Nature photographs like landscapes are best captured using wide angle lenses-the wider the shot, the better. But sometimes it isn’t enough to capture the beautiful scenery. That’s when panoramic photography comes in. Here are some tips for capturing panoramic shots.
1. Use cameras with built-in level
The built-in level allows you to capture panoramic shots and view the results real-time so you can see if the camera is straight or not. Shooting straight will make image stitching a lot easier.
2. Invest in tripods and ballheads.
A ballhead that can pan fluidly makes taking the shot a lot easier. There are a lot fancy ounts out there that promise to take your panoramic photography up a notch. But all youreally need is a good tripod, a smooth ballhead, the right skills, and a good subject.
3. Acquire post-editing skills
Apps like photoshop and lightroom can be really handy when you’re taking panoramic shots. The layer masking feature in these editors make photo stitching smooth.
4. Try vertical shots
We’re used to seeing horizontal panorama. But nature photography isn’t limited to that. Try shooting vertically when capturing waterfalls and streams.
Keith W. Springer here. I’m a retired photographer. I like giving tips about photography, so be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates.
Photography today is far from what it used to be. It seems that for the most part, technology has perfected shots such that photographers can afford to make more mistakes with their DSLR cameras. Before, everything was more deliberate, not to mention cumbersome.
Back in the day, the magic was done within the confines of a dark room. The reason the darkness was crucial to developing good pictures is that it allowed for processing of the light-sensitive materials. One mistake in lighting could impact the processing of the whole film, and consequently, the final product itself.
An essential tool that made developing photographs successful is the enlarger. This mainly magnified the image that has been captured on film, which then made it larger so that the details could be transferred onto a photographic sheet medium. This took time to create, and it had to be handled with utmost care.
Then the final print had to be treated with all sorts of chemicals. This was the final step to revealing whether or not the shot taken was a success.
Today, the process has been eliminated entirely. Most of the digital generation of photographers only have to be mindful of taking as many shots as they can, through which they can choose from a variety of shots. From the standpoint of a photographer from the film age, this can be just little challenging to adapt to, but maybe not too much to handle.
Hello, I’m Keith W. Springer. I was working as a photographer long before the DSLR came out. During the days of film, I spent a lot of time in the darkroom making sure that my pictures came out the way I wanted them to. To read more about film photography, visit this page.
Ah, Yellowstone. I can’t deny how much I’m in awe of this place. Although I live miles away from the park, I can still vividly remember my nature-filled photo walks in Yellowstone. If you’re a nature photographer thinking about shooting marvelous sites in the famous National Park, here are some photo spots that will give you an amazing time (and an amazing set of travel images).
Boiling River is a hot spring between Gardiner and Mammoth. It’s a great place where you can find wildlife like the elk, bighorn, and pronghorn, and it has beautiful colors that will make a great impression in photos.
It might not be the tallest geyser in Yellowstone, but Old Faithful is the most famous in the park. You can witness its erupting spectacle from a distance, and it happens every 90 minutes. The eruption usually takes around 90 seconds to five minutes, so you’ll surely have plenty of time to see it.
Grand Prismatic Spring
When on a trip to Yellowstone, tourists can never miss the Grand Prismatic Spring. More than a breathtaking scenery, the Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest spring in the United States and the third largest spring in the whole world. Photographers love shooting its rainbow-colored algae rings and misty fringes. It’s really worth the trip.
Hi there, I’m Keith W. Springer, a retired photographer based in New York City. Learn more about event and outdoor photography when you visit this blog.
Nature and wildlife are often the subjects when we head out to parks; but people can breathe life into photos, too. And in parks, you’ll often see kids playing around.
A note, however, before venturing to photograph kids at parks: you need to ask permission, especially from the parents if it’s alright to take photos of their kids. If you have kids of your own, the better, then you can fire away as they do what they do best: have fun!
The best time of the day to shoot at the park is in the early morning or late afternoon. The midday sun will only cast shadows and obscure the expressions on kids’ faces. Ample light during the day is also very important when shooting moving subjects to keep the images sharp.
In photographing kids, you have to be as patient as much as they are restless. Do not get frustrated if a child does not stay long in their current position before you could get a shot. With patience, even after many attempts, you’re bound to get gold in one of them.
I’m Keith W. Springer from Brooklyn, New York. I used to work as a professional photographer, but now that I’m retired, I like to take it easy when it comes to taking photos, and nature is currently my favorite subject. Follow my blog for more tips on photography.
Throughout my time in the Big Apple, I’ve seen truly remarkable places for photography. I know these places have time and again been named as the most photographer-friendly locations in the city, and you’re probably tired of hearing about them. But believe me, if you’ve seen them yourself, you’ll understand all the hype.
The observation deck of the Rock
No, this isn’t Alcatraz. It’s that other Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It’s highly recommended that photographers line up an hour before sunset, so when they reach the top, it’ll be just in time for that beautiful horizon. Some photographers have even said the view from here is better than that of our next entry.
Empire State Building
If sunset is the perfect time for photography on the Rock’s observation deck, nighttime is the best time for photography on the Empire State Building’s observation deck. It’s been featured in countless movies throughout the decades, and the 360-degree view will leave anyone speechless.
The entire walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the bridge will take your breath away. Time the walk during sunset. The New York skyline will be shown from a different perspective. A summer walk is perfect since it won’t be too cold.
Those who are planning to venture into nature photography should list down everything they need before going out. Because while it is an enjoyable endeavor, it can be a difficult one, especially without the required gear.
And, of course, bringing everything including the kitchen sink would not be viable as the weight can be an impediment to successfully capturing as many beautiful shots as possible.
