The Recce

Recce is short for Reconnoitre

It is a military term, which means to spy out the enemy’s position and strength.

In Film and Photography to carry out a recce is to check that the situation on location is appropriate for a full shoot. Reference pictures are taken which are then presented to the art director who either rejects or approves them before giving the go-ahead for the commission.

Today I was asked to work from a brief and go and do a recce of areas to find 4 different objects to photograph in a certain way to present them back at college to see if they would be acceptable, the 4 objects were, a bench, a chimney, a tree, and a door. I had to find them and try to make the images I took fit the brief I was given, it also made me think about how or where I was going to take the images it was a group task so I went with my partner and we were given 3 hours, we decided it was a good idea not to stay in and around college but that we should go further afield so we wouldn’t have the same objects (from the same place) as everyone else.

The first one was the bench

The brief was –

Note that this is a wooden bench, and that it is a close up.

The arm of the bench is at a precise angle and position within the image area to accommodate the text, so the recce shots should show that this is possible.

Bench        Bench Crop

This was my original shot

Bench Original

I feel my shot that is cropped, is a good interpretation of the brief that I was given, I think because it is quite a simple shot I think it would be accepted on the grounds that it covers what was asked and almost looks identical to the reference image I was given, also the weather was quite cloudy and that meant the lighting was not great, the location where I found the bench was ok to walk around but I think if I were to do a proper photo shoot there I would definitely need permission from the national trust or someone there who can give the permission.

The second was the chimney

The brief was –

This is obviously a long lens shot. The stack is long and has four pots on it. This is the ideal shot, but get as close as you can.

If there is any roof clutter such as aerials, make sure that they are easy to retouch out.

chimney         Chimney

This was the original image


This was a difficult shot to get as everyone seems to have a lot of aerial’s on their chimneys, so I stuck with this one and it only had one aerial so I have edited it out, but unfortunately I do not think it would be accepted as it is not really a great representation of the brief although its very close, again the sky was a major issue its very grey and very plain so I feel that maybe id have to re shoot this to get a better representation, also if I was going to use this for a professional shoot I would have to ask the home owners unless it is just for a background image.

The third was a tree

The brief was –

This tree has leaves on it, and should be easy to isolate against the sky without retouching.

tree    tree

This was definitely the most difficult shot to get, as it was really hard to find a tree that was standing alone, as you can see from the image I had gone out into fields and drove quite far to get the image, but I think with more time I could have travelled further to find something in a more remote location, also the weather was not great either very cloudy so the shot looks pretty dull, this image is unedited, I also do not think this image would be picked as it is not really following the brief fully, if I was to use this location I do not think I would need permission as it is on a public footpath, although I am not sure if I would have to ask the land owners permission for a professional shoot.

The last one was a door

The brief was –

The door does not have to match the visual exactly, but it must be old and have a sense of dread about it – scary looking. The image will be used as a cut out.

DOOR    door

This was the original image


I really like this doorway, and it was definitely an easier image to shoot, I think the extra gate bit in front of it makes it more scary and the big black door knocker also adds to the effect, and I think its very close to the visual, although I like the image as a whole I do not think it would be used unless it was cropped, hence why I have cropped the image and darkened it slightly to make it have more of a sense of dread.


Overall I found this brief easy to follow but hard to achieve to a good standard due to the weather and time constraints, I felt I could have got better results if I had time to research and look for these objects,also to research what the weather would be like, I feel my shots would have been much better, other than that it was a good start, and feel with the right info and time I could successfully work to a brief that was given to me.


16 thoughts on “The Recce

  1. Although you haven’t matched the visuals exactly you have offered some very similar alternatives which i think the client would be happy to accept 🙂

  2. your bench works well, although I would try to crop in camera as cropping this much after can effect the print quality.

    your chimney doesn’t match that of the drawing but is well composed, the lack of detail in the sky was a issue i tried to get around by stopping my image down but it didn’t work, there wasn’t much detail there to capture.

    your tee image is not a aesthetically pleasing tree I would also up the exposure to bring out the detail of the tree

    your door is perfect for the brief, I would have liked to see it applied to a white background as in the drawing instead of cropping to give a more professional look.

  3. I think you have met the criteria well on most the images however through improving the angle and positioning slightly they could become further closer to the original images. On the contrary, the bench is almost a replica of the example, well done.

  4. I think that all of your images match the brief given and clearly show that you have read the briefs carefully and thought about your responses, I think that the bench matched the brief image pretty much exactly and the tree and door are also extremely close. I especially think that the shadow cast on the door helps to add to the scary effect that the brief required 🙂 xx

  5. I feel your bench and your door are the best shots and meet the brief. the tree I know was the best you could find in the location and I feel if you straighten the horizon it would be better. The chimney I feel is the weakest shot. xx

  6. I feel you have tried hard to find the right subject to replicate. The shot of the bench is absolutely brilliant, the angle and composition is well captured. On the other hand i feel the image of the chimney doesn’t quiet reach the criteria as it consist of too many pots and the stacks are not quiet long enough to reach the center of the image like the illustration.

  7. Great attempt Steph the bench is the best shot and fits the brief well but the rest of the images don’t as such as the chimney required 4 pots where as you have more. The door would of been a great shot if it was lightened a little but does fit in with the abandoned feel.

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