Beautiful Ugly – Expand Your Photographic Eye

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There is no rule that says what you think is beautiful has to be considered beautiful by anyone else.  Good news, right?  There have been times I’ve gone on a photo walk and reviewed my images after only to find the ones I thought were good were of decay or rust covered subjects.

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If you can open your mind up to photographing things you may not normally photograph you’ll find more and more photographs waiting to be taken next time you walk familiar walks.  Things like abandoned buildings, rusty metal, the bottom of bridges, and so on.

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Don’t believe me?  Take a walk through an old car junk yard with your camera and zoom in nice and close to some of the broken down, rusted over cars.  When you get back to edit your images you’ll see what I mean.  A close up of a broken tail light or the torn up upholstery inside a car can give you a sense of history and the wonder of what the car had seen (if it were not an inanimate object… it is though so you’ll have to fire up the imagination).

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Look for things like bright colors that have faded over time or familiar logos that are falling apart but still recognizable.  There is a resurgence in the world of “vintage” so images of things considered vintage are growing in popularity.

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Water stains and mold become beautiful in the right context.  Composing a beautiful photograph out of ugly subjects could be a fun photo challenge to conquer.  Make yourself a folder on your computer called Ugly Beautiful and start populating it with the abstract images you find over time.

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Visit places like a junkyard, abandon buildings, and old historic towns for a “target” rich environment (if you are a Top Gun fan you’ll recognize that saying, if not…. it just means lots of what you are looking for).


Have you got an ugly photo that look beautiful?  Share it by hitting the Submit an Article link.  Tell us a little about why you like it and how you took it (what camera, settings, etc.).

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