Caryn Esplin introduced this concept to me recently – find an ordinary spot that is not visually appealing at first sight. Take into account perspective, lighting, focus, and composition, and you can find something that is quite extraordinary. Take the shot and you’ve put life into the mundane and boring. Ordinary spot – extraordinary shot (or OSES).


I took a hike with some friends and a sibling to Naomi Peak, near Logan, UT. Although the location was beautiful by itself, a picture of the trees isn’t the greatest thing.


Ordinary Spot

Luckily, a fog showed up the morning we did. It was gorgeously mysterious, but I found it hard to capture. I finally zoomed in on a hill of pine trees and found my extraordinary shot. The zoom lens gave detail and texture to both the trees and the fog. I especially like the appearance of layers from blurred light (fog) to the detailed dark (first row of pine trees). I think we can often miss the extraordinary shot if we don’t consider other perspectives, whether that’s getting low, zooming out, or composing leading lines.


Extraordinary Shot



I adventured the BYU-Idaho Gardens to find an extraordinary shot in an ordinary spot. The gardens are perhaps the number one place for students to go for pictures. It’s a beautiful spot, but nothing more than grass, trees, and other landscape elements – nothing too special. I started at a bed of soft-looking plants.


The sun was setting which was perfect timing for this – the light only hit direct parts of the plants, such as ridges on the leaves. I got up close to the plants and took the picture. It really came out as a surprise – the lighting was perfect and enhanced the soft texture on the leaves.


Extraordinary Shot

Check out this impressive take on capturing extraordinary shots in ordinary spots!: