A Photography “Playdate”

This week I had the chance to get out and have a “playdate” with my camera. One of the photography books I’m reading suggested this idea. It was really fun! I took off for a few hours with my camera with no real plan of where I would go. I was surprised by more than one thing I found to photograph.

I started in my own garden in our backyard. There was a horrible yellow spider that I had seen there the day before. Once I got the picture onto my computer we noticed the spider seems to be missing 2 of its legs. I mostly wanted this picture to document what kind of spider was out there and to find out it if was as deadly as I was imagining it to be. My mom assures me it’s just a normal garden spider. Yuck!

Next I went to a field just down the road from my house where I had noticed some pretty purple flowers. The guy who lives across from the field told me these are just weeds, but I think they’re pretty anyway. For a few of the shots I tried a technique I read about where you pan the camera from one side to the other or up and down during a long exposure. It gave the field a nice impressionist look.

My next stop was at a local park I had never been to. It turned up nothing but a dead fox I found in a field by the parking lot. I am one of those people who likes to look at dead animals I find on the ground. My husband has seen several live foxes hopping through fields near our house but I’ve never seen one so I went in for a closer look. It was weird to see it with its eyes open. I kept wondering if it was just pretending and would get up and run toward me at any moment. (It didn’t.)

Dead fox

After that, I went to a different park where I found some cool looking fungus on a stump, a painted park bench and teasel. I used the park bench to try out that technique where you move the camera again. I think this is called light painting. I never know quite what I’ll get when I do it.

I drove around some country roads and found a field of what I think is goldenrod. I know it’s a weed, too, but it gives off such a vibrant yellow. I am definitely drawn to color  and the way these seem to glow from the inside is so pretty. For those, I just sat in my car and took the pictures out the car window since there were very few cars on the road.

I made a short stop back at my current favorite church to shoot – The Church with the Red Door, as I like to call it. It has an actual name but the red door against the white church is so striking that I prefer to call it that.

And I finished up by visiting another VERY DIFFERENT church that meets in what I think is an old factory building. Inside they have remnants of machinery and railroad cars? lining the walls of their lobby. When I shot the railroad cars, I was testing out some of the special features on my camera, so some of those were not shot in Manual mode.

Overall, this was an extremely fun way to spend the day. I had no idea what I would find and ended up finding beautiful and interesting things very close to my house. Ideally, I will keep doing this kind of “playdate” to challenge myself to always keep my eyes open for nice compositions even in things I pass by on a regular basis.




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