4 Tips for taking stunning before and after photos

June was a very productive month at the property! I rented a bull dozer and my parents helped my boyfriend and I clear some land.

I must admit that I envisioned posting stunning before and after photos that would leave a big impression on everyone who viewed them. I had hoped to capture the clearing of the land in progress, and while I took many photos, they are so drastically different that it’s difficult to tell that you’re looking at the same thing in two photos. So here are a few things I leared from my failed attempt at before and after photos.

  1. If you decide you want to take before and after photos, you should have a very good idea of where you’re going to be working. The places where I took the “before” photos were not the places where the most impact was visible “after.” As a result, I had to move slightly in the pictures to really capture the work that was done.
  2. Also, when you clear land, you change the landscape so severely that unless you make a point of including a specific, obvious landmark in both sets of photos, it’s very difficult to tell where you are. Create a landmark if you have to– tie a ribbon around a tree that won’t be felled or drive a shovel into a mound of dirt– just make sure that the landmark makes it into every picture. The best thing I could have used in my pictures was the outhouse, and while it is a very nice outhouse, I actually went out of my way to keep it out of the photos. It wasn’t until I got ready to post the pictures that I realized that I had missed out on the opportunity to really give my photos some impact.
  3. Better yet, put your camera in a stable spot, on a tripod if you can, and snap a photo every hour or so. Then, combine the photos into a time lapse.
  4. Panoramas aren’t that great for capturing a wide range of space if your surface isn’t flat. I feel like I have three levels at my property. There’s the lowest, least used area by the road. A sizeable hill up to the place where we have the outhouse and the fire ring. and a big hill up to the place where the cabin will go. I took two panoramas– one from the top level where I want to build and one from the level where the outhouse is. They’re nice to look at, but I don’t know that they really show how many trees we felled and how much more usuable space there is now.
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