I’m always thinking about what far off destination I’d like to go and photograph … and totally forgetting about what’s on my own doorstep. Well, this summer I was hired to take some promotional shots of the Derby area in connection with a new housing development. I’m ashamed to say I had to Google Derby to see what was worth taking!
Now of course I’d either heard of or been to all the places I photographed, but some I hadn’t been to for years. I guess it’s human nature to believe the further away something is the better it must be; familiarity breeds contempt and all that. But if all I want to do is blow off the cobwebs and get some fresh air (and of course take some shots) then it was a good reminder that I don’t have to pack a weekend bag to do it.
Back to the pics. After some discussion, locations were chosen and off I went. Most of the shots were taken over a four or five day period and it was great to have the weather on my side. With plenty of blue skies and sunshine there was lots of people out and about, this helped add interest to some of the shots.
The style of shooting was quick and continuous, according to my phone I walked 9 miles on one of the days. No long waits for the sun to be just in the right position or for something feathered to show up. I checked where the sun was going to be of course, so I could plan what was a AM or PM shot, but with this kind of job you’re working to a budget so time is all important.
Walking around so many locations and shooting so many shots in one day is a great way to train your eye and work on your composition skills. When I first started taking photos I’d head off somewhere scenic and only shoot in the golden hour, which is obviously ideal for landscape photography. The trouble was the golden hour wasn’t always golden and I’d often come back with no shots and having only visited one location.
We all only want to press the shutter when we think we’ve got a winner, but every shot you take (good or bad) is another shot to becoming a better photographer. So don’t wait until you’re somewhere exotic to practice, head out in your local park or high street and do it now…