Things that Make Us Go “Click!”

When we take a picture we do more than just capture a moment; we invite others to see the world through our eyes.

Photo by 0xf2 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As you may have noticed, we love photography here at The Daily Post (and we have the free ebook to prove it!). Judging by the hundreds of responses to each of our Weekly Photo Challenges, so do you. But what is it about a scene, a place, or a moment that makes us reach for our cameras and snap an image? Regular Daily Post contributors Cheri, Krista, Michelle, and Ben share their photo-taking quirks.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

When I go out and take photos, I tend to wander into quieter places. I’m not as comfortable pointing the camera into a crowd. I’m more interested in “indirect” portraits: a person caught off guard, looking away; an odd angle; an off-center composition. While I like photographing movement and landscapes, my favorite images are quiet and focused.

Holocaust Memorial-Cheri Lucas Rowlands

This shot at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin shows a few examples of what I look for when out and about with my camera (or these days, my iPhone): a single point of focus, evidence of light, and a distinct POV.

The silhouette down the corridor is the focal point in this image. Because there were many people exploring the memorial that day, I waited for a while in this spot to capture a shot with no one else in the frame. I also look at a scene to ensure there are no extraneous details — every object, line, and shape is present for a reason. I enjoy experimenting with POV the most, and you’ll often find me lying on the ground or tilting my screen: I love the way the world looks from street level, and how I can change a simple scene by playing with diagonals.

Krista Stevens

When I get the chance to explore a new city, I love to wander and collect seemingly unremarkable split-seconds in time: fleeting expressions, gestures, or interesting juxtapositions. I use my iPhone exclusively and I love the ease with which I can capture these everyday moments. I’ll often hold the camera at waist level and use the volume button to deploy the shutter randomly.

This haphazard method brings mixed results: I end up with many horrible, sometimes undecipherable photos, though every so often, I’ll discover a surprise that delights me.


This 2011 photo of two lovers snuggling on a bench in a Budapest churchyard is one of my serendipitous shots from the hip. I snapped a few photos walking by and one of them turned out not too badly. I love the fact that the couple is slightly off-center and that they’re not quite in sharp focus. Not only do I find this lack of precision pleasing, it also helps to communicate that dizzy joy of falling in love.

Michelle Weber

There are three things that make me whip out my camera every time (much to the chagrin of my travel companions, who often walk for several more minutes before realizing I’ve strayed from the path in search of my shot)…

  1. An interesting juxtaposition — light with dark, old with and new, hard with soft.
  2. People in places — I’m always more drawn to a picture that brings a setting to life by showing the way we interact with that place.
  3. A tiny detail — I shoot on a DSLR with a 50 millimeter f/1.4 lens; it can achieve a very shallow depth of field, and I abuse that ability regularly. I love focusing on small, unexpected details and letting the rest of the scene fall out of focus.

Abelard and Heloise endure.

Someone left this flower and love note tied to the fence around the tombs of Abélard and Héloïse, the main players of one of history’s more enduring and tragic love stories. It hit my photo trifecta: the dried flower and handwritten note are an interesting juxtaposition with the iron bars and stone carvings, show us how people relate to this monument, and are the perfect detail for aperture abuse. Most importantly, the photo is not only a reminder of visiting that place, but tells me a story about star-crossed lovers then and now.

Ben Huberman

97% of my photos are of my son eating cake and/or refusing to look straight at the camera. The remaining 3% tend to focus on manmade landscapes, especially if there’s some interesting repetition or geometric play going on. Train tracks, parking lots, library stacks — I find these types of “boring” spaces endlessly fascinating, and easy to shoot with an iPhone (aka my one and only camera).

I have a particular penchant for infrastructure; I love how unusual framing (or a bit of cropping…) can transform the discreet beauty of civil engineering into something abstract and mysterious.


I took this photo at the top of Grouse Mountain, in North Vancouver. You get to see some of the best views in the world when you’re up there, but my eyes kept returning to this cable car support tower. It was a perfect combination of strength and grace, like a ballet dancer; all those crisscrossing lines didn’t hurt, either. Nature? It’s there in the hazy background, giving the photo some needed texture. Thanks, nature!

What are some of your favorite photography subjects? What makes you take out your camera?

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  1. I shoot photos for various reasons –sometimes it’s a moment of visual sychnronicity — a child cycling with her doll in a toy back bucket seat! Or more on colour, shape. Or moments in local and national history –2010 Winter Olympics, a major river flood in our city that evacuated 100,000 residents last year…but from a more focused perspective.

    While it’s true that a cycling blog might have more cyclists in some posts (not all), the point is that I wish to show people, some moments/stops in time, that a cyclist can see along the way which a car cannot because it’s whipping by too quickly.

    Unless blogger stops, decompresses and makes their senses alert for photo shooting.

    I also take photos…in a manner to document the best stuff I experience in life because the blog is my visual and textual digital legacy for loved ones. I also arrange and choose certain photos so that I can remember, relive a particular time, moment. So it is for myself, to jog my memory also.

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  2. I usually never take pictures but I started taking some during the summer for a friend in Tennessee and it’s just so coincidental that I had thought of the same thing, “we invite others to see the world brought our eyes.” Almost word for word.


