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Editing this photo for Instagram made me realize I wanted to write about how it is completely possible to take a beautiful photo anywhere.
The lovely golden hour light, bokeh from the sparkling sand, wind in my hair – isn’t it lovely? It was also taken in a parking lot. Or, really, directly next to one. Some of the grey areas behind my hair and head are actually a car that’s out of focus. The rock I’m leaning on is the barrier between the parking lot and beach area. In this crop from a different, but similar, shot, you can more clearly see the parking lot directly behind me:
The key is shifting your perspective to capture what you want while omitting what you don’t want. I had to sit in a kind of funky position, which is why I seem a little like I’m slouching. We had to play with the angles and perspectives, as well as open up the lens to f/1.8 in order to blur the background. Although you frequently can’t completely blur everything out with a wide open lens, you’ll be amazed by what you can use as a background when you do shoot wide open! Unattractive chain link fences or wires suddenly vanish, and sometimes you end up with beautiful bokeh from the least attractive elements in the original scene. You’d never guess there was a chain link fence in the background of this photo!
I know folks sometimes get nervous about shooting “wide open,” or even close to it. It can definitely be challenging, but I’ve found that it works out most of the time as long as you really nail your focus on your subject’s closer eye. With most of my self portraits, I used f/2.8 or f/3.2 and don’t even stress about having the focus totally perfect because I’m okay with a bit of a softer, painterly feel (though I will definitely re-shoot if I’m blatantly out of focus!).
I used to wonder how people found such amazing locations for all their photos, but then I realized that it is completely possible to take a beautiful photo virtually anywhere if you’re willing to play with your aperture and perspective. I hope you give it a try!
Also, today I’m sharing a new freebie bokeh pack for April! The lovely bokeh on the ground in the top image made me realize I hadn’t shared any new bokeh in almost a month, so make sure to stop by my Selz store to pick up the latest freebies!
When you make a download from the texture store or sign up for my once a week email using the box on a photography post, you’ll receive the download link for the lovely Spring Romance texture sample pack. It isn’t available for download anywhere else!
I hope you enjoy these photography resource freebies and try experimenting with angles and aperture to capture lovely photos in not so lovely locations!
Do you have additional tips for ways to take lovely photos in locations that don’t initially seem photogenic?
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.