My Photo Tips Blog

January 3, 2015

Learn how to "see"

We were cruising down the Snake River in northeastern Oregon, reading and enjoying a late afternoon drink. Suddenly I looked up and actually noticed how the scene was changing in front of me. I thought, "Wow, how could I have ignored that idyllic, serene vista?"  So I set up my camera and started seeing what was really there. I took lots of pictures, over a full 180 degree sweep. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Perhaps the most crucial  key to making better photos is to learn to really notice  the beauty around you.  That means more than merely a cursory glance, but actually stopping and seeing the details with your artist's eye. It requires practice, but it's fun.

Of course, you need to have your camera with you to define and frame your subject when you see it. One trick I use is to first look at a potential photo op through my thumb and forefinger. I move this informal "viewfinder" around until I've found a pleasing composition. Finally I use the camera's viewfinder or screen to fine-tune the frame. Then I keep repeating the process until I feel I've completely "milked" the subject. Back home I'll delete most of the photos, but the few keepers make it all worthwhile.

By the way, I had to crop out excess sky and water in post-processing of the image on the right. A better way would have been to use the panoramic function in my camera (you don't lose pixels or resolution if you're printing).

Happy and Healthy New Year Everybody,


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