Sunday, 13 November 2011

26 Week Photo Challenge 1 - Backyard

I found this theme really difficult and, although I've managed to end up with three reasonable photographs, they are definitely not my best - I wouldn't bother to print any of them.

Why was it so difficult? Well the back garden was overrun with brambles and has been sprayed to kill it off so definitely not a photographer's paradise - full of dead brambles and cleared patches of soil, all very 'brown' looking! The front garden is not much better, just the concrete drive, some gravel and a wheelchair lift for my partner.

With no real chance of taking any 'beautiful' photos I've tried to work on technique aiming at improving depth of field and focus. I haven't been entirely successful, so any tips to point me in the right direction will be very much appreciated.

All photos are straight out of the camera, taken on a Nikon D3100 using the 18-55mm zoom lens. I forgot to take note of the actual set up for each photo, sorry.

1 - the first photo

This is the first one I took and is a 'slightly out of focus' shot of the only green thing in sight - no idea what it is, probably a weed, found growing in an opened bag of sand. I'm pleased with the out of focus background but am struggling with my new camera to get the subject matter completely in focus.

2 - the best/favourite photo

Despite the fact that this is a 'nothing' sort of photo with boring subject matter and I wouldn't have it on the wall, it is my favourite one. It's one of the handrails on the wheelchair lift (thought I'd tell you that so you didn't waste too much time trying to figure out what it is!). I'm pleased with the depth of field and for once the focus, although still not spot on, is on the correct place.

3 - the final photo

This is some peeling wood on the back of the shed. I think it could have done with some more contrast by use of light/shadow.

Not a good start to the challenge and I promise to do better next time (but I have my fingers crossed as I don't know what Karen has planned!). Well done to everyone who took part and I'll be visiting later to comment. Thanks to Karen for organising the challenge.

Linking with Karen @ Me, My Camera, Eye


  1. Don't be so hard on yourself,I think you have made a great start to the challenge, because you had to really look for something and you found it.
    First photo, I like this, such a fresh green, it really stands out. I may have changed position if possible to obtain a less distracting background. I like the angle you have used, looking down on it, different.

    Second photo when I saw this my first impression was "nice - I like this" and still do, like the droplets on the bottom edge, nice exposure. I do find the background distracting again, but it is not always possible to get good backgrounds. Droplets on the left nice and sharp and nice dof, interesting subject.

    Third photo another well spotted and interesting image. Maybe a slight crop to take out the bit on the top left corner and a drop in exposure comp to darken slightly. I would like to see this in black and white to see the texture more. Well observed and I like the angle you have used to show the paint peeling.

    My fav - to be honest torn between the second and third.

    Well done and thank you so much for taking part.

  2. Hi Eileen - I think you have some really interesting shots. Love the fresh green of shot 1. I really liked the drops of water on the hand rail. I know what Karen means about the distracting background but I am not sure quite how you would have solved this one :0)
    I really like 3 - do like to see shots of interesting textures. Would be interesting to see what happens if it is converted to B/W. I am going to try that with the one I took to see if I can improve it.
    Good luck with next month x

  3. Hi Eileen, thank you for your comments on my photos turn now :)

    you've done a great job, your first photo is lovely and fresh....i like it!!

    the handrail is an interesting subject and capturing the light in the droplets is great...i'm with the others on the background...

    your third photo is my fave, love the textures and colour. I'd be interested to see how it looks in b&w too.

    You've done a great job.

  4. hello eileen,
    this is the bit I'm not very good at, I like to look at other people's phots, but find constructive critism quite hard. anyhow, here goes.
    Shot 1. I dont know if you have Photoshop, or any other editing programme, but if you have its well worth reading up about the clone tool, which enables you to improve the background on shots like this (I've done it on one of mine!), it takes a while to get used to using it, but once you've got the hang its quite easy. It means you can more or less make the background all one tone. Otherwise I like this shot.
    Shot 2.I like this shot too, , but had it been me, I would have got right in close and concentrated more on a fewer number of the drops, set on macro the background would have almost disappeared with a closer shot. But well found anyway.
    Shot 3.Like this one very much, well found.

  5. Hi there

    Like karen said you are being too hard on yourself. First pic the green is lovely and it always blows me away how nature survives in the most strange places like your sand bag. I guess you could had better DOF but for a first pic its good.
    Second pic I love the droplets and the picture has great DOF. I think I may have cropped of some of the bottom bit so as to make it long and narrow.
    Third Pic I loved texture pics so a hit with me. Like Karen I would have liked to see this in B@W.
    Look forward to seeing your next lot.

  6. Hi Eileen and well done on your photos
    they are great.

    Hope all is well with you and that you
    are getting better weather than us here in Ireland,
    wet, windy and awful.

    Almost the weekend, yippee!!

    x Fiona