Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Need a Photography Lesson

Upon looking at the photos I've taken on a trip, I often notice that some of the shots don't adequately convey the conditions that I was trying to photograph. This happens a lot when I take photos of very rugged or steep or dangerous terrain. I surely need some kind of lesson on photographing those conditions. I'll use the washed out road I encountered on my last trip as an example. Hopefully, somebody will kindly offer some tips.

Here's two photos that I took of the washout. The first is from 20 yards away, and the second is much closer.

I am disappointed that the photos don't seem to convey the hazard the way I saw it when I was standing there. Maybe it would help if I were to place something into the shot to give a scale reference. I could have placed my backpack or a nalgene 1L bottle in the bottom of the washout. Likewise, the photos don't show how narrow the uphill edge is, preventing me from driving along it hugging the uphill incline. Maybe I should lay a trekking pole there? Maybe I should find a way to shoot it from farther away - to the side? Maybe it helps to shoot this from a higher or lower perspective?

If you've got any suggestions, please leave a comment. I'll probably try them on my next trip. Thanks.

1 comment:

danielchin said...

This is a mystery for all photographers! It's the constant puzzle and white whale: to capture in the image how things actually feel. Anyway, I hope this little bit of info about focal length might help you out a little bit. The human eye is approximately equivalent to a focal length of 45mm. When zoomed out at 28mm or what have you, whatever is close to the lens will be distorted to seem bigger, and things get small very quickly. This effect is most evident the closer you are to the subject. Let me know if that helps. If you really need a photo lesson, let's chat. :)