How Do You Take an Uninteresting Photo?



Great article -- well written, with interesting examples. Well done.

I will say that the Despair example comes closest to being interesting. It is the fire extinguisher that breaks up the scene, and makes it mundane. Otherwise, it is fine example of straight angles and monochrome.

Your picture really isn't uninteresting. It is simply bad. It is poorly cropped. You have a bit of sun, but not all of it. You include a bit of the fence, but not enough. Likewise with the building to the right. It makes me wonder what is around there, but not enough to care.

I've taken a lot of similar pictures. That is the beauty of digital photography. My brother was a real photographer, taking film pictures that he converted to slides. He subscribed to photographic magazines, which taught me just enough to appreciate the good from the boring. I avoided the art of photography until it was cheap, and now I often take a shotgun approach. Shoot into the light, ignore the rule of thirds, just take the picture, and hope for the best. Sometimes it works out, sometimes you can manipulate it to something decent, but often I just throw it away. It is just electronic memory, ones and zeros that get recycled.

I take enough decent pictures that it doesn't matter. It really comes down to filtering, what you decide to share. I take a boatload of uninteresting -- and just bad -- pictures, but I'm the only one that sees them.


I love this post!

But, I do find the box of screws interesting.


The second pic looks like Bernie Sanders. At a Bernie Sanders convention. Definitely mundane and uninteresting.


The uninteresting photos are the most important historically. Too much of culture is documented only in sanitized collections of what is considered interesting to that culture. The mundane is what is difficult to research, yet it speaks the most volumes about the everyday. It demystifies and often clarifies and explains by placing the noteworthy in the context of the ordinary.


@4 -- bingo.
History is right in front of us, if we just see it.
Or capture it.


@4 -- bingo.
History is right in front of us, if we just see it.
Or capture it: this is who we are.


There's an echo in here.


"Wim Wenders said of [Dennis] Hopper [RIP] that if 'he’d only been a photographer, he’d be one of the great photographers of the twentieth century.' As successive collections of Hopper’s archived photographs become available, it becomes easier to say that Hopper was, at the least, a compelling, important, and weirdly omnipresent chronicler of his times.

After 'Easy Rider,' and amid divorce, Hopper put away his Nikon and moved on. 'I was trying to forget,' he later said. 'These photographs represented failure to me.'

The feeling you get from 'In Dreams' is not of failure at all but of the dreamlike ecstasy Hopper found in image-making—the realization, as he put it, 'that art is everywhere, in every corner that you choose to frame and not just ignore.'”

"Art is everywhere, in every corner that you choose to frame and not just ignore."