Have you ever showed somebody around a place they've never been to but which you personally know really well? Well, don't you find that by showing it off to somebody you start to see it with fresh eyes? You come to appreciate (or re-appreciate?) the beauty of that historic building which you pass every other day as you highlight it to your visitors.
Of course this phenomenon, when you take advantage of it, is great for photography and photo opportunities in general. It's so easy to see through the aesthetic value and the sheer quirkiness that our everyday environment offers us because it's not new, or to feel that we'd progress that much more with our photos if only we were somewhere else; somewhere new.
Personally, I find that by pretending you're showing someone new around your home town or that place you go to often reawakens your senses and helps you to see new angles and ideas for shots.
Imagine you're a tour guide, or you're showing round a visitor from another continent or a completely different culture. Where would you take them? What would strike them as different? And perhaps more importantly: how could you demonstrate this in a photo?
Talking of different places, I'm personally quite lucky. Having lived in eight different cities in three different countries (England, Argentina, and now Spain) I've been able to immerse myself in diverse cultures and environments, which has given me a real sense of how relative "tropical" and "exotic" can be. That is to say: you can never quite know what really interests people.
So next time you're stuck at a loose end at home and feel like taking some photos, don't forget the familiar; be the tour guide, show that out-of-town friend round and - with a bit of luck - you'll start to see those invisible photo opportunities.
I'll leave you with some images which were right on my doorstep:
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