Shooting close to your front door

Why 50 Metres?

Shoot your image within 50 metres/yards of your front door.

Look for something interesting and compelling right outside your front (or back) door.

Why shoot close by your house?

There are often some really interesting and captivating subjects right outside our own front door, we just need to slow down and look. Often we are in a hurry to get where we need to go, we just don’t slow down and really look at what’s right in front of us.

Close to my (hotel) front door

This was my first image this BootCamp Challenge. Here’s what  I posted inside BootCamp. “Taken this morning outside my hotel in Albury. It was a crisp cold morning and the light was just starting to show through the foliage. Shot into the sun with my 35mm macro lens which I just purchased for the job I’m doing out here. 1/100th sec at f/2.0 I’m loving the little bit of lens flare and all the weird shapes of light in the background. I like this image for it’s artistic feeling – what do you think? Brent

Tips for capturing stunning images.

Try using a zoom or macro lens and try these tips to improve your photography.

  • Slow down, perhaps even sit somewhere for a few moments and really take it all in.
  • Take in your surroundings, often we just don’t see the magic we walk straight past every day.
  • Look for just one or two subjects and really try to capture them in detail.
  • Always shoot in RAW, to be able to get the most of your images in post-production.
  • You can use a zoom or a macro lens for this challenge.
  • If using a macro remember that shallow depth of field is not always your friend, try using a mid-range aperture like f/8.
  • Use Auto ISO and try a minimum shutter speed of about 1/250 – 1/500 seconds for flying insects.
  • Try Auto AND Manual focus.

How can you make your images more artistic?

After the shoot – remember how you felt when you captured your images, what caught your eye? And try to reflect that in your post-processing. This is where you can get creative too. Look at capturing the most of your images with crop and adjustments in the post-processing stage.

Remember you want your main subject to attract the eye, not all the distracting elements surrounding it.

Slow down and enjoy the creative process.

Photo BootCamp Magazine

Let’s take a look at what our BootCamp members have captured for this month’s challenge.

And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!

Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…
Creating Triptych

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Photo BootCamp Academy is an online community where busy photographers gather to take their photography to new levels of enjoyment and progress.

  • Discover exciting new skills
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  • Improve fast with helpful feedback
  • Experience enjoyment and progress

Inside BootCamp Magazine

Featured Artist

Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Sara O’Brien, from the United States

This is off her front porch. The evening sun was dappled through the trees so Sara grabbed her camera and shot a few images. This is one of her favorites. She liked the bokeh and the monochrome look. It is a little soft on the focus, there was a small breeze.

Comment: Lynton Stacey“Sara, this photo is almost abstract showing just part of the leaf with very soft bokeh. The greens/yellows over the whole image make it monochromatic. Very nice relaxing image.”

Cover Image

This month’s featured magazine cover image is by Kerrie Clarke from Australia.

Shot in her backyard. Like most of the East coast of Australia, they have had higher than average rainfall. This has to lead to a bumper fungi season, she had never seen it in such abundance! Kerrie found these two little toadstools growing on some decaying wood.

Comment: Brent Mail” An absolutely beautiful capture Kerrie – love how you got down low to show the gills and that shallow depth of field is wonderful (and its not too shallow), makes your image look so dreamy. So glad you’ve shared this with us all.”

Active Members

Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful images our BootCamp members‘ have created this month.

We’ll start with Dave Koh from Singapore. From his little garden, he got a Lime butterfly sipping nectar on a flowering plant. Taking butterfly shots can be challenging and they tend to flutter everywhere. One way is to choose a flower with clear background and pre-focus on it. Have a tripod and mount your camera at a distance and wait for it to land. It will be easy after that. Set the camera to the high speed of at least 1/2000s. Do a burst shot and get the clearest image.

