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:

TechCrunch

Here's hoping this Google Pixel low-light photography experiment ...
TechCrunch
Google's Pixel already boasts a formidable camera, among the best in smartphone photography. A Google Daydream engineer Florian Kainz revealed how ...

and more »


Fremont Tribune

Rader looks back on 50 years of photography | Business ...
Fremont Tribune
Betty, Vic and Richard Rader stand in front of the Rader Photography Studio on Main Street. Betty and Richard live here. The property also has several ...

and more »


PetaPixel (blog)

DJI and Hasselblad Unveil World's First 100MP 'Drone Photography Platform'
PetaPixel (blog)
By combining DJI's M600 Pro drone and Ronin-MX Gimbal with a Hasselblad H6D-100c medium format camera, they've created what they're calling, “the world's first 100-Megapixel integrated aerial photography platform.” The interesting thing about this ...
DJI and Hasselblad combine for 100-MP aerial photography monsterNew Atlas
The world's ultimate aerial photography platform? DJI and Hasselblad unveil the 100MP M600 Pro DroneNewsshooter (blog)
DJI, Hasselblad unleash 100-megapixel frankendrone on the friendly skiesDigital Trends
TrustedReviews
all 70 news articles »


Daily Bruin

Photography brings together diverse array of UCLA students and faculty
Daily Bruin
Costello met Cory Wong, a professional photographer who is also a member of UCLA's photography club, through the club's Facebook group and worked as an assistant on one of Wong's portrait shoots at the pink Paul Smith wall on Melrose Avenue.



Black Hills Pioneer

Watson Photography open in downtown Spearfish
Black Hills Pioneer
SPEARFISH — Going into their 10th year in the portrait and nature photography business, Heidi and Mark Watson recently opened a storefront in downtown Spearfish for Watson Photography. “We needed someplace downtown. We've been in the business ...



Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Art notes: Photography, fashion, weekend
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh is a big photography city and the fifth PGH Photo Fair reflects that interest, with 13 internationally known dealers and photo projects from Pittsburgh, New York City, Chicago, Toronto and Lambertville, NJ. It runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m ...



New York Times

Chuck Grant, Rising Photographer, Shoots for Kodak and Her Sister ...
New York Times
At 29, Ms. Grant has found a niche taking pictures of pop stars like Ms. Del Rey and Charli XCX, and the rapper YG.

and more »


Creative Boom (blog)

How photography is helping homeless Londoners
Creative Boom (blog)
What's great about photography is that they didn't have to have been good at art, but it put them in control. They were creating something they could see instantly, and if it was crap they could delete it, or if they liked it could share it. The models ...



9to5Google

Google Pixel excels at nighttime photography, though post-processing required [Gallery]
9to5Google
The Google Pixel has a stunning camera that can produce excellent pictures thanks to its HDR+ mode. While smartphone photography has excelled in recent years thanks to these techniques, there are still physical limitations. Pushing the boundaries of ...
Google 'Pixel 2': Neue Top-Smartphones kommen mit Snapdragon 835WinFuture
Google's three new Pixel devices for 2017 will all have the Snapdragon 835 insideGSMArena.com

all 113 news articles »


Fstoppers

Capturing Elusive Animals with Camera Trap Wildlife Photography
Fstoppers
As the number of people interested in wildlife photography continues to grow, and the capabilities of modern equipment expand the boundaries of what is possible, many of us are seeking new ways to produce work that is fresh. This has meant exploring ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2006 KeralaClick.com