How To Guide Your Viewer Through An Image

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi

When you look at a photograph, you don’t view it as a whole. Instead, you first focus on one key area that grabs your attention and then you move your eyes throughout the rest of the frame to see what else is there.

Where your eye travels from that first spot depends on the image, and how that spot guides you to another spot in the frame. In an image that has good “flow,” your eye will always know where to go next (elements of the image will guide you). But, if an image doesn’t have a natural direction of flow, then it’s harder for the viewer to move through the image (they don’t know where to start and then they don’t know where to go from there). [Read more…]

5 Tips For Aerial Photography

Photo by Jeff Stamer / Kauai's Kahili Falls

Photo by Jeff Stamer / Kauai’s Kahili Falls

Many of us were first attracted to photography because it allowed us to see the world anew. Your camera challenges you not only to explore new places but also see familiar ones differently. One of the most dramatic ways to do this is with aerial photography.

Have you ever taken two shots a few yards apart and been amazed at how different they looked? That slight difference in perspective is multiplied exponentially in aerial photography. [Read more…]

How To Add Contrast To Landscape Photos

Sunrise in the Mojave / Photo by Steve Berardi

Sunrise in the Mojave / Photo by Steve Berardi

Adding contrast to a landscape photo is one way to make it a more compelling image. When we think of the word “contrast” we usually think about contrasting colors or brightness. But, there’s also another type of contrast that you can capture in your images: subjective contrast.

Here’s a quick look at the different types of contrast and how you can capture them in your images:

Color Contrast

The most common way of adding more contrast to your images is photographing a scene with strong contrasting colors. With landscape photography, this is usually pretty easy to do around the “golden hours” — where you’ll likely have some of your scene in the shade while the rest of the scene is extra saturated with that warm light of sunrise or sunset. [Read more…]

Which Photo Do You Like Better?

Red Rock in Utah / Photos by Steve Berardi

Red Rock in Utah / Photos by Steve Berardi

Which of the two photos above do you like better? Why?

Both photos are very similar, but one was shot at sunrise and one was shot at sunset, so different parts of the red rock were lit up by the sun.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. The reason I’m asking the question is to get you thinking about composition, and specifically help you think about your own unique perspective of the world. [Read more…]

Three Great Tripod Accessories

Sometimes it can be really annoying to get your tripod in the EXACT position you need it. Just when you think you’ve got it set up how you want it, you lock in the ballhead, and realize your camera just moved down half an inch, which totally ruins your composition.

Well, luckily there are a few accessories that can help make your life easier: an L-bracket, a tripod collar, and a bubble level. [Read more…]

PhotoPills – New App For Planning Landscape Images

PhotoPills - ScreenshotOne of the great things about being a nature photographer in the digital age is that we have all these wonderful apps to help us plan our shots. And, now with the smartphone we can bring many of these apps along with us in the wilderness.

I’ve already talked about a few of these great apps, such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) and Stellarium. But, I just discovered another one that can be extremely useful in planning landscape images: PhotoPills.

PhotoPills actually does a ton of stuff, but there’s one thing it does better than any other app I’ve seen: it can tell you exactly WHEN the sun/moon will rise over a distant mountain (or lake, tree, etc) as viewed from a specific location. [Read more…]