Working a Location

Sounds a bit grand to talk about ‘working a location’ for a humble hobbyist photog, no?190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (22)

But I like to think like this when I go to a specific place I have in mind, just to explore it’s photographic possibilities. As opposed to just going on a photo walk with no specific objective, just waiting for the good stuff.

What I did some days ago, at the start of my new found photographic drive is to go out with a very specific subject in mind.  I’ve been driving past this view a lot of times those last months, as it’s on the way to our new house. Always wanted to go there, never did.

Until now! But how do I go about this exactly?

I leave the car as far away as I am inclined and walk the last kilometer or two to the location. Of course there’s the first photos as I get nearer.190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (11)_4

Then I don’t go straight there but walk about some to find new angles. Slight changes in postiton produce quite different results. I prefer the first one of these.


Some better, some not so good. But beware, This is film, so I simply can’t shoot lke mad and sort through the mess later. I have to count every press of the shutter. Glad I don’t use a large format camera (yet?).

Then I get nearer, try to frame more tightly. Easy as I have just my trusty 135mm f:2.5 Takumar on the Spotmatic. Wonderful lens if you ask me. Tack sharp and nice bokeh when wide open.190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (3)

OK, after that, the detail work starts. I look out for structure, shadows, pleasing materials… and on these old barns there should be plenty.190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (27)_3

Nearer still…190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (28)_7

Yesss, more….190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (29)_5

A quick glance at the frame counter… OK, just a handful frames left. And I had just one roll with me, deliberately. Just to remind me to stick with the essential stuff and make it count. And I did well I think. I got about 18 shots that came out quite OK, half a roll. 50% keepers… yayyyy.

A quick look around if I missed something… No! So the last frames can be used on context. Some more time walking around the location and I come to this nice fence.190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100  (13)_1.jpg

And a parting shot of the nice luxembourgish countryside, picturesque village among Teletubby hills…190502 - Pentax Spotmatic SP - Agfa APX 100 (10)_6

OK, that’s my way of doing stuff. How do you go about it. Just photo walks and opportunities or do you also go out, camera in hand with a specific thing in mind?

I’d be glad to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by!

10 thoughts on “Working a Location

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    1. Hmmm, waited for the people but they did not turn up.

      Let’s say that people built the barn and there’s a street leading to it… but then everything will be street photography.


  1. Nice shots Frank, and a different approach. Nice idea. For me I tend to take the camera for a walk, maybe chancing some shots. Doing it as you have this one gives you motivation to make those shots count. Maybe even capture some of those little details that give you the feeling of the place. Great work and something I’ll have to try. Keep ’em coming please.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank, insightful post. Also you sound relaxed and rejuvenated, this is great to hear!

    I do a similar thing in that I usually park a little way away and then walk on foot, then gradually explore the place with camera, documenting details as I go. I don’t take so many exterior shots at a distance, I much prefer the detail shots where you can see the grain of the wood, rust flaking off screws and dewdrops on spider webs…

    Good to hear you’re using a trusty Takumar too!

    Liked by 1 person

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