My stepdaughter is brilliant for many reasons, but today she was brilliant for suggesting that I shoot some pullback shots of the locations where I took G-Man's portraits yesterday so you can see what our yard looks like when you look out the window. (Though, it is raining today, so the light isn't the same.) So, if you're curious, these two shots...
...were taken here:
For the first shot, G-Man was sitting on the ground next to the wooden post and I was standing in the flower bed shooting down. For the second shot, he was leaning on the post, and I moved to to the right a bit so I could keep the brown door out of the frame. I didn't even bother moving the empty propane tank and the ant spray because I knew they wouldn't be in the shot. (I should really move those at some point though...) Though the photos were taken in the exact same spot, the background is completely different because I changed my vantage point.
...was taken here:
To get this, I crouched down so that the distracting things on the sides were out of the frame, and then had G-Man play a game where he was hopping from stone to stone. The first time he did it, I couldn't get him to look up at me. I got a shot that I sort of liked... ...but it wasn't exactly what I was going for.
I had him start at the end of the stone path again, and this time told him to count the stones as he hopped. When he got to stone #6, he was supposed to look up and give me his best "surprised" face. And then I got the shot I was looking for. (And in a fabulous stroke of photographic luck, his arm is hiding the dead palm tree in the corner of our yard. Poor little tree...)
My most productive location was near the pool.
From spot #1 above, I got these shots:
I also could have had him stand up in this spot and probably could have gotten a different look, or I could have moved around in front of him and shot from above like I did by the propane tank and ant spray, but this was our last location in the backyard and he was DONE with photos.
Spot #2 - standing above G-Man and looking down:
Spot #2 - laying on my stomach in front of G-Man:
I don't love the photo I got for spot #3, but for the sake of this exercise, I thought I'd include it. I stood in the far corner of the yard and had G-Man lean against the fence with his back to the house so he was backlit. But because of the angle of the sun, his left ear went red - which I don't love. But the composition is fine and it gives a different look from a location 10 steps away.
So, there you have it. My backyard in all its glory. *grin* But the purpose here is to illustrate what is possible. If you're wondering about your own yard or house, just pick a spot and practice shooting. I've not always been able to visualize what a shot will look like when I first spot a location. But, with a lot of practice and a lot of looking for inspiration in magazines and catalogs and on blogs, I feel like my eye is slowly getting to the point where I can see possibilities in a location that on first glance may look uninteresting.
Questions? Other shot ideas for my backyard or yours? Let me know in the comments below.