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.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Photography Business: Taking Baby Photos - for Professionals & Families
Babies make the best and the worst subjects to photograph. They are the best for two reasons, people are more tolerant at looking at baby photos, as well as the fact that babies are not aware their image is being captured, and therefore they do not tend to put on the "camera face" so typically used by elder children and adults.
Getting Your Photos Ready for Sharing
One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best.
How to Buy a Digital Camera
Are you buying your first digital camera? Well, you must be confused by the bewildering range of models out there. How do you know which model will suit your needs? To make things worse, digital cameras do not come cheap.
Help! My Old Colour Photo has Turned Pink - 5 Minute Digital Fix
Almost all of us will have seen this particular photographic problem, namely, your old colour photographs appear to have taken on an overall pink or blue tint.This is primarily due to the chemicals within the various layers of the photographic paper starting to breakdown, often due to age, and the way that the photographs have been stored.
Photography 101 Part 1
Photography 101 Part One Equipment: camera, meter, flash, tripod This article is a simplified photography course directed at new photographers out there who want to know where to start. If you really want to learn photography the first thing you need is a good affordable and reliable camera.
Top of the Line Digital Cameras
If you think that digital cameras are for snapshots only, then you obviously haven't heard about SLR (Single Lens Reflex) digital cameras. SLR is a type of camera which has one lens for composing the frame and capturing the image.
Freelance Photography: How to Begin Your Career
Photography is a vast world. There are many different types of photography and many different kinds of people that enjoy it.
Sony Digital Cameras - Always On The Innovation Frontier
Sony was the first company to introduce digital cameras into the market. Today, Sony is one of the leaders in the digital revolution.
Underwater Digital Cameras
Underwater photography's is primarily focused towards entertaining and informing the people and the users themselves about what is happening in the world of under water with the aid of photography. The advent of digital cameras has opened up new horizons for such ventures.
Entering the World of Digital Video Cameras
Gone are the days when you would need to employ a professional to take a video for your business projects. Whether you need it to provide training to your employees or students, you can do it yourself with the help of a digital video camera.
Things You Should Know Before Buying A Digital Camera
In a traditional camera, the lens was king. If the lens delivered a decent image, exactly that image would be recorded on the film.
Digital Camera Memory Cards
A digital camera accessory you should purchase is a spare memory card. Most cameras are sold with a 'starter' memory card that is usually a low capacity card that's enough to take a few sample photos on, but not enough for day-to-day use.
Digital Film Processing is Really the Only Option for Truly Quality Prints
Digital photography has taken off like wildfire these days, primarily due to its ease and quality in its digital film processing. With a good digital camera, it's as though you're using the very best Kodak film for every single one of your digital photos.
How to Take Better Photos of Your Baby or Toddler
Every Mom wants to take great photos of their babies and toddlers. We all want professional looking photos for our children without paying a fortune! This better baby photo article will help you take the best photos you can and you don't even have to own an expensive camera.
The Beauty of Nature Photography
Nature is all around us, and its beauties are unlimited. In this fast-paced world of mocha-lattes and traffic jams at rush hour, too many of us take the beauty of nature for granted.
Kids grow up so quickly and while we are often left with countless memories, most parents have only a drawer packed with school photos, blurry holiday snaps and the forced grin of the inevitable yearly birthday picture to account for the years gone by. It's time to stop bemoaning the latest photograph of your thumb obscuring your adorable baby and get on with improving your skills as a photographer.
Disposable Underwater Cameras
Disposable digital and film cameras (also called single-use cameras) provide a cheap and easy alternative for photographers. They offer an option for times when you don't want to risk your expensive equipment but you do want to take some photographs.
Black and White is Beautiful
Think about Laurel and Hardy for a moment, or Charlie Chaplin, and even Harold Lloyd. All true examples of early cinema genius.
Sepia Toned Prints from Your Colour or Black and White Photos - 5 Minute Digital Fix
Quite often I will have clients bring in old photographs of their "elder" relatives that were taken before colour photography was around.This generally means that the photos in question are either black and white or, in many cases, the photos have been tinted, usually a muddy brown colour better known as Sepia.
Digital Cameras vs. Film Cameras- the debate goes on
One of the biggest debates in the photography world is whether digital cameras are better or film cameras better? The answer to this question cannot be answered in a simple yes or no. There are several issues which need to be considered while answering this question.
|home | site map | Seashell Photography|