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As I mentioned in my previous post, the other photo subject that you can usually find in an otherwise barren parking lot is people. Because I was at a photo workshop, the other participants were easily accessible for portraits (read: they couldn't really run away) and they were a little more tolerant of my camera aimed at them than a random passerby or visitor to the coffee shop might have been. It started with Mr. Blue Eyes....
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I was going to call him Ol' Blue Eyes (a nod to Frank Sinatra), but he might not appreciate the "old" reference and he might hate to sing. I don't know. But his eyes were definitely the focal point of this photo. In a similar way, Eleanor's quirky glasses and the layers and texture of her scarf were what inspired me to create a portrait of her.
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If I hadn't mentioned it, I'm guessing that you wouldn't have thought that this photo was taken in a parking lot with dead trees and trash and possibly Sasquatch in the background. Anyway, as this portrait of the super-friendly Dan shows, a shallow depth of field and precise focus on a person's face can create great portraits in environments that are *ahem* less than ideal.
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So, don't be discouraged if a photo-creating opportunity doesn't happen in the perfect place, or with a breathtaking backdrop, or during the most perfect light of the day. Sure, that is what  photographers aim for, but if there aren't any other options, shoot anyway! Use your brain, move your feet, and see what you can come up with.'Tis better to shoot and practice then go home with an empty CF card, I say.

People in the Parking Lot

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On Saturday I attended a photography workshop and was quite surprised to learn that the promised photo safari to an "undisclosed breath-taking location" meant walking out into a parking lot. We safari-ed about 30 feet. It looked like this:
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  Perhaps when the brochure said "breath-taking location" it was referring to the cigarette smoke from the patrons outside of the coffee shop. Nevertheless, I had committed to be there and my son's babysitter was scheduled for 4 hours, so I figured I might as well try to make the best of a disappointing situation. I made the parking lot my creative challenge - how could I get great photos out of an area that at first glance held nothing but wire fences, cars, cigarette butts, and dead vegetation? What can you do if you're in a similar situation, stuck somewhere that feels like a photographic dead end? Well, you can search for color....
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  Or you can play around with depth of field:
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  Or you can look for a scene that would convert well to black and white:
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  You might want to keep an eye out for texture and pattern...
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  I liked these canvas umbrellas so much that I decided they needed the macro treatment.
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  Perhaps by keeping your eyes open, you'll get a shot that combines lines AND color AND texture AND pattern:
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  What do you think? Do my photographs indicate victory over the parking lot? Coming up, I'll share some more photos from that day of the other subject available in a parking lot: people.

Interesting Things in the Parking Lot

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