Lately everyone has been sharing creative projects to do at home. Usually they are cute like putting a teddy bear in your front window. But how about a quirky project? Photograph all the doorknobs in your residence.
Ever pay attention to your doorknobs? They are so critical and intimate. To open a door, you need to use the door knob. That little bulbous object sticking out from your door. When you think about it abstractly, it’s kinda funny that we have these round objects sticking out of a flat surface. They are rather adorable-in a weird way. They can also come in all sorts of designs.
Doorknobs are so intimate. They fit nicely in the palm of your hand. They completely relate to your hands. The doorknob says, “hello hand, please grab and twist me”.
So why not? Let’s photograph our doorknobs. It’s also rather timely, because doorknobs are one of the surfaces that spreads coronavirus. Poor doorknobs. Spreader of diseases. Let’s photograph these functional parts of our living spaces.
Post your doorknob photos online with the hashtag: #mydoorknobs
I love our doorknobs.
How I came up with this idea:
With being relegated to home all these days, my activity on the check-in app Swarm has disappeared. But I could check into my house! Whenever I check-in, I almost always include a photo. Sometimes you get stumped what to photograph. OH WAIT. I’ll photograph my doorknobs and post those. Hence, the idea. I wanted a library of all my doorknobs to use.
10 tips on photographing your doorknobs
1) Any ol’ camera will do
Just photograph your doorknob.
2) Get close
Get nice up and close to your doorknob. Capture those textures on the knob. All the scratches and marks.
3) Low aperture, if you got it
If have a camera with a lens where you can control your aperture, you can totally up your doorknob game. Use a lens with a low aperture. Get that really soft background.
4) Document the context
Guaranteed if you photograph all your doorknobs, you will forget which knob belongs to which door. Then you’ll just have a pile of unidentified knobs. Here’s how to solve that major problem.
Before you photograph each knob, photograph the entire door. Get the context of where the door is, so you can recognize which door it is. Once you have this context, you’ll be able to identify all your knobs years later!
5) Photograph both knobs on each door
Most doors have knobs on both sides of the door. PHOTOGRAPH BOTH KNOBS. Don’t deny the knob on the other side of the door. Who knows? Maybe that other doorknob might have more character. Plus, if you photograph both doorknobs, you’ll be able to DOUBLE your doorknob output.
6) Try to make the image straight
Don’t photograph from above. Get down on your knees and align your camera so you are completely parallel with the door.
7) Put the doorknob in the dead center of your photo
Yeah, we’ve all heard about using interesting compositions by putting the focus of our composition off the center, maybe on the third gridline. We’ve been told DON’T DEAD-CENTER YOUR SUBJECT. But for this series, we are getting pure knob. All knob. Center that knob. If you want to shoot other artsy photos where the knob is off-center, go ahead. But don’t skip the dead-center shot.
8) Include others on your knobbin’ adventure
When I was photographing our doorknobs, my three-year-old daughter wanted to participate. Sure! Why not! Come along! You want to photograph doorknobs with me? OOOOH THAT’S MY DAUGHTER! Just like Dadda.
And you know what? When you photograph the door, include your partner in the photo. Why take a picture of just the door, when you can have someone in the photo!? All my photos feature my daughter pretending to take photos of the door knob.
9) Make a fun collage with all your photos
Here’s a square collage I posted to Instagram. And if you have room, why not throw that hashtag on there? 🙂 #mydoorknobs
10) Post your photos online and tag them with #mydoorknobs
Spread the doorknob love. I’ll be watching this hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Maybe I’ll even feature some of the best images from #mydoorknobs—that is, if anyone does it. Most likely nobody will. Why not make my day by participating?! Yay!
Here are all my doorknobs
My goodness, did you REALLY just look at all my doorknob photos? You must LOVE doorknobs. Go and take photos of yours and share!
Super-advanced tip #11. In Adobe Lightroom pump the “texture” setting to the max at 100.
Bonus to people who do a series of knobs that aren’t door knobs. Like the knobs on a cabinet. The knobs on your oven. I have those photos too, but I kept this series focused on just doorknobs.
Mega-bonus to people who name each of their door knobs. I’m thinking about doing that with superheroes. That will be another blog post. Man, I’d love to get a doorknob cozy for each of my doorknobs, knitted in the style of a particular superhero. For instance, the doorknob to the basement would be Batman.
I have doorknob envy!
What is the front door (inward facing) doorknob made of?
Good question, Tom! I believe it might be made of ceramic?
Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing this!
Thank you! A lot of my ideas are inspired by the notions set in Keri Smith’s book “How to be an explorer of the world.”