Photography 101: Experiment With Composition.

Landscape or Portrait~

Experiments in Composition

When you’re out photographing, especially if your photographing a popular and often photographed location, try experimenting with composition.

I different point of view can mean the difference between just another photo like all the rest, or a truly unique image.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

A unique take on an old favorite.

One of my favorite New Hampshire waterfalls is Falls of Song at Castle In The Clouds.

It’s a long descent as the water plunges over the precipice. One wrong step…

Precipitous Plunge

For some reason most people see this wonderful waterfall from below, something more like this.

foreground-boulder-falls-of-song-Edit-2

Maybe it’s because it’s not such a long way down if you lose your footing? I’m not sure.

Have a look at a few more “Descents” HERE

New Hampshire Night And The Northern Lights.

There was a storm and then there were lights.

Last Thursday and again on Friday, September 11th and 12th, the sun sent a blast of energy our way in the form of a coronal mass ejection, or CME. While these strong magnetic storms can cause problems for electrical grids, GPS, and radios, what interested me, and just about every other photographer I know, was the light show.

You see these potentially damaging solar storms are also what gives us the Aurora Borealis. otherwise known as the Northern Lights. While much of my photography takes place during daylight hours, the reported potential intensity of the Aurora, and the fact we don’t usually see the Aurora this far south, had me grabbing my camera and heading for the mountains.

I’m glad I did.Spending The Night Under Aurora Skies

I Like To Move It – Move It!

It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing.

 

Been to all your favorite places and taken the same old shots you do every time?

Spice things up a bit and get your camera on the move to put some abstract into your nature photography.

Feeling adventurous?

Do like I did for the image below and grab your camera by the legs and give it a swing.

Tripod legs that is.

But before you do, make sure all the leg sections of your tripod are tight, the camera is securely tightened on the ball head, and you have a god grip on the tripod. Nobody wants to see their camera go sailing into the river, right? A remote shutter release comes in real handy too. I was able to swing the camera and then press the shutter button on the remote, mid-swing.

I had to practice swinging the camera out over the water a few times before I got the look I wanted, but it was a heck of a lot of fun seeing the different results.

 

River Bend

And if you’re not adventurous (crazy?) enough to go swinging your camera around by the tripod. Just loosen the head and pan the camera from side to side with the tripod firmly on the ground.

Forest Floor

For that matter, you can just hand-hold the camera and give yourself a spin.

All I Wanna Do Is Zoom-A-Zoom-Zoom-Zoom.

Another way to get your abstract on is zooming the lens during exposure. The effect kind of looks like you’ve just hit warp speed.

So frame up your shot and give that zoom ring a twist.

painted_trillium_zoom_6958-Edit

 

Green Leaves

 

Tips For Having Fun With Camera Motion.

When creating abstract nature images let your imagination be your guide, but I’ve learned a few things in my experimentation that might take some of the guess-work out of it for you.

1~ For zooming, having the camera on a tripod is going to be way easier than trying to hand hold it.

2~ Stop the lens way down. You want a fairly slow exposure time to allow you to maximize the effect, either the panning/swinging or the zooming. Too fast a shutter speed and the look won’t seem intentional. It’ll just look like accidental camera movement or an out of focus image.

3~ Since the zoom effect will always be from the dead center of the frame, you’ll want to center the main subject. You may then need to adjust the crop for a more pleasing composition. Having the effect start in the center of the frame in every single photo you take using this technique is going to get boring pretty quick.

4~ Experiment. With all of it. Shutter speed, swing/panning speed, and zooming speed. Also try zooming in and out during exposure.

5~ If you are crazy enough to swing your camera on the end of your tripod, make darn sure everything is tight. Especially your grip on the tripod legs.

 

To see more “On the Move,” visit the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

The red-winged blackbird sings loud from the marsh ~

Singing The Song Of Spring

 

The loon’s haunting call echoes through the evening stillness ~

common loon spreading its wings to shake off excess water after surfacing from a dive.

Verdant patterns emerge from soft wet earth~

Waves

Snowmelt swells swift running streams~ 

green plant in flowing water

Spring

Looking Back – My Favorite Images from 2013

2013 Through The Lens.

The past year has been outstanding for me. Physically, I don’t think I’ve ever been in better shape, even better than when I was racing mountain bikes. I can thank my time hiking in the mountains for that. And running, lots and lots of running.

Photographically, I’m happier with the images I’ve captured than ever before. I find myself shooting less, yet coming back with more. I’m developing a more critical eye towards what I photograph, knowing exactly what I want to capture and how I want to capture it. Fewer images from any given outing means less time in front of the computer too. A trend I hope to continue in the coming year.

Now the hard part.

Trying to come up with 12 favorite images from the past year though, that was tough. Not so much coming up with favorites, but narrowing it down to only 12, that was a challenge. Making the task even harder for me, when I set out to compile this list I had one self-imposed rule –  only one image from each of the last 12 months.

 So here they are, my favorite 12 images from the past year.

What’s Missing?

I purposely didn’t call this a “Best Of” list because that’s all very subjective and I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you feel is my best image from 2013.

So what’s missing? Is there a particular image I’ve shared over the past year that you think should have made the list?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Finally, to all my fans, subscribers, and those just passing through, I’d like to wish you all the best in the coming year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!