It’s that time of year again! The chilly days will start to be outnumbered by the warm spring air. Families who have been huddled inside for months avoiding the winter weather are ready for evenings to be filled with long walks in nothing more than a light jacket. Spring is getting ready to be sprung and I can’t wait! And neither can my camera!
It’s easy to peruse Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and be in awe of the beautiful photographs we see (especially in April when all the Texans start posting their bluebonnet pictures!) It is also easy to be envious of the gorgeous locations others seem to have when all we have are ugly woods, public parks, and streets strewn with litter.
One thing I have learned over the past few years is that “beautiful locations” for photos depend very little on the location itself and much more on these three things:
1) Being able to see beauty where others cannot. It’s the potential for beauty we need to be able to recognize.
2) Knowing how to work our camera and lens(es) in order to maximize a situation/location
3) Editing that starts before the shutter is even clicked. Having a vision for the final image will help you know how and where to shoot as well as how to edit.
It is my belief that you can take gorgeous photographs almost anywhere!
A few weeks ago, we had an unseasonably warm evening. It was bliss! Our whole family took advantage of the rare evening and we grabbed scooters and ripsticks and bikes and meandered down our street. It felt so good to be outside with my family, enjoying our time together and being with my camera again.
We got to the end of our street and we were preparing the turn around. That part of the road hasn’t been built on and the lots tend to be overgrown and covered in trash. I could see the sun starting to set behind the trees and I knew it was the perfect place to snap a few pictures. Ugly as it first appeared, I saw something beautiful. I asked my seven-year-old to let me take a few pictures. She thought I was crazy, but she agreed. And I was right. Trash and overgrown weeds aside, it was beautiful!
(I’ve included the before and after so you can see the role that editing takes. My goal in editing is to make the final product match the vision I had before I clicked the shutter.)
I did this same thing in the summer of 2014. Someone I know and love had a real habit about complaining about where she lived and how ugly it was. I had always loved her home and street and so I took my camera out one morning to show her that beauty is everywhere, if only we open our eyes to see.
The first photo is the pullback shot, the “ugly” scene we dismiss as unworthy to photograph. The second (and sometimes third) photos are my shots in that exact location.