Those of you who have followed me for a while, may know or remember that I have this little backyard project of mine. Every so often I go out and spend some time in the yard and try to capture pictures I would not normally do. It’s my little playground where I can have fun and experiment as much as I want to.
My backyard project is a very unpretentious project. That is the whole point. No requirements and thus no performance anxiety related to whatever I do in the backyard. On the contrary, I let myself loose, I try out new approaches or techniques and I don’t care if it all turns out bad or boring. I go out in the yard and shoot deliberately with settings that would normally be regarded as mistakes, I break every rule the book, I shoot contrary to standard beliefs, all in order to have a place where nobody can tell me what to do, where nobody is hanging over my shoulder—not even myself.
Part of it is just to have fun without any pressure; part of it is a way to expand my visual language and my photographic voice. And I really enjoy every time I go out there. I don’t always get photos that is really worth the time spend shooting in the backyard, but I don’t care. It’s just lovely to not have any goals or requirements once every so often. Those approaches I try out in my backyard, I won’t dare to do on an assignment or at an important shooting. But back there it doesn’t matter. What more is, sometimes the trials come up with results that amaze me because they are so different from anything I could consciously have conceived or produced. Moreover, some of these «techniques» actually end up being part of my regular repertoire.
This time, for the pictures you see here, I deliberately went out and over-exposed the images with two stops. In addition, I selected a shutter speed of around one second. Sometimes I tried to hold the camera still, sometimes I intentionally moved it during the exposure. Long time ago I actually did this as a mistake during an assignment and I was taken by some of these images, that I hadn’t intended to make. They turned out quite interesting (of course it was nevertheless a catastrophe for the assignment). Now, in the backyard, was the time to try it out a little more purposefully. Since there is no way to actually have control of the final expression when I was shooting, I wanted to see how many photos I needed to take before one came out that could be worth saving.
The result is interesting. I am actually quite please with a few images. You may think they are boring daubs, and that’s quite OK. I think I like them for the resemblance with the expression of some of the impressionists from around the previous turn of the century.
For other posts with pictures from my backyard project, you may look up this entries: My Photographic Retreat, My Backyard Project, My Personal Challenge, The World from the Backyard, Instagram my Backyard, Out of Comfort Zone and Challenge and Expand.