples of great photos of mundane subject matter:
Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

Over the next three weeks, you will take as many photos as possible of mundane subject matter.
The more photos you take, the better your final product will be, so try to take photos outside of class, too.

Project requirements:

  • 10-12 aesthetically appealing photographs or mundane or traditionally unattractive subjects (this means you will probably need to take at least 50 photos to get 10 good ones!)
  • photographs show an understanding of previous photography lessons and assignments
    • taken from an interesting camera angle
    • have a clear subject matter
    • image is in focus
    • any distracting elements have been cropped out
    • levels have been adjusted so the image has appropriate contrast
  • daily progress posted in a new blog post at the end of each class (post the photos you have taken that day, or before and after images of any photos you have edited)
  • final group of 10-12 edited photos and a 150 word artist statement posted in a final blog post for the project

Reminder: Daily blog posts back up your work in the event of a computer crash. They also enable me to see if you are on the right track with your project. Failure to post progress means a zero participation for the day. (That includes posting something like “my computer didn’t let me upload today.”) If you didn’t create a backup of your work with a post, you will not get credit for that post. Blog posts account for 40% of your grade in this class, so consider accepting these free points.

Today we will:

  • take photos of things we have previously considered boring or ugly
  • create a new blog post with the photos we took during today’s class
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