Exploring close to home

This past weekend I took part in an Instagram-based project called the "24 Hour Project." The basic idea behind it was to shoot in your location (for me, it was Albuquerque, NM) and post one image per hour for 24 hours. What I found most challenging about this project was that it forced me to look for photo opportunities in the place that I live. Too often, I take my everyday environment for granted, or I fall into a "there's nothing new to shoot here" syndrome. Once I jumped into it, I started to create images that I was surprised by and delighted with. I think the ease of posting from my phone made it feel more like a carefree treasure hunt, and less of a tedious assignment. I also got to meet and talk to various local photographers and other everyday folks, which helped keep me inspired and committed to the project. Though I was pretty tired when my last post was uploaded, I felt a strong sense of satisfaction with the images I produced. In essence, I fell (visually) back in love with my city. I suggest you give something similar a try. You don't have to travel to an exotic, foreign city to make good photographs. Sometimes they're right outside your front door.