Stories & Inspiration

Universal Photoshoot Locations?

2019-09-12 16:32 #0 by: Leia

Hello!

I have just picked up this super cheap tripod from the Amazon Basics Range.  All being well it will be delivered this evening or tomorrow!

I was trying to think of some interesting places which were easily accessible yet looked visually interesting! Unfortunately, I live in a small town in South Yorkshire and honestly, there's not much here! You don't realise how lucky you are if you have a major city like London or Stockholm at your doorsteps!

If you're in a similar predicament to me, I thought these ideas could be found in most places! They say it's a skill to be able to find the beauty in a place.

My ideas:

  • Farmers Field
  • Independent Coffee Shop
  • Wooden Park Bench
  •  Stately Homes and gardens - Cusworth Hall and Brodsworth Hall are nearby to me and open to the public. 
  • Lake/Pond (A picnic set up in front of the water)

Moreover, all these places could be made even more beautiful if you can shoot at sunrise or sunset! Do you have any ideas that we could add to the list?

Photo by Michael Easterling on Unsplash

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2019-09-13 10:37 #1 by: Niklas

Congratulations on getting a stand for your phone! It can open a world of new photo opportunities.

Any place can be exciting. The same spot will look like another place different times of the day or in different seasons.

With the sun in your back everything will be evenly lit, and colors look good.

When the sun comes from one side everything has shadows that make the contrasts stand out. Try to set the exposure for the darkest or lightest parts (just tap different places on the phone display) and you will get biased photos that accentuate one part of the scene and completely hides another.

When you have the sun in your eyes, you can set the exposure for something in the forefront and have it washed in backlight, or you can set the exposure for the sun, and everything in the forefront will be black shadows. Get close to the things near you, and their silhouettes will rise to the sky. Experiment with having the sun shine straight into the camera or hiding it behind an object.

With the tripod, you can play with long exposures too. It doesn’t take a lot of cars moving in the night to get exciting light trails. Or mount the tripod on a moving vehicle and make sure that parts of the vehicle are visible to the camera. When the vehicle moves while you take a 1/3 or 1/2 second exposure, it will look like you are moving at hyper speed, even if you are on a bike.

Another trick to get interesting photos, is to use unexpected perspectives or get in very close. At 10 centimeters you get a chance to capture textures that you would otherwise miss. Combine it with sidelight and the shadows will make the surfaces pop. String the tripod to a tall stick or pole, and you can shoot a poor man's drone photos. Cars, crowds, buildings, trees, selfies, parties, street life, birds nests...

Shoot portraits with the phone mounted on the tripod. We often miss what’s most important to us because it’s always around. Until it isn’t. Try to capture family and friends the way you see them in your mind. While they might not like you taking their photo when you do it, they most likely will in ten years when they realize how young and good-looking you made them. Start with those closest to you and older people.

On a tripod, you can start your digitization project. Make digital copies of all your paper photos. Go through the family albums too. Make sure they are there for generations to come. It likely eliminates the risk of quarrel over who gets them when it’s time for someone to inherit the albums. Having the digital copies instead of the burden of the physical ones, is at least as good.

Examine your photos after a day of shooting. Imagine what could be different and better if the light came from a different angle, if you moved the camera to one side, if you changed the perspective, tilted the camera or exposed for the light sky or dark shadows. I often go back and retake photos that I wasn't completely satisfied with.

Mind you, not all photos are supposed to or have to, look perfect. When you are on vacation, the idea is to have a good time and relax, not get the ideal photos and miss the moment. You will remember the moment even if it's over-exposed or a bit blurry. I can't remember a single photo that I regret taking. I more often regret not taking more photos of people or places that are no longer around.

I want to recommend my two favorite photo apps (for iPhone, since that’s what I use). For almost all photography I use the Moment app. It has all the features I need, including the option to shoot RAW. For digitizing paper photos, Photo Scanner Pro is my all-time friend. Point and shoot. The app will detect the photo, crop it and adjust the perspective. Make sure you have sufficient light and the camera on the tripod to get low ISO with a minimum of grain. It’s best if you can have old curved photos laying flat.