Comment: Glenys Ruth Prins“Love this photo. The butterfly and flower are very sharp and the background is totally blurred, There is even space for the butterfly to fly away!”
Next, we have Laura Griffiths from South Africa. This coffee shop has a much more powerful story for me. A bakery was started in her village a few years back when most businesses did not survive 3 months beyond the busy holiday season. Soon after, a young local man, Miki, educated at the local high school and born and bred in Eastern Cape, came along and opened a coffee shop by opening up the front of the bakery so that it’s an outdoor serving counter, but still accessible from the bakery behind. He serves great coffee (not home-roasted this time) and it has become an establishment for the ever-increasing local population (due to Covid many young families moved to the village and are working from home) as well as the regular visitors and holidaymakers. It’s a heartwarming tale of success for Laura. She made the collage for him, taking photos with his permission although he was rather shy about it, and picked up the print today which she is going to courier to him. She is thrilled with the outcome of the print as it was done on matt paper and she submitted a high resolution tiff file so the quality is great. This image is just one she did on a low resolution for Instagram.
Comment: Sig Rannem“Laura, I love this shot – it is perfect in tricolour, black-white, and brown! Great storytelling – well done!”
Richard Hutson from the United States is next. Here’s a peek into his neighborhood just around the corner within 50 meters from his front door. This derelict, disused, and neglected garage is an exception among otherwise well-kept properties. Richard walk past this little gem on his way to their local grocery store and always stop to admire the artistic quality of its dilapidated condition. It may collapse into nature soon so he thought he should document its decline before it’s too late. He thought a tree has already grown up through the roof. He shot this image with his Leica Q2 and converted it to black & white in Lightroom.
Comment: Laima Ratajczak“What a fabulous old building, I really like the B/W it works well here as it enhances the texture in the doors. You could really have fun there with reflections in the glass and close-ups of the peeling paint etc.!! Well done Richard.”
And we have Greg Skehan from Singapore. This photo of a Greater Egret was taken from the balcony of their current apartment. It is about 30 – 40 metres away from where he was standing. They see these birds and many others almost daily as there is a wetlands area about 500 metres wide that they overlook. Sitting on the balcony eating breakfast has been a great way to begin each day. They will be leaving the apartment and Sri Lanka in a week and finally settling back in Australia after 25 years of working overseas. So his next post is going to be from a very cold and wintery Melbourne.
Comment: Peter Brody“Greg, what a beautiful way to start your morning! You can feel the tranquility in the scene as the egret glides over the greenery. Good luck in your next venture.”
Next is Keri Down from Australia. She stalked the birds next door off the edge of her front patio. She wanted to crop right into the birds but she also liked the bokeh and the fence in the background. Not sure.
Comment: Bruce Patterson“I love shooting birds but there is nothing this colorful in my neck of the woods. This shot pleases my eyes, but the bokeh and the white fence structure are competing for my eye. I believe cropping and selective reductions in exposure would help a lot Good Shot.”
And then we have Eugene Brannan from the United States. He was tempted not to post anything, work has been intense, the weather extremely hot, and just nothing outside either the hotels, work, or home that caught his eye since Brent added the extra challenge of getting a new image. However, he settled on this image of an Aster flower, he thought. It was a quick capture at work with his iPhone as he walked by the floral department. He cropped it a bit to take away some of the distracting surroundings, leaving me with the orange edges of the flower to border the image and focus on the center.
Comment: James Herrick“Eugene, It’s a great capture! When I view it full size and even zoomed in, it looks like a painting masterpiece.”
And last but not the least, we have Bruce Patterson from the United States. This Dragon was on an orchid stem that was growing on his oak tree about 30 feet from his back door. He was lucky it did not fly away when he went in for his camera. Shot with a Nikon D500 and 105mm Micro-Nikkor lens. He did about 25 shots and chose this one for editing and posting. He used a high shutter speed in case it decided to fly away.
Comment: Kerrie Clarke“Beautiful image, Bruce! Gorgeous colours, great focus and composition, and I LOVE that backlight highlighting the hairs on the head and thorax. Stunning!”


  • Remember slow down and really look at what you probably walk past every day
  • Try different lenses, apertures and capture what caught your eye
  • Just concentrate on perhaps one or two objects
  • Use Auto ISO and if photographing animals or insects try a shutter speed of 1/250 – 1/500 seconds
  • Try Auto and Manual focus
  • If using a macro lens, remember that a shallow depth of field is not always your friend, try mid range like f/8
  • Remember to be present and enjoy the process

Want to join Brent and a small group of friendly photographers in Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Click here more more details.

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Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent

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