Ten Tips for Taking Great Maine Photographs
The author and photographer of Reflections of Maine and The Colors of Lobstering shares 10 simple steps to help ensure fabulous photos.
While others are taking snapshots of Maine, you can assure that you will have outstanding photographs with these tips. They are presented in no particular order and most apply to both digital and film-based photography.
Tip 1 - A summer sunrise off Camden
Tip 2 - A study in red and blue
Tip 9 - Rocky Pond, Baxter State Park
Tip 10 - Vertical stems of lake grasses cross-hatch the rippled surface of Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park
- Remember that you are not recording an object or scene but rather the way in which light interacts with it. The light is softest around sunrise and again at sunset. On a partially cloudy day the light just as the sun starts to emerge from behind a cloud is the softest and most even.
- Try to get a different angle on your subject and don’t just stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone else at the scenic overlooks.
- Use of a polarizing filter will cut down glare off objects and thereby accentuate the colors. If you are taking a shot of a reflection in water, glass, etc. then don’t use a polarizing filter unless you want to look through the surface.
- A graduated split neutral density filter is indispensible in reducing the brightness of the sky to bring it in line with the rest of your photograph. No camera (digital or film) has the ability to decipher the range of light intensity that the human brain can.
- If you are using a digital camera, view the histograms of each image and be sure that no clipping of the data appears at either the low or high end.
- Imagine your image in the viewfinder broken into three equal parts, both vertically and horizontally. This gives 9 regions. Place your subject at the intersection of the lines dividing these regions for a well balanced photograph.
- Use a tripod whenever possible to assure the sharpest photographs.
- Keep it simple. An image with a simple background has more impact than a confusing jumble of subjects competing for your attention.
- Be aware of both the foreground and background of your pictures. They both have key roles to play in the perfect photograph.
- EXPERIMENT! This is especially easy if you have a digital camera as you aren’t paying for film and developing. Try different angles, an intentional blur of motion, different light, an unconventional setting (like a beach in winter), etc.
Above all, have fun and think of your photograph as your way of telling a story in the most succinct way without the use of words.
- By: Greg Currier