I’ve found that you can find something to photograph even in seemingly mundane places. To me the subject matters less than the emotion that the scene evokes. Photographing with an emotional eye is not a new practice in photography. Some of the first photographs taken aimed to mimic paintings. However, photography is certainly not only an art. It is used to document and communicate in journalism, and every day by people who do not consider themselves “photographers.”
A camera can lie. It matters very much what the photographer chooses to include and exclude from the frame. One can also adjust the exposure to fake a scene of night or day. One can isolate the subject with depth of field. One can portray motion by slowing the shutter speed. While there are standards of journalism, there is always wiggle room for the photographer to paint the scene.
Therefore, a simple wall with an interesting texture and color can be portrayed with conviction by a photographer who understands how to operate a camera. A crack in the sidewalk can convey the feeling of being fragmented. Even using a camera with automatic settings (while this does give up some creative control) can lead to conveying an emotional idea effectively. The photographer still exercises control over the composition, and chooses a scene out of an endless realm of possibilities.
Since we are all photographers these days, carrying camera phones in our pockets, these meditations make for interesting fodder for the imagination. Every selfie was chosen to be portrayed in a certain light at a certain time with certain attire, and it means something if you choose to let it. What are we saying with our photos, and is it intentional? Is the intent to document, to convey emotion, or both?