Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just sit'n 'n Look'n

There are times I often just sit with my camera in hand and not move from one location.  Sometimes it's on my front porch...sometimes the swing in the back...other times I may be off someplace.  The reason I do this is to help hone my photographic eye.   When you sit in one place long enough, and start looking for something to photograph just from where you are at that moment, then it forces you to look for subtle details and focus in on simple things that you might otherwise overlook.

Photography is, after all, 90% seeing (or looking).  Many novice photographers will often neglect to look for smaller, more subtle things to photograph and instead concentrate on the big obvious things.  Certainly, big obvious things can make for some dramatic photographs, but my take on it is all those things are made up of a series of smaller things...which in many cases are actually more interesting and more importantly, more simple.

The most effective photographs are the one that retain that element of simplicity...not so much lack of complex details...but a simplicity that defines the most important elements that caught your attention to begin with.  Instead of the big complex sunset...photograph the effects of the soft warm light of a setting sun on objects around you.  Look for shape, form, and texture...and the interplay of light and shadows...color and contrast...line and angles.

It sounds simple and that's because...well it is.  You might be surprised at what subject matter will catch your attention and just how something that you might otherwise never give a second thought just might provide a really great photo op...



Sarah said...

Great idea! I will definitely try this soon.

Maureen said...

Just joined to follow your blog - love your photography ideas and tips. My theme with a camera has been to see, really see, rather than have a preconceived notion. 1,000 Gifts (Ann Voskamp) has influenced and blessed my life in ways I'd never imagined, helping me see and appreciate things I otherwise would have missed completely. Thanks!