Posts Tagged ‘nature photography’

After spending the morning stomping around in the brush, I thought I’d share a composition tip. Once you’ve taken the time to line up your shot, don’t be satisfied with it. When shooting animals, I find myself stop trying to improve the shot once I have the critter framed in my viewfinder. It’s a bad habit I constantly have to push myself to undo. It’s a rare photo that can’t be improved by a slight change of position. Take a look at my first frame of a great blue heron on the hunt:

Not bad, but I’m looking past the obvious fact that it’s exposed well and in focus. Look at the background. It has more than a few distracting sticks and highlights. To clean that up a bit, I could either try to throw it out of focus a little more with a wider aperture or change my camera position. In this instance, I moved two steps to the left and moved those sticks out of the frame. Here’s my second try:

As you can see, it’s quite a bit different and the background is much, much less distracting. So, next time you’re out with your camera and are ready to press your shutter, try this visual exercise:

  • Move two steps to the right (from your original position), take a photo.
  • Move two step to the left, take a photo.
  • Back up two steps, move forward two steps, bend your knees (taking a shot each time, of course).

Don’t be happy with your first frame. I hope you see that changing your camera position even slightly can improve your photos. 

Feel free to share your experiences doing my little exercise here…

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Looking for a new way to see things? Try shooting from a low angle. I found this patch of gigantic mushrooms perfectly lit by a shaft of late afternoon sunlight. From my normal, standing perspective, the photo wasn’t much to look at. Bending my knees and shooting up from ground level, however, made a big difference.

Keep in the back of your mind “would my shot be improved by going lower?” the next time you’re out with your camera. It can transform the ordinary photo to something extraordinary.

Oh, and purchase a gardener’s knee pad, they make getting low more comfortable and less messy on the knees!


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