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Daily Life in Your Town or Suburb

By James Farley

When shooting in your home town or suburb, it doesn’t need to be about the main tourist attraction or a big event, notable landmark or iconic building – the most important thing is to focus on what you find most interesting, inspiring and beautiful in the area. A great sense of adventure and willingness to explore is essential in finding those wonderfully unassuming locations and photo opportunities.

Canon 40D, Vintage 1960's Asahi 50mm f2.0 lens. Location: Elderslie, NSW. Photographer: James Farley

Take some time to document what it is that gives your home town or suburb its unique character. Use the familiarity that comes with being a local to your advantage, and try to reveal locations that the average sightseer would often overlook. One of the best practices for achieving this kind of project is to just take a day, or even just a few hours, to wander around with your camera and actively seek out the interesting and intriguing elements of your home town or suburb that give the area life. Try making a list of any places around the area, big or small, that you find interesting in any way, and just shoot your way through it.

Fujifilm X-T1. Location: Newtown, NSW. Photographer: Trent Crawford

No matter how mundane or ordinary you may think your home town may be, there is always something or somebody there worth documenting. Taking photos of what is familiar to you can expose a whole new perspective of people and places you may often take for granted.

But the main point of advice is to open your eyes to the beautiful and interesting things that surround you in the everyday. Exploring and documenting the everyday life of your own home town is a fantastic creative outlet, and is really something to enjoy and to use to expand your own passion for photography.

The great thing about photojournalistic endeavours such as this is that the importance is often focused more on creating a snapshot of a time and place. So unlike other, more technically demanding fields of photography, you don’t always need the highest level of camera gear; anything that you are most comfortable taking photos with is just fine.

That being said, it is always incredibly useful to use equipment that allows for manual exposure control, as it opens up worlds of creative and technical opportunities in your photography, so a good DSLR or CSC camera will never go amiss.

When it comes to this kind of photography, I believe that the best options are either a mid to wide angle fixed focal length lens, such as a 35mm or 50mm, or a more versatile zoom lens, such as an 18-55mm or 24-70mm.

Bags and straps
It’s always a good idea to invest in reliable transporting equipment for your camera, especially when it comes to photojournalism. Bags and backpacks that allow for quick and easy camera access are always fantastic, as having your camera on hand at all times means that you’re much less likely to miss that perfect shot.

Other Accessories
When shooting outdoors, it’s extremely beneficial to use a lens hood and UV filter, as not only do they help to reduce glare, but they also give some protection against minor bumps and scratches.

Depending on what kind of photos you’re taking or the situations you’re in, a light tripod or monopod will definitely come in handy from time to time.

If you’re like me and love shooting in overcast, rainy weather, then rain covers are absolutely necessary for keeping your equipment safe.

Fujifilm X-T1. Location: Newtown, NSW. Photographer: Trent Crawford


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