White Balance Images Journal

Through the Lens of Time, Unveiling Stories in Every Hue and Shade


A photowalk through the salvage yard – a new way to see hidden treasures

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All photographers will benefit from doing something out of the ordinary. A visit to the salvage yard is a great way to reignite your creativity.

Sharing ideas with other photographers at a salvage yard will enhance the experience. As a Professional Photographers of Colorado member, I look forward every year to our group event at Queen City Salvage. We use the event to raise funds for a special education fund for the organization.

A great morning with an amazing group of photographers

It’s always fun to get a group of talented photographers together and try out something new. We always obtain permission from the salvage yard’s owner ahead of time, recognizing that we are sharing the grounds with customers. We give the owner a small gift, or a cash donation, to maintain good relations.

Gear considerations

You can photograph a salvage yard using basic photography equipment. I have used both mirrorless and DSLR cameras. It’s a good idea bring a macro-lens, as there are a lot of small objects that look interesting when separated from their surroundings. I brought a Lensbaby Velvet 85 specialty lens to this year’s event. I ended up taking 80% my photos that day using this lens.

It is not unusual to spend several minute on a single small subject while changing focal length, angle and aperture. It is in the search for interesting compositions that creativity comes into play.

A tripod is also useful when taking macro photos. A small diffuser can be used to soften the reflections on metal surfaces.

Subjects of interest

It is difficult to imagine a place on Earth with such a wide variety of subjects in a 400 square-foot space as is offered at a salvage yard. In the years I have been to this salvage yard, the inventory of “photography subjects” has always changed. I photographed a variety of things, including a box full of nails and screw, a toilet with flowers sprouting out, and old automobiles and fridges. All of these were within 20 feet from each other.

The sharing of ideas is a great benefit of going together with other photographers. One of our experienced photographers recommended that we use multiple exposures within the camera. I never would have thought to do this. I quickly changed some settings on my camera, and let the creative juices flow.

An in-camera double exposure image


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