    1. I can only speak for myself — for me, the choice isn’t so much between an iPhone or a “good” camera; it’s between an iPhone and no camera. I suppose I’m an iPhoneographer by default? 😉


  3. My photography definitely reflects 2 sides of my nature – Stillness and Infinite Curiosity.
    Stillness: I capture ‘my place’ in my wanders or in my home patch – what surrounds me and the feeling it gives me. Using my camera is like meditation for me.
    Infinite Curiosity: I explore something quirky I come across. When I’m out and about I pause to marvel at something unusual to me.


  4. There’s something from each that resonates with me: Ben’s abstractions from the built environment; Michelle’s juxtapositions; Krista’s shooting from the hip (I really enjoyed that at a carnival); and finally, Cheri’s quiet places.

    To answer your question … it is blogging that now makes me take out my camera. I have somewhere to “exhibit”, which in turns drives me to learn and improve.

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  5. I like to document urban wildlife interaction – it’s a bit of a ‘niche’ subject and the technique requires a ‘camera on the run’ to get the shots, although i can do a pretty stealthy ‘leopard crawl’ to get up close in some situations! I’ve had to learn to react quickly, have my camera set on a fast shutter speed, and also ramp up the ISO.

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  6. As a writer and beginner WP blogger, I am surprised at the sheer amount of “good” photos involved in blog writing. It is as if in order to have a blog worth reading, you must have a blog worth seeing! LOL. So many different layers, textures, locations, etc. For the year 2014/2015 as a writer I am undergoing a new challenge every week to push myself “out of my box” and evaluate my life as a mother of six, wife, and entrepreneur. One of those challenges was to take a picture (with my iPhone) every hour on the hour for a 12 hour day and post them onto Instagram. What an amazing week that was! (Um so if you would like to see that week’s posts I’ll get to organizing my site eventually – I’ve been so busy doing the weekly challenges I haven’t had the chance to make the site cohesive yet – search “Instagram” something should come up? ugh) I strongly suggest EVERYONE set their timers on their phones to buzz on the hour and capture their life bit by bit for a week. There are no rules except that you must shoot whatever it is you are looking at in the moment.

    Unfortunately for me, in the beginning of the challenge I was very critical and unhappy with what I saw. Dirty kids, dirty dishes, a fat (to me) body (some shots were in the mirror in the bathroom! Had to go eventually!) but as the week morphed and I wrote about my experiences, I realized that seeing beyond the obvious was what I needed to shoot. A picture went from being a dirty faced kid eating cake, to “pure joy and untapped potential”. As soon as I stopped criticizing what I saw on the surface, and started embracing the spirit behind the scene EVERYTHING changed. Visually my blogs got better, my photography got better, and my heart grew wiser. I once read that photos are only “natural” when the subject is acting “naturally” – those are the pictures I now like to take. Thanks for asking 🙂

    There is a great website I now use for photo/blog edits : All my photos are taken on my iPhone 5 (even though I have a pricy DSLR hiding in my closet). Right now I am in the middle of a DIY home remodel/improvement everyday challenge… and my kids range from 2-16 (just incase any one was wondering) 🙂

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  7. This post is so true… its is true and surprisingly i was actually working on this post in which i wrote about how, when in 90’s we had camera’s with reels in it,w e wud click each photograph as a piece for the museum. We would be equally excited to get them “washed”.
    while I am still working on it….. please Check Out My blog! And it does have a gallery of pictures that made me go CLICK!!


  8. I am not a professional photographer…But I love clicking anyway ..!! My biggest inspirations are my husband and my daughter…I love to see the father daughter bond and whenever I see them together , not posing for the camera, but being themselves ,with natural reactions , I AM OUT WITH MY CAMERA…I love clicking them doing all kinds of things together…going for a walk, laughing with each other , playing !!!…I capture those precious family moments to treasure for ever…
    Other then that, I love to click when I am in a place , bestowed with a lot of natural beauty by god…be it a river ,a waterfall , the trees ,mountains….I go on a clicking spree then…..:)


  9. I instantly recognised the Jewish Museum, I visited in January. It’s such an extraordinary garden but I just couldn’t figure out how to capture it’s essence. I think you’ve done a fabulous job, It’s wonderful yet haunting. I normally look up at the sky for architecture but I like this idea of street level photography. Thank you!


  10. Really enjoyed this post. For years, I would drive passed something that captured my eye (i.e. a cemetery) and would think, “that would make such a great picture” or ” I wish I could capture that scene.” I finally purchased a DSLR in 2010. I love to be “struck” by buildings, the ocean, sea lions, or sunsets. Krista’s photography reminds me of a photo I took of a couple kissing while standing in line to enter The Louvre in Paris. It was a beautiful moment shared between two lovers and me (via my Cannon). Just recently, I attended my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday. A backyard event with a number of other 2 year olds. At the end of the day, I had 275 pics worth reviewing. In the end, I realized that I had taken at least one memorable, spontaneous shot of each child. A personal photo shoot for each birthday goer! What a sense of accomplishment. 🙂