Andy Hawthorne

Thoughts, stories and ideas

Shooting Things on My Desk

There’s a challenge to finding photographs in your immediate vicinity. I chose my desk…

Working remote and sat at my desk, I glanced around for subjects. This is when you need a creative eye.

The light today is grey and flat. Therefore, no interesting shadows. But it does mean there are strong shapes if you’re prepared to do some post processing.

But What light does fascinates me. It always has. The grey flat light we have today seems unappealing, but there is a quality to it.

And it brings out detail. Making an image monochrome therefore gives loads of tonal range.

My mug

In the picture above, my mug was sitting in the shade from my office window. Turning the image monochrome allowed me to make the most of the lights and darks by fiddling with the curves tool.

So, it’s one of the reasons I lift my camera — the way you can transform a mundane item into an interesting photo.

The process of seeing things in a way that allows you to take the photo and process it to produce the image you were thinking of, is good fun.


The Warhammer figure above helps make my point. Again, the soft light helps bring out the features. It’s an unusual subject in this case (and technically this one wasn’t on my desk) but it helps make my point that flat light is not always bad.

There is another aspect to this. Finding new subjects in your immediate vicinity is a challenge. But it’s good practice for developing your photographic eye.

I will try this in other places to see if it works. It does rely on getting in close to the subject. But that’s fine, close-up photography is a thing.


Back to my desk. What caught my eye here was the shape of the cable. I’d dumped it on my desk ready to charge my phone. I didn’t arrange it for the photo. And it did make a strong shape.

Try it out. Look around you and see what looks interesting. You will have to look hard. And you will need to practice seeing through your photographers eye. But there are photographs out there waiting to be found.

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