Part I: Scouting for the Backyard Reverse Photo Challenge (Plus Sneak Peek)

Hi all! I’ve put together a couple of videos for my Backyard Photo Challenge. This was the one where the ON1 Plus Community challenged Hudson and I to go out in our own backyards and look at it in a different way. Watch me scout for a good photo in my backyard!

Well, as you’ll soon find out in the video, the challenge was… well… interesting. My backyard is kinda lame and REALLY small. So the only way to really look at it differently is with a macro lens and that sounded kinda… not fun. So I extended it a bit and did a quick walk around an area near my house that had a few more opportunities. Part II: Editing the Reverse Backyard Challenge Shoot

It’s actually an area that I’ve never walked with my camera before so trust me… you’ll still get plenty of real-world scenes from this one that aren’t planned or rehearsed in any way.

20 comments on “Part I: Scouting for the Backyard Reverse Photo Challenge (Plus Sneak Peek)”

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm Matt K replied:

      Me too. It was going so bad all I could do was laugh :-)

  1. On February 28, 2017 at 8:36 am Candice Morgan wrote:

    Matt, I totally sympathise with the bird photography thing. I was amused and entertained by the video. I’m a tripod and like to take my time kind of photographer. The trouble with wildlife is that it doesn’t wait for you and I’m pretty darn sure that the minute they eyeball that super bright lens they decide to have their own fun by giving you, the photographer, a good run for your money. :-)

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm Matt K replied:

      Yeah, I’ve realized that I like to move a little slower in my shooting. I like to enjoy, look around, think about my photos… All things that do not work well for wildlife. But who knows… maybe we’ll make a bird photographer out of me yet :-)

  2. On February 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm John Blackwood wrote:

    Birds are creatures of habit. If you bring a stool or small chair and sit still you will see where they like to go. They will fly away and come back to the same spot eventually. Each species has their own favorite patterns. It is easier when you find the spot they like, sit quietly and let them come to you. Knowing all of this allows you to use a tripod and settings that twill give you a sharp shot.

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm Matt K replied:

      That may be why I’ve never shot birds before. Sitting in one place isn’t a good quality of mine :-)
      Thanks John! I’ll definitely get out there and play around some more as time goes on. Believe it or not, I actually did enjoy it. I got a lot of nice bird photos on my trip to Costa Rica last November and actually enjoyed doing it (at times) :-)

      1. On March 1, 2017 at 6:53 am Mike Watson replied:

        You could always set up a backyard feeder and photograph out your window or from your deck. A few long sticks and branches set in the ground around the feeder give birds a place to wait their turn for feeding. This is an easy setup that gives you time to preset your focus, get a great bokeh, and crop in-camera on a tripod. I shoot shutter priority or manual at 1/500th or faster for perching birds or woodpeckers. (By the way, I thought at least one of your ibis shots had postprocessing potential.) Fun video Matt, thanks.

  3. On February 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm Anastasios Konstantinidis wrote:

    A golf yard in your backyard! How cool is that! Although i would not really want to geat acquainted with the neighborhood alligator ;-) Matt, that was fun but also a good learning experience. Especially the part: If you are going to shoot in your backyard, get out when the best light is on.

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm Matt K replied:

      Yeah, it’s definitely nice to have the golf course nearby. I actually don’t live on one of the holes, but it’s right across the street. Sadly, I don’t get out to play near as much as I’d like. I thought going to work for myself would give me the time to do whatever I wanted… boy was I wrong :-)
      Glad it helped! And yes… ALWAYS try to get out in the best light. Good Light alone can take a “meh” photo and make it so much better.

  4. On February 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm Patricia Luijpen wrote:

    Great video that so many can identify with. Loved your lightheartedness while you chased down a shot. Really enjoyed the videos and the good advice you mentioned of stacking the deck by shooting at the right time of day, and when your pictures don’t work out well enough to print, don’t spend excess time processing! Thanks for the smiles!

  5. On February 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm Sandy W wrote:

    That was fun watching you in real human mode. I actually learned something too. :-)

  6. On February 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm Dick Whittington wrote:

    Hey Matt,
    Nice to know that professionals live with the same frustrations as this amature. Always heard that there isn’t any magic secret, but this proves it. Only thing is that you’re stretching the rules and daring the judges not to disqualify your entry. As a contrarian, I love it.
    dick

  7. On February 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm Dick Whittington wrote:

    Hey Matt,
    Nice to know that professionals live with the same frustrations as this amature. Always heard that there isn’t any magic secret, but this proves it. Only thing is that you’re stretching the rules and daring the judges not to disqualify your entry. As a contrarian, I love it.
    dick

  8. On February 28, 2017 at 3:12 pm Dick Whittington wrote:

    Hey Matt,
    Nice to know that professionals live with the same frustrations as this amateur. Always heard that there isn’t any magic secret, but this proves it. Only thing is that you’re stretching the rules and daring the judges not to disqualify your entry. As a contrarian, I love it.
    dick

  9. On February 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm Don L wrote:

    You did not mention… was there any post-processing of the photos you presented? Enjoyed the video. Wildlife = patience.

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm Matt K replied:

      Hi Don. There’s a video in the post above this one that does just that. Thx.

  10. On February 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm Yves Leblanc wrote:

    Like Dick said and For your bird I thinked they are White Ibis but not a specialist

    1. On February 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm Matt K replied:

      Thanks Yves – I looked up “White Ibis” and it said “ugly – do not photography up close” next to it. So that must be it :-)

  11. On March 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm Sherry Laflamme wrote:

    Geez, Matt. Ibis aren’t ugly. (LOL) No they aren’t painted buntings or cedar waxwings or any other colorful “northern” bird. They are water birds and by the way, they are the best natural control of bugs in your yard. They peck holes through that thick St. Augustine grass to get them and, thereby, aerating the grass roots,keeping the grass from killing itself. You probably have to pay your association big bucks to keep your yard looking perfect. Ibis do it for free.
    If you want to try your hand at birds, see if there is a local rookery. Often there are mating pairs of Egrets, herons, pelicans, cormorants, and various other “water” birds. Sometimes you can get a good shot of the babies. If you ever get down around Venice, there is a nice rookery by the Venice Audubon. Cheers!!

  12. On March 2, 2017 at 1:07 am Daniela Constantinescu wrote:

    Hi Matt!
    I love your sense of humor! Best photo ever called: ‘two bird butts’! LOL!
    Your white ibis was ugly, but Australian Ibises are even uglier. :-)
    I am not a bird photographer either.
    Still, you couldn’t help but get some ‘Wow’ photos in this series, birds or not birds.
    Good challenge!

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