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How to Deck Design with a Camera

Oct 9, 2007
An ordinary point and shoot camera, a fancier single-lens reflex type or a digital camera can easily be an invaluable deck design tool. The proper use any one of them can help to develop the perfect deck design for a home.

Make it a point to take a number of shapshots of the views from the house out to where the deck will be. Include shots from the house out to the larger yard landscape as well. Stand indoors and shoot outdoors. Be sure to stand just outside windows and doors and click away. These photographs will provide an idea of what the deck will look like from the indoors but they can also be used to record views of the garden or surrounding area that are worth highlighting.

Take the time as well to take snapshots of any views that should perhaps be hidden such as utility areas, the back of a neighboring garage or a garbage storage area.

A series of photographs taken from a single vantage point can be linked together with tape to create a panorama. It can easily become an invaluable tool for planning landscaping and other features around the deck. It also has the potential to become an interesting before record of the yard.

In order to take a panorama, stand against the house wall in a central spot and shoot a series of photographs to record the entire site. Keep the camera level and carefully note a feature on the far left of the frame. Take the shot. Then pivot enough to move that feature to the far right of the frame for the next shot in the series.

A tripod is an excellent device that can be used to make this process easier to complete. As well a disposable panorama camera could be bought and used instead.

Make sure to record also any special features of the house and garden that are to be preserved or highlighted with the deck design. This would include trees that need to be protected during the construction process, architectural features, walls, paths and walkways and garden beds. Include photographs of other features that need to be accomodated such as cable connections, water sources and electrical hookups.

Photographs taken before the work actually begins are a terrific record of where the whole process started. They can be referred to in order to see how trees and shrubs have grown and how the deck landscape has improved over time. They offer a practical way to experiment with designs since it is possible to develop and record ideas by drawing directly on them.

For this particular purpose enlargements can be an ideal choice. Tracing paper can be taped over them to alllow for experimentation and recording ideas.

An inexpensive way of carrying out this task is to make duplicates of the enlargements on a photocopy machine. A second option is to print photographs from a computer using a digital camera as the original photo source. It is also possible to use a scanner to capture snapshots in the computer.

Whether the plan of action calls for a facelift for an existing deck or a deck addition to the home for the first time, the design process starts at the same place. That is with a careful examination of the needs and desires of the homeowner.

To develop a deck design that really fits a personal lifestyle it is necessary to analyze how it is to be used, how it is to be connected to the home and the types of links that will connect it to the rest of the landscape.

The use of a camera, some solid design techniques and a little imagination can go far to enable any homeowner to achieve those goals.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Deck Design and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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