Exercise: Thinking about location

Find six very different settings or backgrounds attractive for whole body or torso portraits. Need to consider the lens focal length, camera position and lighting.

Return to one of these locations with a subject and photograph them.

I’ve tried to choose a diverse selection of locations for this and had a lot of ideas of locations and even found some more when I went out to


Metal bench- Used 24-60mm at 55mm focal length

I chose this as I liked the colour contrast of red and green and the recurring pattern of the fence, it would be a good option for a seated portrait with the subject looking at the camera or away. This wouldn’t need any additional lighting and this images was taken on a cloudy dull day.


Brick wall in street- Used 24-60mm at 26mm focal length

I tried this with originally just the brick wall filling the frame but then it didn’t quite grab me and definitely needed a model to stand in front of it, I changed the composition to the get the corner and the lamppost and I think it works better as it gives more context about where it is, the eye has plenty to look at and I can envisage a model stood closer to the corner. I like the different colour brickwork and the subtle pattern of the brick that will enhance an image but not detract from it by being too patterned.


Field- Used 100-400mm at 100mm focal length

This was taken in the middle of a bright autumn day. I liked this as it’s a direct contract to some of

the other images. The background has different textures in it and falls nicely into defined thirds of

sky, embankment and grass. I’d use this for a standing portrait and it could be used for one subject

or a group.


Playground climbing wall- Used 24-60mm at 39mm focal length

I was drawn to the different shapes and textures first as part of this composition and then colour, as soon as a saw it I could imagine someone leaning on it. This was taken in the late afternoon so I didn’t need any other lighting but you would need something if using this as location in the evening.


Alleyway- Used 24-60mm at 24mm focal length

I found this alleyway by chance, the gate has been left open and I liked the leading lines down into the image. I converted this to black and white as the light was quite dull and the tones were all quite brown and grey which I knew would have more punch if it was converted. I also wanted the contrast with the rest of my location images which were colour. I didn’t use any lighting for this but I could imagine using a spotlight to shine down the middle in lower light.


Garden chairs- Used 24-60mm at 24mm focal length

This was a location I’d had in mind for some time, we’d recently changed the patio area and moved it onto this side and it looks more photogenic than the previous location. I liked the relaxed feel that the chairs and table have and I can imagine that this would make a really good location for a seated portrait but with some interest on the table as well. To improve the image I’d crop it slightly at the top to remove the washing line.


For the location to return back to with a model, I decided to go back to the alleyway as I liked the leading lines and the fact that its not really photographed by anyone else in the neighbourhood. In keeping with the original image I’ve converted this to monochrome.

location bw


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