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Many of us have dreamed of changing or inspiring the world with our art. However, that’s easier said than done. It can be incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd when everyone’s striving for uniqueness. A change in perspective—figuratively and literally—can help.

The ‘Unspectacular Subject Photography’ Facebook group is dedicated to amateur photos that take extremely ordinary subjects and showcase them in a different light. We’ve collected some of their top photos to share with you. Scroll down to check them out! It’s perfect proof that you can photograph even the most mundane, everyday things and make them look magical.

Bored Panda got in touch with the team running the stunning 'Unspectacular Subject Photography' group, and the founder, Piet Reekers, kindly answered our questions.

We also reached out to talented photographer Dominic Sberna, from Ohio. He was happy to share his thoughts that could help amateur photographers out in their creative journey. Read on for both of our interviews.

The founder and one of the administrators of the 'Unspectacular Subject Photograhy' group, Reekers, told us about the idea behind the entire Facebook group. According to the founder, focusing on 'unspectacular' subjects can help show the depth and breadth of a photographer's skills.

"If you, for instance, take the skyline of New York by night (with or without fireworks in the sky), many people can make a beautiful picture of that subject," Reekers told Bored Panda.

However, "if you take an unspectacular subject, for instance, an empty box on the street, it very much depends on the personal creative skills of the photographer to make an interesting picture."

#3

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Love this WEBsite! Spider triplex. Lower units have more square footage. Upper unit has a better view.

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Multa Nocte
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always love looking at outdoor spiderwebs, especially those covered in dew or ice.

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The founder added: "Composition, the light, color, atmosphere, etc. become very important." This should then lead to a greater expression of personal creativity. "That is what I am interested in."

Reekers suggested that new members in the group should start off by enjoying themselves, looking around, and having fun taking photos.

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They should also experiment, ignore bad comments, and shouldn't bother thinking about how many likes they'll get. "I find it interesting when a photograph isn't liked by anyone," the administrator of the group said.

#4

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Just some snow on a tree, making it look like a bad 2D paper cutout

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#5

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

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Belandriel
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's one of those photos that make me want to be right there right now...

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#6

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

The table at some restaurant. I don’t even remember where, now. Like a little island under a strange sun.

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We were curious to get Reekers' thoughts on what photographers could do to move past their sense of frustration when things don't turn out as well as they'd hoped. The admin told Bored Panda that creatives should embrace that sense of frustration.

"If you take more pictures you will get better. I also think that looking at good paintings can improve your photographs."

Initially, Reekers made the public group on Facebook just because they wanted to see what would happen. "I didn't want to judge. A consequence of that is that sometimes discussions appear. Discussions are okay as long as they remain respectful, and the subject is the image itself."

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#8

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Under the hydrangeas' skirt.

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Bored Panda wanted to get photography expert Sberna's thoughts on how creatives can deal with the disappointment and frustrations that are part of any worthwhile pursuit.

According to the Ohio-based photographer, there is no magical solution when you don't get the results or make the progress that you want, aside from sustained effort.

"To move past the frustration of not achieving the results you want, just try and try again," Sberna told Bored Panda.

#10

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

A pic of neon lights reflecting off of a puddle I took at Bonnaroo a few years back.

Tyler Brooks Report

#12

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Unspectacular sea fan coral found in Cancun. They were all over the beach!

Ee Laine Lam Report

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The Original Bruno
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like a plant leaf that has rotted between the veins. EDIT: see the "ghost leaf" several pictures down.

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“Practice makes perfect, and even I don’t always get the results that I want,” he pointed out that no matter who you talk to, nobody will always get the results that they aim to get.

“Sometimes, it [the frustration] is inevitable, but other times, it just takes a different way of looking at things,” he shared his take on moving past these negative feelings.

We were curious how amateur photographers can make their images look more artistic and elevate the overall quality of their work.

Photographer Sberna said that following the "tried and true" elements of art and principles of design when composing your pictures is a very good start. You can think of these as the building blocks of art and design.

#13

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Blowing the snow off my deck and all these cute little frozen paw prints remain.

Sheamen Sky Nielsen Report

#14

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Just a phone snap of a Raven from Hawk Hill above Golden Gate Bridge.

Donald Kinney Report

#15

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Abstract in rainy day…

Janet Park Report

For example, among the elements of art that you can consider are lines, shapes, colors, texture, form, value, and space.

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Meanwhile, the main principles of design focus on balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity.

“Breaking these rules is okay, too, so long as you do it in a way that works for you. Sometimes, being artistic comes down to the individual and how they view something they're creating," he told Bored Panda.

#17

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Maybe too spectacular, but too cool not to post- ghost leaf I found yesterday.

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#18

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

This was a lucky shot! Prism was a refraction off a crystal in the window opposite this wall.

Kusala Tibbetts Report

The Facebook group itself is fairly new as far as online communities go. It was created in late July 2022. In less than two years, the ‘Unspectacular Subject Photography’ project drew in just shy of 92k members.

