Photography challenge: 30 minutes at home with no preparation

When Izzy, my youngest daughter, saw this photograph and declared; “It’s beautiful daddy,” I knew I’d taken an image that worked! Better still, it showed that a really simple photography challenge I’d set myself had worked and I’m going to share the idea with you.

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Having run out of time to go on a photo walk, I set myself a very simple 30 minute photography challenge. This striking image of an old rose was the result.

I had set aside some time to go out on a photo walk and capture some images as the plants are all starting to come back to life. As luck would have it, I got stuck on two lengthy phone calls and it was getting perilously close to school run o’clock.

Having planned to spend several hours on my photo walk, I now had 30 minutes. I had to come up with an alternative idea and come up with it quickly. This is where I came up with the idea for my challenge and it’s one you could easily replicate.

The 30 minute photography challenge

My challenge was simply to go around our family home and with no preparation, find interesting objects to photograph within 30 minutes. I couldn’t leave the house, use props, lights or anything.

The only thing I did was to throw a dark coloured cloth over a chair to use as a backdrop. Otherwise, it was simply down to me to find something and to find the best place to shoot as I couldn’t use studio lighting.

Melons, satsumas and a dried rose

During my 30 minutes I took close up shots of both the inside of a melon and the skin of a satsuma plus these images of a dried rose. The dried rose was definitely the most photogenic item I found (as an aside, you might like this image of a rainbow rose I took a short while ago which is considerably more colourful).

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The same rose, but edited to provide more detail

Well, I call it a dried rose. In truth it was part of a small bunch bought several weeks ago. This particular rose had been left discarded on a windowsill and I’d been meaning to put it in the garden recycling for ages! I’m glad I hadn’t got around to it.

I may place the other images I took on the blog at some point in the future. They require a bit more editing first, but the fact I took some usable pictures shows my challenge can work.

Concentrates the mind

Having just 30 minutes to take images concentrates the mind. I found I didn’t want to fire off shot after shot in the hope one of them would work.

I spent a little longer preparing each image. Instead of looking round my house and seeing un-ironed laundry, discarded toys and school books, I saw every day items as potential photographic subjects. Essentially it got me thinking more creatively.

Have a go yourself

If you enjoy photography I’d encourage you to have a go yourself. It’s very simple and you might be surprised what you find lying around that might work well as a photographic subject.

If you do have a go, please either leave a comment below or let me know on social media. I can be found on most channels at @dadbloguk. In the meantime, however, do tell em what you think of these images of the rose.

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3 Comments

  1. March 18, 2019 / 11:19 am

    Fantastic idea, John. I love both your photos. You’ve not only picked a beautiful subject but the background is perfect too. What a fun challenge.

    • John Adams
      Author
      March 21, 2019 / 11:09 am

      Well Tara, I’m delighted you liked the image and I hope you get to try out the challenge yourself.

  2. March 21, 2019 / 2:25 pm

    Really enjoyed this John, a great idea and a good way to try new things with the camera.