Noticing Along the Way, See Something…Photograph It

Blog Author Richard Newman

A buzz phrase right now is “see something, say something”. As a visual artist I’d like to know what you saw or noticed today that was out of the ordinary? So many times in our lives we become unaware of some of the special things that are around us everyday.

When Gary Winogrand passed, he left over 300,000 unedited images. I was lucky enough to have been around Gary near the end of his life. He would buy a box of 50 rolls of Tri-X daily and have a friend drive him around Los Angeles while he ran the film through his camera. Can you imagine how many unprocessed digital images he would have left if the technology was available to him? Gary said, “I photograph to see what things look like photographed”. That’s pretty straight forward. I invite you to look deeper into Gary’s staggering archive of images. If you like street photography, and don’t know who to look to for inspiration and ideas, here’s the place to start.

In the process of creating this entry for you, I am making myself more aware of what is around me. There are times when I don’t leave my little town for 10-15 days at a time. Since I work at home, often times the only time I leave the house is to walk the dogs or run to the store for food or coffee. So I take the challenge myself, to see what I can notice that is different, unique, or special.

I challenge you to try this for yourself but first a little word about equipment. Keep it simple, use a point and shoot, use your phone, but keep it simple. My camera of choice is my wife’s Nikon J2, it’s small, takes great shots and it’s always with me. The best camera is the one you have with you.

The first photo I’ll share here came from my shower…WHAT?! I had just washed my hair, and I looked down and saw this amazing collection of bubbles on the soap. It’s pretty tough to photograph while a hot shower is running so the image looks a little fogged, but it’s the thought of the composition and the fact that next time I see something like this, I’ll be smart enough to turn off the water and let the steam clear first.

Last weekend I had to travel into the Eastern Mojave National Preserve to interview the Park Archeologist for an upcoming video on an Artist in Residence cabin that is being made available to artists, photographers, writers, and musicians for 2 weeks at a time. Here are a few images from that drive.

There are a lot of miles in the desert and when humanity builds a settlement the capitalist spirit takes over. I had to look twice to make sure that they were not talking about the ark but it’s a collection for sure. I did crop this image to help direct your eye toward my message.

Every time I go south I pass this tree, it’s hard not to notice.

I’d been driving for 8 hours, focused on the road; I almost missed the grand show to my left.

In your busy day, keep your camera handy, take time to notice, record and most of all share what you see in order to enrich all of us. I welcome your comments (you may email me at

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