My Favorite Exercise
My favorite assignment when I was in school (lo, so many years ago) was, upon waking, to shoot 36 exposures (remember 36?) between bed and the bathroom. There's nothing like "looking" in a place one takes for granted. For me, the idea of looking with a camera is opening the heart. There are miracles absolutely everywhere. Play with shallow focus, altered points of view, over or under exposure. When we really pay attention, we use our ears almost as much as our eyes so pay attention to what's happening around you and anticipate. There are little ironies everywhere, little stories.
This, by the way, is the first digital photograph I ever took. It was six a.m., I had just bought the little Canon Elph the night before, and I fell asleep reading the manual. When I awoke at dawn, my eyes fell on the window shade and the rising sun teasing the pleats.