Monday, December 8, 2014

A different point of view

I never understand it when photographers shoot the EXACT same picture that's on every postcard they can buy from any souvenir shop…..when they could just spend a few minutes and find their own unique point of view.

I've seen hundreds of shots of the Eifel Tower in Paris, and had no desire to take the same shot as everyone else, but it wasn't until I had travelled away from the tower, and noticed a lunchtime soccer game going on, that I realized I might have a unique view of the over photographed monument that I hadn't seen before.

The moral of this story? Take the time to look around, even if you are traveling a well worn path. New points of view, even of old tourist traps, can breathe new life into your photographic subjects. Even the ones that have been "overexposed" for decades!

Canon 5D Mark-II
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Rainy Day Refuge

I was wandering around Central Park on a dreary New York afternoon, looking for anything to shoot in the cold, flat light when the clouds opened up on me.

There's nothing like being caught unexpectedly with all your camera gear in a downpour, so I quickly
dashed under a bridge to try and keep things dry. There was no let up in the monsoon rains, so I started to explore the framing possibilities the bridges' arches were offering me.

I noticed I could add to the mood of the cold and damp by setting my camera's white balance on tungsten, so that daylight would be rendered with a strong blue tone.  After a few shots, I added a small prism filter across part of the frame to see what it might do with the trees and buildings.

The rains eventually stopped, and after returning to the open air from the protection of the bridge, soon realized that I probably had one of the better shots I was going to make that day.

The lesson here? Don't stop shooting just because you think you might have to "wait things out".
Sometimes the best shots can happen completely unexpectedly!

Canon 5D with 24-70mm lens

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Never shoot into the sun…not!

Everyone's heard this one: "always keep the sun behind you", otherwise horrible things will happen. Lens flare! Ghosting! You'll hurt the camera!

But one thing you'll notice is that if you watch enough movies, they ALWAYS seem to be shooting into the light. Why? Drama! Nothing adds drama more effectively than backlighting subjects, and even if you get a little lens flare, well, who really cares?

Modern multicoated lenses don't flare nearly as badly as the old single coated variety, and if the image is made more dramatic and effective by shooting towards the main light source, there's really no good reason not to try it. And as mentioned before, you'll also find backlighting to be more flattering with faces than direct hard light. So go for it!

Canon 1Ds Mark II with 24-70mm 2.8L lens

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