Travel Photography – Part 4 of 4: THINGS

This is the fourth and final segment of our “Travel Photography” focus.  We’ve already covered “people” and “places”, so this month, we’ll round things off and take a look at the broad category of “things”, specifically, things of “nature”.


Biltmore Tulips

Flora:  Here in Western North Carolina, there is no shortage of opportunities to photograph endless varieties of flora, whether that be wild flowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or 90,000 tulips at the Biltmore every April.  This is one area of photography that may require some specialty equipment:

  • Invest in a “macro” lens to capture super close-up compositions.
  • Also, invest in a sturdy tripod to keep things steady, and to keep your focal point precise.  Supplement this set up with a cable release, or remote.
  • Experiment with depth-of-field by adjusting your aperture.  Use your camera’s depth-of-field preview button (if it has one) to check the DoF before you fire the shutter.
  • Beware of the wind!  As things move, so will your focal point.  You may also fall victim to motion blur if your shutter speed is too slow.
  • In most cases, avoid harsh sunlight.  Overcast days are best, but if you must shoot in direct sunlight, use a “diffuser” ring to soften the light and to avoid extremely contrasty situations (i.e., deep shadows with blown-out high-lights).
  • Fill the frame! If you invested in a macro lens, this shouldn’t be a problem!
  • Also shoot “wide”, but be conscious of including too much subject matter in the frame, which can result in a confusing composition.
Great Egret

Great Egret – Sanibel, Florida

Wildlife:  Of course, animals and insects are also a part of nature, but they deserve their own “things” category here.  Like its flora counterpart, photographing wildlife may require some specialty gear:

  • Use a lens with a long focal length to bring your subject closer (especially if it is a bear!).
  • If a long lens is out of your budget, your longest telephoto lens may be compatible with a “teleconverter”.  Teleconverters magnify the power of your lens and typically come in 1.4x, 1.7x and 2x sizes.  They are much easier to carry around than a huge 500mm gun, but they do have their down-sides.  Your maximum lens aperture will be reduced by up to two full f-stops, and there may be some optical quality loss, particularly with cheaper third-party components.
  • If you are going on an African safari trip of a lifetime, but don’t want to invest a ton into a big lens, look into renting one for the duration of the trip.
  • Make good use of your auto-focus system to follow moving wildlife.
  • For small animals, get down low.  Lie on the ground and get dirty if needed!  This can be the difference between and okay capture and an awared-winning photograph.
  • For insects, make use of your macro lens and tripod.
  • Be kind to the habitat.  Take only photos.  Leave only footprints.

Markets:  Just a quick note on “markets”… Though considered “places”, markets are a fantastic place to photograph “things”.  For more about this, check out the Travel Photography – Part 3 blog post on the got f-stop Photo Blog.

Marionettes - Kathmandu, Nepal

Marionettes – Kathmandu, Nepal

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.