Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part Two

July 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


July 08, 2017

Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part Two

Now you are out with your camera having learned in, How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part One, how to use the foreground, middle ground, and background to best advantage.

Quick recap; Foreground somewhat out of focus but recognizable, main object or action in sharp focus, and background with a minor interest in or out of focus. Whether the background is in or out of focus depends on how important it is to the image in terms of understanding what is going on in the image itself.

There you are at an interesting wildlife area you like to frequent because of the birds, skunks, raccoons, hawks, herons, plants, and flowers that make for great opportunities of capturing those natural nature moments.

You come upon a large pond that is naked: no waterfowl, no frogs, turtles, or other creatures out getting their morning meals. All is quiet. The water is fairly calm, the sky and clouds are reflecting beautifully on the water. 

What a shot! It’s so big you need your wide-angle lens if you have one. Or maybe your zoom has a great wide angle but not such a great telephoto. Wide-angle, of course, to gather in all of the pond, the grasses and trees in the back and the meadow in back that seems to go on forever.

Taking a couple of shots, you notice that like the floating dock it is devoid of interest. Hmm...Putting something in the middle ground of the image gave us an interesting and information-loaded image. But this time...

08222016BigSpringsPond017AT.jpg08222016BigSpringsPond017AT.jpgBig Springs Pond

We want something a little different, but something that still provides an image with special interest. Put that wide-angle to use. Looking around one notices there is tall grass at the edge of the pond. Kneel down in front of the grass. Focus on the grass. Darn, the wind is blowing in gusts. Wait for it to settle down, or slow down. Set your camera for a high shutter speed. Shoot!

Being a fairly wide-angle lens with a reasonably high ISO, almost everything should be in focus. Check your image on your screen until you have an image you like. There you are. 

0822016BigSpringsSerenity022ATwp.jpg0822016BigSpringsSerenity022ATwp.jpgBig Springs Serenity

Congratulations on another fine shooting experience. The foreground grass is in focus, the pound is in focus, the tall trees at the back of the meadow are just barely in focus. You have achieved another goal and gained experience. More knowledge tucked away in the brain for future use. 

But wait, there are other special interests.

1. A foggy lake early in the morning with mist rising off the lake. Using reeds as a curtain, a wide-angle lens, and a chance to get your feet wet, literally. This image has mystery, interest, and uniqueness. Catching the mist rising off a body of water is not an easy task.

07092012willowlake17707092012willowlake177Willow Lake, at the top of the Rim, on a cool summer's morning.

Unless of course, you know this happens periodically; after rainfall on a cool summer’s night. In the spring when daytime temperatures are high and the nights are rather cool. Get up early, get out there and shoot.

2. A wildlife refuge area where you know hatchlings are out with the adults learning to feed and swim, and exploring the ponds of opportunity.

06192017Canadians@PintailLake524ATwp.jpg[email protected]Canadians at Pintail Lake

This time, in order to keep the birds close, kneeling down in front of these reeds, and using it as a shield a family of Canadian Geese is captured as they quickly cross an open expanse of water.

But wait they are out of focus. Doesn’t matter. 

Canadian geese are rather recognizable and by focusing on the reeds we establish our camouflage, the birds are in focus enough to be recognized, and the viewer becomes an observer of a scene not seen often.

3. A slight mystery of what is that object out there?


 Oh, it’s a man in a boat fishing in the mist. The reflection of the trees on the water in the foreground draws the eye into the image, the rising mist partially hides the boat and one sees it at first as only a dark object. The edge of the sky and tall pines capture the morning sun and frame the top part of the image. The water at the very bottom of the image provides the same function. 

Once again, foreground, middle ground, background, all with areas of interest making an eye-pleasing, relaxed and soft moment. 

How do we tell a story without words? Come back again, find out next time.

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