Backyard Mini-Project

Ever wonder about projects or exercises where a photographer confines him/herself to a set space? Or how about using just one piece of equipment? Honestly, I’ve never had much interest in doing such a thing until recently. Shooting the trees (see previous blog entry) got me thinking about trying new things.

Two weekends ago, on a sunny Sunday at home, I challenged myself to such a project: shoot in the backyard with just one lens.

click to see more photos

Like the trees mini-project, I was pleasantly surprised by the effects of this exercise. The photos aren’t really the greatest, but I wanted to share them just to illustrate what I did.

A good photo-buddy of mine once said that he’d be hard-pressed to produce compelling images from the backyard, and I agreed with him. But I have to say that once I got into the spirit of this exercise, I began to see photos everywhere.

Using one focal length was an additional challenge. However, it made me realize that I could use that one lens to it’s full potential and that was a valuable learning experience. This particular lens (Canon 24mm f/1.4 Mark 2) has a very large maximum aperture and a small minimum focusing distance (it’s not real macro, but it can focus very close to things) as compared to the lenses I’m used to using.

4 thoughts on “Backyard Mini-Project

  1. Wow, I’m going to try this, you’re right you’ve created some interesting images. Of course it’s going to be hard to pry my wideangle lens out of my hand.

  2. Thanks, Mike. It’s hard NOT to use your different lenses :-) I know.

    But try it as an exercise – just limit yourself to one focal length, and you’ll find that that “limit” is not really a limit ;-)

  3. Oh so true. I truly find the “limitations” on equipment to be a freeing experience, one of the reasons I’m pretty much exclusively using 4 x 5 w/ 5 focal lengths. Of course I can’t do everything imaginable, but I can do a lot. And not be confused by a myriad of possibilities that could go anywhere or nowhere. K-I-S-S…

  4. “freeing experience”… I like that. Thanks, Kent. It is indeed freeing, once you convince yourself that you don’t need loads of gear. Keeping things simple really helps to free up your thought processes and reduce time fussing with gear so that more time can be spent photographing in the field :-)

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