Photography Information

Travel and Scenic Photography 101


When you're driving through the mountains somewhere, and you notice a car parked half off the road and some guy leaning to the left to avoid a branch with his Rebel 2000 camera in the act of focusing, you've met me. I do this because, to me, a trip isn't fulfilling unless I've preserved that beauty for posterity. I'd like to share some of the techniques that make scenic photography such a wonderful artform - simple, yet elegant.

First off, equipment. As much as the cheapo disposable camera beckons, get real. These cameras have fisheye lenses which I call "spam" lenses. They cram everything in, with equal blurriness and boringness. Good photos are sharp, unless you use blur for artistic effect. Sharp comes from an adjustable lens. It can be a fixed lens or a zoom, but it must focus specially for each picture. Fixed lenses are limiting for scenic pictures, where to frame the shot you may need to move long distances. Imagine using a fixed lens on the Washington Monument, when you're half a block away! Zooms get my vote, even though they often don't have as wide an aperture, which limits their capabilities in low light situations.

Practically speaking, an SLR is the absolute best. They are lightweight, and can be used with top quality lenses. Film SLRs tend to be less expensive, but have the limitations of film, meaning you have to get it developed and so forth. Digital SLRs are VERY expensive, so for the budget conscious either go with a film SLR or a high quality basic digital camera. With digital, resolution is also a critical factor, so look at the specs before you buy.

OK, we've got the camera, emotions are running high, and that's great, but not too great! Sometimes I find a spot that is so wonderful, I start shooting like a madman, only to be disappointed by the pictures. What happened? Emotions. When you experience a place, there are sounds, aromas and breezes as well as the visuals of the spot. Needless to say, you can't photograph all of these elements, only the visual. When overwhelmed by the spectacle of a scenic hotspot, we are often overwhelmed by all of these elements.

So what to do? Look through your camera. The viewfinder does not lie (usually). Try to see what you are looking at as the finished picture. Most people perfunctorily take pictures, hoping that somehow the shot will come out great. If you wonder how the pictures came out when you are on the way to the drug store to get them, you're doing something wrong. At the moment you click the pic, you should know exactly what you will get. (Of course with digital, that's not a trick!).

Now, I was a tad dishonest in saying that you can't capture all of the elements of a scene. You can hint at them. For starters, motion. Yes, even in a still picture, there is motion. Something happened before, during and after your picture. In a mountain vista scene, you may find something that hints at motion, whether it be a branch of a tree that has been swaying in the breeze, or a river flowing through the valley below. These add a sense of motion.

Then there's the "rule of thirds." When you place the main object of the picture smack-dab in the middle, it is static and boring. Place it one third of the way from either side, and you IMPLY motion. Put the horizon in a landscape photo a third of the way up or down, not across the middle.

Remember, when a person looks at a picture, their eyes move. You want to frame your photo to help that movement. If you can find some lines in the scene, such as a skyline, cloud formation, path through the forest, etcetera, use it interestingly, and with the rule of thirds to draw your viewer's eyes into the picture.

Avoid "summit syndrome." You get to the top of Mount Washington and shoot the majestic vista. Great. The pictures come out ... boring! How? No PERSPECTIVE. Big vistas will be flat unless you have an object in the foreground, such as a rock or a tree, to give them perspective. Then the eye really grasps how big this scene is. People enjoying the view is a real winner, because the viewer may identify with their emotions, giving the image real impact.

Cheese! Yes, you do have to take the family photos. It's obligatory. But when you do, make sure that they show the LOCATION of the photo. Otherwise, you might as well do it on your driveway. Frame the scene in context, with landmarks as part of the picture. Find a way to tell as story in the picture, such as little Sara climbing up the rocks by the waterfall.

Finally, any element in the picture that hints at more senses than just the visual will make it remarkable. Actor headshots for example, tell a story about the subject. You can almost hear them saying their next lines. If you photograph a garden, the viewer may experience the aroma of the flowers. A tourist street with an accordion player on the corner may have your amazed friends whistling "Dixie."

In summation, picture taking on travel is recording the experience in a satisfying way. Use motion, perspective, sensory, storytelling and so forth, to bring your photos to life. Oh, and needless to say, make your job easy and go to great places! See you at the overlook!

Seth Lutnick is a photographer, composer, and performer. He has taken thousands of scenic photos, recorded two albums of original music, and appeared on stage, TV and film. Visit his website - www.getitdone.biz - for more detailed plans on photography, music, health and education, and extensive product links for the resources to fulfill your goals.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Forbes

A Coffee Table Book Elevates Hotel Photography To A New Level
Forbes
Tony Duran is a photographer known for his beguiling pictures of celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Brad Pitt and many more. Several years ago he shot Christian Slater for People magazine at dana hotel and spa in Chicago. Gene Kornota ...



NPR

Global Photos From The 2018 iPhone Photography Awards Contest ...
NPR
It's a haunting image. At dusk, hundreds of Rohingya refugees at a camp in Bangladesh are huddled around a projector, looking at something just outside the ...
2018 iPhone Photography Awards celebrate the emergence of an ...New Atlas

all 3 news articles »


Notebookcheck.net (press release)

Huawei's 'Spark A Renaissance' photography competition has an AI ...
Notebookcheck.net (press release)
Huawei has launched a photography contest that uses an AI judge and a Leica pro photographer to decide the winner. Photographers need to submit their ...

and more »


The Columbus Dispatch

College of Wooster student curates “A History of Photography” exhibit at museum
The Columbus Dispatch
The exhibit, titled “A History of Photography,” reflects on the history of the field from daguerreotypes to the digital revolution, including developments in camera technology, film processing, and how the evolution of photography has impacted society.



Digital Trends

The top-selling digital photography book can be yours for free now
Digital Trends
The Northrups have been posting regular photography videos on YouTube for the last six years, and have built up a solid fan base over that time. The channel covers a variety of subject matter that includes photo tips, camera reviews, and software guides.



HuffPost

The 2018 iPhone Photography Awards Prove You Don't Need A Fancy Camera To Take Amazing Photos
HuffPost
Ever since the release of the first iPhone, the iPhone Photography Awards have honored the true masters of mobile photography. Now in its 11th year, we're seeing just what some photographers can do with a camera they probably carry around all the time.
These Are the Best iPhone Photos of 2018 - PetaPixelPetaPixel (blog)

all 13 news articles »



9to5Mac

These are the winners of the 11th annual iPhone Photography Awards [Gallery]
9to5Mac
The annual iPhone Photography Awards have recognized the best images taken with the iPhone over the last 11 years, and now the winners of this year have been unveiled. As revealed on the IPPA website, this year's winners were selected from “thousands ...
See photos from this year's 11th annual iPhone Photography AwardsAppleInsider

all 5 news articles »


Digital Trends

A top-selling digital photography book can be yours for free now
Digital Trends
Free photography book, anyone? And it's not just any old book. How To Create Stunning Digital Photography is the work of popular photography vloggers Tony and Chelsea Northrup, and the publication currently sits at number one in Amazon's digital ...



iMore (press release) (blog)

iPhone Photography Awards 2018 | iMore
iMore (press release) (blog)
Thousands of people entered the iPhone Photography Awards contest. There a dozens of stunning pictures: but here are the winners, and how to enter next ...
Winning Imagery from the iPhone Photography Awards 2018Cool Hunting
2018 iPhone Photography Awards winners include the SEPhone Arena

all 6 news articles »

Google News

home | site map | Seashell Photography
© 2006