It continues to grow to this day. Just in the last week, 6k new Facebook users joined.

The members of this community are incredibly active. At the time of writing, they made a whopping 10k posts in the last month alone. It just goes to show how many creative people are out there! What also helps is that the Facebook group sets a low barrier to entry.

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Not all of us live right next to spectacular views of nature that we can photograph. But all of us are surrounded by lots of simple and common items.

The beauty of the idea behind the group lies in this exact simplicity. You can take a simple leaf, traffic cone, cup of coffee, or spiderweb and turn it into a brilliant photography subject. By changing the perspective and lighting, you can turn something (allegedly) unremarkable and unspectacular into eye-catching art. 

The fact of the matter is that there are no real shortcuts to being a world-class photographer or artist. At the end of the day, what truly matters is your unique style and way of seeing the world, not your gear.

High-quality photography equipment can certainly help you get the results you want; however, it won’t take captivating photos for you. Your vision and input are what truly matter. The quality of your tools only augments what’s already there.

Crafting and refining your unique photography style will take years of dedicated work. Not to mention that you have to be willing to experiment and open to failing with grace.

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Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

It's a blizzard here today. Snow drift art. By, Old Man Winter.

Mary Margaret Report

You might start out copying the photos of the artists you admire. Eventually, if you want to be known for your art, you’ll have to make the leap and start doing things differently and gently adapt the subject matter to your perspective and ideas.

Getting your art noticed is a huge deal. Many of us would love to have a respected career that’s purely dedicated to our creative passions and pursuits. However, it requires lots of dedication… as well as consistent effort.

Unless you are extremely lucky, your photos won’t go viral overnight. You need to slowly refine your skills over weeks, months, and years.

On top of that, you need to find some way to showcase your work so that it fits your image as a photographer. Some folks like posting their work on social media, or they create impressive portfolios on their personal websites. Others might decide to avoid digital life altogether and focus entirely on having their photos displayed in galleries.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You have to see what combination of approaches works best for you and your work.

#25

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Spotted on my morning walk. I have so many questions...

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Belandriel
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2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think they like toys nearly as much as food and collect all sort of things :) There was this story about a small girl always leaving food for some crows on the poarch and after a while they left stones and other stuff as gifts in exchange. They actually have the IQ of a small child. It's also said they can remember and distinguish faces of humans that behaved badly towards them!

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No matter what kind of artist you are, you’ll eventually have to deal with a lot of frustration. For example, the results you’re getting don’t match your expectations. What really helps here is to have a growth-oriented mindset and to pace yourself in a realistic way.

Progress, very often, isn’t linear. You have to accept that you’ll have bad days or even weeks when you’re unhappy with your work. It’s how we deal with this frustration that reveals our character as artists.

A major pitfall to avoid is perfectionism. With a subject as subjective as photography, there’s no such thing as ‘perfection.’ You cannot expect to be artistically satisfied with every shot you take.

Nor can you expect absolutely everyone to ‘get’ the ideas behind your snaps. It takes a lot of courage to look at a photo you took, label it as ‘good enough,’ and then share it with the world.

The feedback that you get from other people can be incredibly valuable for your personal growth. But it takes humility to accept constructive criticism for what it is.

Which of the photos that we featured in this list caught your attention the most, dear Pandas? Which ones did you genuinely enjoy and why? What’s your personal relationship with photography like? What subjects do you tend to take pics of the most? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

#32

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

The reflection of a Ferris wheel in a mud puddle.

Niki Andreach Report

#33

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Sidewalk garden, no help from humans needed.

Yolanda Nunn Report

#34

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Girl with a bright umbrella (taken with iPhone through the windshield in the rain)

Yuri Pyshnoi Report

#35

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

During my walks, I took this picture under a Pylon in Bredhurst Woods, Kent.

ᛞᚨᚾᛁᛖᛚ ᚨᛪᛖ-ᛖᚤᛖ Report

#36

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

The ice on my deck kinda looks like some sort of floral print

Lauryn Ogden Report

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#44

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Some weeds at my Moms house. I liked the way the light hit them.

Jeanette Wilson Report

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#47

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Chlorophylligree.

Rand Om Rich Report

#48

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

 don't know how many photos I post, since none of them made it to the algorithm. But please enjoy this cool pattern from a close-up shot of a tree trunk. I will post the wider photo in the comment.

From my 5-6 am morning photo walk.

Rakka Gustyan Pratama Report

#49

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

iPad screen after it collided with a concrete floor.

Debra Hoddinott Report

#50

Unspectacular-Subject-Photography

Some sort of melon and idiot smashed at the beach

Syndee Holt Report

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Multa Nocte
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This hits differently if it's a "melon AND idiot smashed at the beach" versus a "melon AN idiot smashed at the beach." ;-)

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Note: this post originally had 116 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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