» ‎Moment - Pro Camera on the App Store

» ‎Photo Scanner Pro: Scan Albums on the App Store

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2019-09-13 16:58 #2 by: jordan

Empty or nearly empty streets can look good if you can make it seem like the street is never ending! Quite a lot of your current spots could be considered rural, but even in towns there are good opportunities to take pictures alongside historic buildings (I guess similar to your stately home and garden suggestion) and alleyways! 

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2019-09-14 12:35 #3 by: Niklas

#2: Streets with people in them can be made to look empty using a tripod and long exposures. If you use a ten-second exposure, only humans standing still during that time will be visible.

Another option is to put the camera on the tripod, aim it at the street, take a photo, wait a minute, take another picture. Then you put the two shots on top of each other in different layers in a photo editing app and erase people in the top layer letting the background captured in the bottom layer be visible instead. You may need to use more than two exposures to make it perfect. Remember that shadows moves, so don't wait too long between the shots.

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2019-09-16 10:32 #4 by: Leia

#1 that’s a lot of information but all really useful! Thankyou! I will definitely download the moment app for next time!

#3 Is there a phone app you’d recommend for overlapping pictures or does that have to be done on a computer?

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2019-09-16 10:34 #5 by: Leia

These are the shots I got on my first play around, we didn’t have too long and the sky was very cloudy which was quite dark and gloomy. I don’t love these pictures but i think it’s a good start!

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2019-09-16 12:14 #6 by: Niklas

#4: Do you mean stitching photos that overlap each other into one wider or taller?

#5: Nice color landscape.

You can try syncing the two of you next time. In the first photo you could have both looked at each other or into the camera instead of you at him and he at the camera. In the second photo, it seems like your boyfriend is looking at the sky in the distance while you look at the ground 10 meters ahead of you, as if you are trying to not fall off. 🙂 Try having you both looking at the distant sky. And, if it doesn’t feel to scary, straighten your back.

In the third shot, you could lower the tripod almost to the ground to make the two of you stand up above the forest line and thereby avoid your upper bodies melting into the dark background. I would put the hair in front of your left shoulder behind it instead, to make the ear and chin visible. That would make your head stand out against the almost black trees.

And a general photo tip: Get closer with the camera. Almost to where it feels uncomfortable. 😀 It is nice to be able to see the texture of clothes, skin and hair.

I can imagine the sky was more dramatic than what’s visible in the photos. See if you can set the exposure for the sky and still get nice head shots. Have you activated HDR (High Dynamic Range) in your camera settings (Settings > Camera > Auto HDR and also the Keep Normal Photo option below it, if you use the iPhone stock camera app)? That will typically give you two shots when you take pictures in settings with big contrasts. One that is what you usually get and one where, for instance, the sky has more detail.

I hope you don’t mind me suggesting alternative ways of doing the shots. I don’t mean to offend you. They are just alternative ways of doing things to give you some ideas. Let me know and i’ll stop.

Where did you go to take the photos?

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2019-09-16 12:24 #7 by: Niklas

With the exciting surroundings I think landscape oriented photos could work well. Less white/grey sky and more of the colorful nature.

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2019-09-17 09:24 #8 by: Leia

I don’t mind at all! I’m all for constructive criticism, it’s the only way I’m going to learn and it’s great to get a different perspective on things!

I definitely agree that we should be closer to camera, I think it will just take a while getting over being camera shy at first😅

These were taken in Clumber Park (UK) which is protected by the national trust! We found this field by taking a diversion from the main walking paths!

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2019-09-17 11:53 #9 by: Niklas

I found the place in Apple Maps. It looks like there has been a castle on the north shore of the Clumber Lake, but only the ground and garden seems to remain.

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