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July Bonus: Urban

June 30, 2012

When I’m choosing locations to take photos of my kids, I know what pops into my head are places in nature like the beach, a field, a park, by the river, or more simply; the backyard! To encourage you to get out of your photo routine or comfort zone, one of our July photo bonus assignments is “urban.” For my photo I kept my eyes open for locations around downtown that I thought might lend a more urban feel to a photo. I also wanted to keep in mind a location that would be safe enough for my 2.5 year old and I.

It’s probably not always necessary, but for my little one, a distraction of a treat she had never had (a lollipop) slowed her down so that I could snap some pictures of something other than the back of her head as she ran away, or super close-ups as she ran to hug me!  I could have also given her a shopping bag, a balloon, or a toy to slow her down.


If you have a very young child or baby and don’t feel comfortable doing this photo bonus assignment with your own child, you can take this opportunity to take a photo of a friend’s child or a family member!

Some ideas for locations: downtown buildings, brick walls, graffiti walls, alleys, sidewalks, store windows, shopping areas, coffee shops, etc.

Pay attention to the background in your photo.  Because the assignment is all about location, you’ll want to include some of the environment in your shot, so take a step or two back and make sure you take some photos that include more than just your child’s face!

You can use your aperture creatively.  If you want to blur out some of the foreground and background to have a shallower depth of field (area in focus from near to far) you’ll want to choose a small aperture number.  For my photo I used f/2.8.  Or, if you want to have more of the foreground and background in focus, you’ll want to choose a bigger number like f/8.

Also keep in mind some of the other tips we’ve talked about.  Pay attention to the lighting and see if you can get nice light in your subject’s eyes.  If you want to challenge yourself, see if you can use the rule of thirds or another compositional tip!

E-mail your urban bonus photo to mwac.challenges@gmail.com by Tuesday, July 3rd. If you don’t get your photo done by then, still take on the assignment and e-mail it when you’ve got it done!  Also, another friendly reminder to choose only one photo to e-mail.

~Sonja, MWAC assistant co-ordinator

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