Only one camera is recommended to be brought, therefore choosing the right one is necessary. The camera body should allow full manual override of settings, particularly the aperture, shutter speed, and exposure length. Having a bulb mode and any level of weather sealing can be beneficial.
Probably the most important consideration when doing nature photography is to bring the appropriate lenses for the intended scenes.
For landscape shots, an ultra-wide angle lens is needed, because they offer a greater field of view and more depth of field. Choosing between a prime or zoom lens is a matter of personal preference.
A macro lens should also be brought to get excellent quality out of close-up images.
A telephoto lens works best to capture distant subjects such as faraway birds or natural backdrops. It must be noted, though, that since it is bulky, it should only be brought if using it is a certainty.
As for other accessories, a light, full-movement tripod is definitely helpful for photo stability. One should also be prepared for any weather by packing rain covers or an umbrella, a collapsible reflector or diffuser, a polarizing filter, or an ND filter.
Keith W. Springer here, a retired photographer who still loves going outdoors and traveling to capture the beauty of nature. Learn more about photography by visiting this blog.
Taking up photography is often done with the goal of developing a skill. Recent years have sparked a dramatic interest in the hobby; made even easier by technology. Mobile phones now allow anyone to point and shoot and take incredibly detailed photographs. But the rapid growth of photography has also had an unexpected outcome.
Mental health professionals have studied the relationship between photography and how people perceive information. Two surprising psychological benefits were found.
It enhances joy: A study concluded that taking photos affects the way people enjoy everyday activities. How exactly this works is still being researched, but a general assumption is that those taking photos are completely engaged in the activity. Looking through a lens forces the photographer to live in the present moment; which is a key characteristic of mindfulness and improved mental health. Those who continue the practice are able to achieve a sense of contentment and relaxation, which affects joy and how one appreciates life.
It improves focus: Jumping off from the previous point, those who regularly take photos are recorded to be more focused than those who do not. Additionally, the focus is not limited to just maintaining a subject in place; the focus was seen to enhance creativity as well. Photographers have to be able to view things differently; these are reflected in their work.
There are other studies that document various benefits, but these two are the ones that psychologists were most surprised with. It is hoped that this would encourage more people to take up the hobby – not only for the potential to learn a new skill but for personal growth as well.
Keith W. Springer is retired, but that never stopped his passion for photography. Learn more when you like this Facebook page.
New York is home to dozens of national parks. It is naturally assumed that parks are only meant for recreational purposes; a few trees here and there constitute an environment of relaxation. Yet, parks can also be a way to highlight historical events and offer a sense of belonging. The African Burial Ground in colonial New York is one such example.
This park is considered one of the most important archeological finds of the 20th century. It is estimated to date as far back as the 17th and 18th century and marks a forgotten period in New York City history. Four hundred and nineteen sets of human remains were discovered between 1991 and 1992 during the construction of a federal building in Lower Manhattan. Immediately, construction was halted and the remains were sent to the Howard University for identification and research. Those who found the bones were amazed by how many sets of human remains there were. After the examination, it was determined that these skeletons belonged to Africans. The remains were re-interred in 2003 and the land renamed as the African Burial Ground.
The more than 6-acre land now features an outdoor memorial designed by Rodney Leon as a tribute to all generations of Africans and those with African descent. Buildings and memorials are designed to remind visitors of the history, culture, and community beliefs of Africans. It is hoped that the park will raise awareness of the struggles of the African people and encourage equality among races and descents.
Keith W. Springer lives in New York and loves to visit different types of national parks. His most recent visit was at the African Burial Ground where he felt a deep pull and compassion towards all those who have suffered. Learn more about his visits to other national parks by liking this Facebook page.
The Great Smoky Mountains was hailed as the most visited park in the U.S. in 2015. Called by the Cherokee shaconage (shah-cone-ah-jey), which roughly means land of the blue smoke, due to the mist hanging over its ancient peaks, this national park accommodates more than 10 million visitors per year. Located along Tennesse-North Carolina border, this 815-square mile park scenic view encompasses the Appachalian Mountains, with about 900 campsites all throughout. Its scope is from the Pigeon River (northeast) to the Little Tennessee River (southwest).
One of the must-see sites in the Great Smoky Mountains is the Cades Cove. Considered a national treasure, this valley awes tourists with its lush fields and breathtaking wildlife. This is a crowd-favorite, especially for families. Aside from its landscape, this place holds a cultural legacy, which still manifests in the architectural backdrop with designs traced back to the early 19th century.
Travelers who want to reach the highest point in the Smokies can find it on Clingsman Dome. Getting there involves a 0.5-mile hike or a seven-mile road off Newfound Gap Road. Traveling through the Newfound Gap Road is also an experience travelers shouldn’t miss. The road is a 32-mile stretch, which provides visitors a number of picturesque views, and venues for picnics, and visitor centers.
Another famous activity in the Smokies is trekking, particularly at Mt. LeConte. This area also has a non-camping accommodation, the LeConte Lodge, but going there also requires hiking trails of 5.5 miles (Alum Cave Trail) to 8 miles (Boulevard).
Other activities and areas in the Great Smoky that are worth visiting include:
– Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trails – a six-mile-long trail that goes through various forests, overlooking streams and waterfalls.
– Laurel Falls – considered one of the most famous attractions in the park, this is an 80-foot-high falls, which can be reached through a 2.6-mile hiking trail (roundtrip).
With its impressive mountain range, and mesmerizing scenery all over, the Great Smoky Mountains should definitely be in every traveler’s bucket list.
I, Keith W. Springer, love my quick strolls to New York’s National parks. Once in a while, I travel outside the Big Apple to go on an adventure in other places, including the Great Smoky Mountains. If you’re interested in these kinds of activities, and topics, as I write about them, follow my blog.