Photo Ops are Right in Your Own Backyard

by | Oct 31, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“I feel a responsibility to my backyard. I want it to be taken care of and protected.”—Annie Leibovitz


A few years ago, I conducted a workshop called “Right in Your Own Backyard” at the FOTOfusion conference and it was based on the premise that you needn’t travel halfway around the world when great photo ops are closer to home.

It was illustrated  with images made on a three-mile walk I used to take each day and when I showed the audience the above image that was made, literally, in my backyard one of the attendees asked, “What was going though your mind when you made that picture.”

These days, I try to take take a similar walk each day although I must admit that it’s not as easy for me as in the past. When I lived north of Denver I was better at meeting that goal. On these walks, I always brought along a camera and walked past this farm. Back then one of my self assignments was photographing barns; you can read about by clicking that link.

Answering that question was was difficult for me because it addressed the thought processes going on while any image is being created. I stumbled through an answer but I never got the question out of my head. The truth is that when making any image I don’t always have any specific goal in mind, other than “I’d like to make a nice photo,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

How I made this shot: This image was shot with a Canon EOS 50D with EF 28–90mm f/4-5.6 lens and an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/11 and ISO 200. It was shot in color and converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro. Another reason I tried capturing these images back then was that the local landscape was rapidly changing and that building, fence and entire area is now gone, replaced with a housing development.


Along with photographer Barry Staver, I’m co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s available from Amazon for $21.50 prices with used copies selling at the giveaway price of nine bucks, as I write this.