I have been photographing nighttime landscapes for about 20 years now capturing images of star trails like the one pictured […]
In “The High Concept Image,” a recent feature in Outdoor Photographer, nature photographer Ian Plant intelligently challenges photographers to capture creative, thoughtful images that move beyond “snapshots,” rising to the level of “art.”
Ian’s description of the high concept image is in contradistinction to the “low-concept image,” which he points out is generally more “documentary” or “literal” in nature. Seeing nothing wrong with such grab shots, he does, however, push photographers to look for new ways to depict the world. He invokes legendary photographer Minor White, who once said “One should photograph objects not only for what the are but for what else they are.”
The exquisitely appointed Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a photographer’s paradise. The former home of businessman James Deering, who made his fortune manufacturing agricultural machinery, is filled with architecture begging for megapixels of detail, super wide angle views, and impeccable HDR techniques.
One way to create eye-catching imagery is to break the rules. When you shatter these rules, you stop people in their tracks! One of the first rules of portrait and fashion photography I learned was to NOT use a wide angle lens when photographing people. I was told this would distort their features and be unflattering to the model. But what if you use the wide angle on purpose to distort and exaggerate a scene? Then it creates visual interest and impact. Now your images stand out and become memorable.
As photographers, we often strive for that “perfect” image. Those who are most proficient in their art, in one way or another, pre-visualize the final photograph and strive to exercise the most possible control over all the variables involved in achieving the desired end result. The reality is that outside of the studio and particularly true in nature photography, all bets are off. The extensive planning and meticulous research performed prior to photographing a never before visited location may prove useful or lead to a near-fruitless and frustrating trip. The landscape artist cannot control light and precipitation and is always at the mercy of Mother Nature. Sometimes you have to come to terms with the fact that the iconic shot you saw in someone else’s portfolio will probably not be in yours. This is where you have the chance to prove your worth as a photographer by using your imagination and compositional skills to improvise and make the most out of the presented opportunities.
About the Photograph
On the day this picture was taken, I woke up during the wee hours of the morning, and ventured into the darkness with my backpack stuffed full of photo equipment. I hiked from Hammock Beach (FL) to somewhere beyond the Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, and took pictures along the way. This stretch of beach in Palm Coast, Florida, is covered with Coquina rock formations and tide pools. It is an absolutely wonderful place for photography and exploration. When the sun started to rise, I setup and took a few long exposure shots using my Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM lens and a variable ND variable filter. It was such a beautiful sunrise that I decided to do a self portrait using a wireless remote shutter release.
This week’s Fan Photo of the Week was made by Liam Doran with the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DG HSM lens
This week’s Fan photo of the week was taken by Karan Kauchhur using Sigma’s 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM. I shot […]
The fourth of July means many things, and for photographers, one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of this holiday is capturing amazing photos of fireworks. The bright lights in the night paint the sky with multi-colored flames in a way that can be spectacular to witness and capture with your camera. And while it may seem that fireworks–and articles about how to capture fireworks with your DSLR–only appear for a few nights in early July, there are actually tons of nights from coast to coast all summer long when the skies are illuminated with fireworks.