This month’s Better Pictures Project homework is to find a spot less than 5 minutes from home – basically, a tried’n’true photo location where you know you can get decent shots quickly. Maybe it’s a neighbour’s fence, a hedge, a school or church, or a local park. Or frankly, maybe it’s your patio, your garden, your driveway, or your front hall! It doesn’t have to be fancy.
The great thing about a TNT photo location is that being somewhere familiar is more relaxing – taking pictures can be stressful enough! It also makes it easier to predict how the pictures will turn out, and you’ll get to know the time of day that works best in that spot. It’s easier to and faster to shoot, because you’ll develop a rhythm of where to set the camera, where to stand, and some basic poses that work with the space around you (lean on the wall, sit on a bench, twirl in the field, whatever feels right.) Most of all, a TNT spot means you don’t waste time wandering around wondering where to shoot!
Here are a few of my TNT locations, ranging from inside my ugly, dim apartment to out in public parks!
The Indoor Option:
We live in a 1970’s apartment building, with every room crammed with boxes, piles of books, teaching stuff, CDs, comics, and so on. There is truly only one piece of wall that I can clear away and use as an indoor photo space over winter. I also use it for MMM, so that I can quickly take a picture at 7am before leaving for work. The radiator, electrical socket, and curled up linoleum aren’t the most photogenic, so I often hang fabric behind me. To change things up, sometimes I’ll use a chair or stool to sit on, or turn the camera 180 degrees to look down the hallway.
The photos I take here will never be amazing – but when I’d rather have pictures to post than not blog at all, this is my spot! I think we all need a spot like this – the one that gets the job done so we can get on with talking about the sewing we love. I can guarantee you’ll see this location again once winter comes!
Katie from What Katie Sews takes bee-you-tiful pictures inside – and she’s going to be my muse in January to give us all some tips!
One step up from the wall inside is my balcony. It faces a major road and is only 2m from where my neighbors in the next building are constantly smoking on their balcony, but I use it a lot anyway! Because it has a roof (aka. the floor upstairs) it actually has quite nice gentle light. I either shoot towards the brick wall, or put the camera inside the apartment and shoot through the doorway while I stand near the railing.
For a small space, I sometimes manage some quite nice photos here. As you can see, I use it all year round. (I don’t like to take the tripod out of the building when it’s snowy and icy, because one fall would mean the end of my camera, but on the balcony it feels quite safe.) The space is a bit small for my 50mm lens, so if I want a full-length shot, I have to switch to a different lens.
Meg from Cookin’ and Craftin’ always takes pics on her balcony, and they look great!
My Favourite Park:
I found this park downtown at the start of the summer, and I’ve used it again and again! It’s pretty quiet and offers a lot of variety in a really small space! All the pictures above were taken within 50m of each other. There’s a church, a bridge, a garden, a theatre, the river, and even a stone wall folly and a train track to explore. I like how this one location can give different vibes to pictures – urban or pastoral, architectural or natural. Because it’s in a valley, it gets shade relatively early in the evening so the light isn’t too harsh.
This is my favourite place to take pictures – they almost always turn out, and there are enough options that I can find somewhere else to shoot if it turns out the place I wanted has people already there!
My Newest Location
Once I’d decided that September’s “homework” would be finding a new TNT location near home, I started looking at my area with whole new eyes. On my commute to work, I’d always seen joggers crossing a road then disappearing down into a forested valley – now I decided that public green space might be a good place for pictures. I looked it up online, and voila! Turns out there is a really big public park hiding right in the middle of my city. There are manicured gardens, gazebos, water features, the river, paths, forest, fields and even a bandstand which could all work for photos.
(I’ll admit I cheated and got a headstart on this one – all these pics were taken in August, with the Better Pictures Project in mind. September is a really stressful month for me so I wanted to make sure I had this homework taken care of!)
The drawback with this location is that it’s BUSY. Lots of kids playing, families having BBQs, and retired people walking around. It’s definitely more stressful to take pictures in than the first park I mentioned above! It will take me more time to figure out the right time or day and days of the week for this place to be perfect, but I like knowing I’ve got another option in my repertoire.
Where are your TNT photo locations? Have you found a new one this month?
This week Lauren from Lady Sewalot tried taking pics out and about with the help of her brother, and Making The Flame decided to reshoot some of her previous makes. My favourite thing about seeing people blog about the Better Pictures Project is how the make it fit their lives. We’re all just aiming for the best pics we can take, within our comfort level, with the time available. Perfection is not the goal! 🙂