Play with Posing: “So many times, I see the photographer lining everyone up in a tight row, smashing them all together. I want to tell them to break it up a bit!” Doug laughs about this because it’s such a common occurrence with vacation shooters. “Pose your subjects around something. Let them sit, stand, kneel–just move them around a bit. It makes the image more visually appealing than having people in a single file line looking straight at the camera.” Doug adds that looking for a seated area such as a bench can be all you need to for a great family vacation photo.
Shooting in Strong Light: The harsh summer sun can create some obstacles to great photos, but consider using your flash as a fill flash in these situations. “Also, make sure to backlight your subject,” Doug adds. He also states that if you’re close to a building, go to the north side and shoot in the shade.
Interlace Video with Photos: “Inserting video clips into your still photo slide show is a great way to add additional perspective and interest to your summer story,” Doug offers. He states that it’s important to keep the video clips small–say, ten seconds or so–and use them at key points in the storytelling process. Video can provide a different dimension and make the overall experience even more compelling than still photos alone.
The Best Accessories for Travel: Doug feels that there are a few items that will help summer shooters make the most of their vacation photo opportunities, including:
• Polarizing Filter: This often-overlooked accessory can add new dimension to your photographs. If the sun is strong, it removes glare from windows and from other reflective surfaces. “You’d be surprised at how many things in your background can reflect light. Water, leaves and flowers all pick up reflective light. It’s like looking at them through glass–you have to view them at a very particular angle for the colors to be rich. A polarizing filter can bring the richness back to your skies and grass. The sky will be bluer and the clouds will stand out. Consider our polarizing filters found HERE
Doug states that you’ll lose two stops of light using a polarizing filter but today’s camera are far more capable at shooting at higher ISOs so you can play with increasing your ISO settings and you should be able to shoot at the same exposure settings.
• Try a Tripod: Doug confesses, “I’m one of those people who’s always in a hurry so using a tripod forces me to slow down, and when I do, it improves my photography.” Doug says that using a tripod allows you to use two eyes instead of one, and it provides you the opportunity to see your shot more comprehensively. “You’re more likely to notice a pole growing out of someone’s head or some other obstruction if you look at the shot outside of the camera’s viewfinder.” Find tripods HERE.
• Wireless Shutter Release: For people photographing children or other challenging subjects, such as birds or other wildlife, a wireless shutter release can be the deciding factor in whether or not you actually land the shot.“ A wireless shutter release offers numerous advantages including stopping camera motion.
It’s also a great asset when photographing kids. Children often freeze up or become very self-aware when a camera is pointed at them. “With a wireless shutter release, I can interact with the child and trigger the shot once I’m out of the frame.” Doug says that that learning the custom functions is important. In his situation, he can disengage the focus on the shutter release and trigger using the ‘back button,’ and this gives him freedom to move and capture the image once his subject is comfortable and relaxed. He adds that it’s also ideal when he’s photographing birds; they leave for a bit and he keeps his setup in place and triggers the shot remotely when they return to the location. Get a wireless radio remote HERE. Or an Infrared Remote HERE
Doug contends that today’s new shutterbugs will become tomorrow’s professional photographers. Regardless of whether you wish to pursue photography as a hobby or career, with mentors like Doug Box behind the scenes, your chances of success just went up.
Telephoto Talk: Summer activities just beg for a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens, in essence, allows us to be closer to what we’re viewing from a distance. Telephoto lenses are sometimes called ‘long lenses,’ and allow you to have the best of both worlds–close and distant.
A common telephoto lens is 70-200mm range and there are also models that offer 70-300mm range. These are considered multi-purpose lenses and have proven to be a favorite among many pro shooters. Our versatile lens can help you get close to the action when you’re far away and fill the frame when you’re near your subject.
Beware of Flares: When it comes to summer shooting, one common obstacle that seems to interfere with fantastic shots is ‘flare.’ Flare can occur when you’re shooting in the direction of the sun or some other strong light source. Flare can often appear as a streak of light or washed out light source covering a portion or all of an image.
To combat flare, consider purchasing a lens hood for your camera lens. These accessories are quite inexpensive and provide a number of benefits. In addition to reducing flare, a quality lens hood can also provide some protection from dirt or scratches as the hood’s design makes it more difficult for these items to come into contact with your lens’ surface. A lens hood can also protect against fingerprints and oils from your hands. Find Porter’s lens hoods HERE.