Have you ever experienced this? You grab your camera and go take a stroll around your neighborhood or the local park; but, after about 45 minutes of walking around, you hang your head and walk back home without a single picture to show for your initially enthusiastic outing.

Then you go on 500px and lament the fact that you don’t live in Norway or have the money to travel to Paris or Glacier National Park. If you were there, you’d DEFINITELY find some good photos, right? The problem is the location, not the photographer…

Not so fast!

Of course it helps to be standing in front of beautiful things if you want to take beautiful pictures, but capturing a great shot and honing your skill as a photographer does NOT require it. In the video below, photo educator Mike Browne explains the secret to capturing great photos in mundane environments: disassociate yourself!

You’d never imagine that this otherwise bland looking street was the location where those sharp, geometric photos at the beginning of the video were captured.

This is why it’s important to disassociate yourself. View the world as if you always have a viewfinder in front of you—and the great news is that, the more you take pictures, the more this will happen naturally.

Iconic photographer Dorothea Lange famously said, “A camera teaches you to see without a camera”… which is good, because as Mike says in the video, “if you can’t see, your camera is effectively blind.”