Tag Archives: Limit Yourself

Limit Yourself: Location

When I’m touring with my Photo A Day talk, the excuse many people give for not attempting the project is that they have the same old boring routine day in, day out. What can there possibly be to photograph?

Whilst I don’t commute to London regularly any more, I do have times when I’ve done stints of contracting. That has meant an awful lot of waiting around for trains at Ingatestone Station. I haven’t wasted my time – these are some my favourite pictures I’ve made there (mostly in the last 3 years):

Perforations & Raindrops
Perforations & Raindrops
The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room
Diffraction Distraction
Diffraction Distraction

And here’s some more:

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities if you just open your  eyes and see them…

Limit Yourself: Lighting

Another day with the props out, this time with the intention of experimenting with lighting.

You don’t need expensive lighting to achieve dramatic effects, particularly if you are doing small tabletop work. I was using just a single halogen desk lamp, angled to different positions for the following shots. It just shows what you can do with a bit of movement of the light source – and helps if you have an appealing shape formed by the shadows.

[Short shadow from left – the light is quite high up and close to the object]

[Short Shadow Angled – a similar setup with the chair at 45° to the light source]

[Longer Shadow from left – turning the chair again but moving the light further down produces a longer shadow]

[Low Light bottom left – this gave much more emphasis on the edge of the seat and the complete shadow is out of frame]

[Long shadow from right and left]

This time the light was much more oblique from the bottom right and left, throwing a long shadow onto the background.

In the end, I liked this pink and green version for Day #743.

Why not limit yourself to a single light and see how creative you can be with it?

Limit Yourself: Depth Of Field

I’ve been exploring another pair of colours today, orange and green, for my Dichromatic series. Like yesterday, I took some simple elements and once set up on the tabletop, played about with various compositions. This time, I was also experimenting with depth of field and how it affected the images.

[Crayons all sharp – and again, a rather conservative composition]

[On the Diagonal – a bit better, but not really saying much]

[Sharp at the Back – DoF is limited here]

I was beginning to get the feel of a shallower depth ofield. But focus is then really important. For me, I don’t really like things out of focus at the front of the frame, so I wasn’t happy with this one. Shifting the focus forward:

[Sharp at the Front – still limited DoF]

That was better, but I still wasn’t entirely convinced. Some more moving around the subject brought the one I was happy with for Day #742.

Why not try and limit the depth of field in your pictures and experiment to see how this affects them?

Limit Yourself: Picture Elements

In these Limit Yourself posts, I’m going to take one element of picture making and suggest you pare it down to the minimum and see what happens.

We are all given thousands of choices every day, and even with photography there are so many ways to take a particular scene or image that sometimes it’s hard to decide what is best.

For the first topic, I suggest limiting yourself to one or two picture elements and try to take as may different set-ups and compositions as you can. See how each changes the mood or feeling of the picture.

Initally, I started off with rather too many elements:

Too much clutterThere’s too much stuff, and the central composition was rather boring. So I cut it down.

Here’s what I did with just two pieces of paper and a couple of feathers:

Feathers To The Left[Feathers to the Left – they were different sizes, so I knew I wanted to accentuate the asymmetry]

Feathers to the right[Feathers to the Right – a different balance with them this way round]

Vertical and straight Vertical and diagonal Two vertical format versions, each with its own merit. I quite like the diagonal which is now creeping in – it give the shot a bit more dynamism.

Diagonal And Slanted[Diagonal and slanted backwards – this limits depth of field whilst still retaining the diagonal]

In the end, I decided to go with this composition for Day #741. It’s just my personal preference, but it was worth experimenting to see which I liked best.

Why not have a go at limiting yourself too?