Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

This photo has different textures in it and the shovel's blue handle contrasts with the weathered wooden siding. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
This photo has different textures in it and the shovel's blue handle contrasts with the weathered wooden siding. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Photo Tip

Photographer's tip: How to shoot great photos in your backyard Add to ...

Here is the tip for this week's Photo Desk assignment.

While everyone loves to travel to different places to take photographs, it's not practical for many and it can actually be more challenging working close to home. No worries about what gear to bring or how much, no passports or visas to deal with, just open your back door and the possibilities are endless.

To be fair, trying to photograph things you see day in and day out can be a difficult proposition at the best of times, but if you can make the most of the mundane, you'll improve your skills as a photographer and your ability with a camera, getting you further up the learning curve.

Context, shapes and patterns are things you should look for in everything you photograph. I've had moments where I've been sitting in a chair on the deck and just scanning the yard as one does in the summer (or winter) and every now and then, something just appears to be different. It's this revelation you want to bottle up and capture in your camera.

You'll be called upon to use many tips you've learned from the Photo Desk. Wide and low angles, details, shapes, etc. will all help you create rewarding photographs. One important detail to keep an eye on is the quality of the light. The best light will almost always be in the morning or evening, shadows will be long and the colour of light will be warm and golden. Noon or daytime, with the sun directly overhead, is not the best lighting for most subjects.

While having a variety of lenses at your disposal never hurts, working a single lens can be even more challenging as it forces you to keep moving while framing and composing.

Again, it can be a difficult project to tackle but it's something that's been done very well by some important photographers. Josef Sudek, while not a household name, crated a series of works photographed around his workshop in Prague, Czech Republic. (These include The Window of MyStudio, A Walk Through My Garden, The Garden of My Studio, and Still Life on My Studio Window.) Magnum photographer Larry Towell is another photographer who produced work close to home in the book, The World From My Front Porch.

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular