Summer Photography Series

People in Landscape: It's a Great Big World-The Sensational Summer Photography Series: Part 7

I’m incredibly passionate about landscape photography. Next to photographing my children, it’s my favourite genre of photography. So it’ll come as no surprise that capturing my children within a landscape is the perfect fusion for my photography style. There are a few things that should be considered when photographing people within a landscape scene. I want to share some of those tips with you.

1. Consider your lens choice

For the most part, a wider lens should be your choice when you want to capture a human subject within a landscape scene. This big perspective allows you to photograph your subject and the environment too. A wide-angle lens allows for a grande scale to be showcased and can result in a “little person in a big world” kind of feeling. My favourite lens choices when capturing my children within a landscape are my 35mm, 16-35mm, and my 14mm.

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/500SS

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/500SS

2. Consider your exposure triangle settings

When I capture landscape images, I, for the most part, always use a tripod. However, the use of a tripod is not an option when I’m capturing my children in a landscape. They are busy and move around in a scene, so I need mobility too and forgo my tripod. Since I’m not using a tripod, I need to use a faster shutter speed than I likely would if I was capturing only a landscape scene. I like to keep my shutter speed at 1/400 or even higher for my person in landscape images.

Also, I need to consider my aperture choice. I have a couple of options here. If I want to isolate my subject, I can choose to use a wider aperture and blur my background a bit so a choice of f4 or lower would work. However, if I want to ensure sharp focus throughout my entire image, then I will need to use a small aperture like f9 or higher.

If you are shooting in manual mode, don’t be afraid to set your aperture based on what you want in focus within your image, then set your shutter speed to eliminate any possible motion blur from wind through trees or grasses or a moving subject. To complete your exposure triangle, set your ISO last to balance out your exposure triangle.

I often find when I’m capturing a human within a landscape, I often underexpose my image to preserve the highlights within the scene, which are usually in the sky details. I can adjust the shadows in post-processing by bringing them up.

ISO 200, 35mm, f13, 1/320SS

ISO 200, 35mm, f13, 1/320SS

3. Consider your composition

Good composition is vital to a solid image, so this is something I always consider. In the image below, I purposefully composed the scene by considering the rule of thirds (ROT) when I placed my son along the 1/3 ROT line. I also chose to compose my image with my son in the left side of the frame, as this enhances a shared experience with a viewer. When the viewer’s eye lands on my son he or she will share in the experience of looking towards the boat in the distance and off into the sunset.

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/1250SS

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/1250SS

4. Consider mood

There’s always mood in a landscape image. Landscape moods are highly dependant on the type of light and weather at the time of the image. I think it’s important to consider how the mood within the landscape impacts the overall feeling within the image and how the person is captured within the scene. If you have a stormy landscape, it might seem out of place to have an energetic and playful child running through the scene. This type of behaviour is probably more cohesive with a bright and sunny scene. It is, however, worth experimenting a bit with humans in a landscape and mood because juxtaposition is a powerful thing.

ISO 400, 35mm, f16, 1/160SS

ISO 400, 35mm, f16, 1/160SS

5. Use post processing to enhance your vision

Post-processing is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to infusing your vision into an image. Very often in post-processing I’m lifting shadows, lowering highlights, adding colour, tweaking clarity and contrast and fine-tuning my straight out of camera capture. Learning programs like Lightroom and Photoshop will help you enhance your images beautifully and artistically.

In the image below, I wanted to enhance the image in post-processing by adding more vibrancy than in the SOOC. I think the enhanced colour increases the mood as my subject looks off into the dramatic sky while the waves crash into the shore.

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS SOOC

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS SOOC

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS Edited

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS Edited

This concludes The Sensational Summer Photography Series! Thank you for incorporating my concepts into your summer photo memories!

Summer Adventures: Capturing the Memories-The Sensational Summer Photography Series: Part 4

Now, this is what summer is all about for my family! Adventuring! Summer exploring gives me all the warm and fuzzy feelings and taking my camera with me while out and about on summer explorations is an absolute must! I want to ensure that I document all the beautiful summer memories that we’ll be making. I also find I’m incredibly inspired when immersed in a new and unfamiliar environment, and this sparks my creativity.

Here are a few tips when it comes to traveling or taking your photography on the road with you this summer.

1. Pack Light

I tend to want all the things and all the images, but that is entirely unrealistic when out adventuring. My favourite family adventure, during the summer months, is hiking. Our hiking playground is the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Lucky us, right? I sure think so! There are some smaller hikes, but we tend to be relatively adventurous, and often walk longer distances with a fair amount of elevation through the forest and alpine conditions. There is no way I can take a lot of camera gear without being uncomfortable, so I pack as light as possible. For me, this means taking my smallest camera body and a light lens. I usually find my 35mm works best as it is most versatile when it comes to capturing big scenes but it also works for details too.

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/800SS

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/800SS

2. Find Balance

As I mentioned, I want to photograph all the things all the time, but again, this is not possible. I think my family would run off without me! LOL! I need to take a break from my camera and my children most certainly need a break as well. When I’m out capturing memories, I try to capture a few solid frames and then focus on enjoying the moments.

ISO 640, 35mm, f4, 1/250SS

ISO 640, 35mm, f4, 1/250SS

3. Capture images in all types of light

Summer fun happens from sunrise to sunset. Don’t shy away from light conditions that are out of your comfort zone. If you make an effort to capture your summer in all kinds of light, you will undoubtedly learn more about light and grow as a photographer in your skill and comfort level. Try full sun, open shade, dappled light and overcast light. Don’t be afraid to embrace the light you have in order to create your summer memories. Every image does not have to be portfolio worthy.

ISO 100, 35mm, f1.8, 1/320SS

ISO 100, 35mm, f1.8, 1/320SS

4. Think creatively

We spend a lot of time at a mountain beach during the summertime. My children play for hours and hours, and so do I! I try new things, and I experiment. Sometimes those experiments work and fit into my style of photography, and sometimes they don’t. The beauty in trying something new and thinking creatively is both freeing and educational. I find I always learn something when I’m pushing the boundaries within my photography. I think summer is the perfect opportunity to try new things!

ISO 100, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/3200SS

ISO 100, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/3200SS

5. Capture something you normally would not

Perhaps you’ve always been interesting in landscape photography or maybe macro? Perhaps you’ve wanted to try freelensing or rent a Lensbaby. Step outside your comfort zone and into exploring during the summertime. Make an effort to try capture something different or try a new technique that you’re not comfortable with! I am in no way a macro photographer, but I do like to capture a few images of the tiny summer world from time to time. There’s an incredible amount of freedom and learning in trying something new and allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn new skills.

ISO 800, 105mm, 4.2f, 1/250SS

ISO 800, 105mm, 4.2f, 1/250SS

Enjoy all your summer adventures and remember these tips when you’re out and about! Be sure to pack light, enjoy your summer moments by putting your camera down from time to time, take images in all types of light, play around with creativity and take some risks!

Next week is Part 5 of The Sensational Summer Photography Series! I’ll be sharing tips on how to incorporate weather into your summer captures!

Summer Food-The Sensational Summer Photography Series: Part 3

Summer fun comes in all forms, from play, through adventure, through delicious and mouthwatering treats, snacks, and meals. Only recently have I begun to incorporate food as a theme into my summer captures and I wish I had started capturing the deliciousness of summer earlier. I adore those childhood moments when a watermelon slice becomes a smile, the sticky melt from a popsicle runs down a little arm, or little fingers squish together a s’more, oozing out all that marshmallow and chocolate goodness.

Here is some inspiration and tips for you as you go about capturing all the delicious food goodness that comes with summer living!

1. Be ready

At my house, summer treats either melt very fast, are ferociously devoured at an incredible rate of speed, or both! When I want to photograph my children and food, I make sure I’m prepared. I always have a plan on how I want to capture the scene before I even pass over that watermelon slice. With my settings already dialed in and my camera in one hand, I only then release that snack into those little hands and wide as saucer eyes. I know I won’t have long to capture what I want, so I work fast, and being prepared and ready helps with this.

ISO 100, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

ISO 100, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

2. Try different perspectives

This summer, I know I'm going to work on mixing up my perspectives when photographing my children and their food moments! Food is food. Sometimes one watermelon looks like the next to me, as does one popsicle. To add variety, I need to change up my perspectives. Try photographing food straight on, from above, from below, up close and from far away. This variance in view will add uniqueness into your summer food images while capturing those childhood summer memories you don't want to miss.

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/500SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/500SS

3. Focus on the food

How about making food the focus of the image? The talented @this_chaotic_life created the stunning image featured below, and it is a perfect example of making food the focus in an image. In this featured image, @this_chaotic_life has used a shallow depth of field. This perfectly isolates the ice cream cone. The gorgeous flare frames the cone nicely, and the creativity in the flare draws beautiful attention to the sweet treat and all the precious drippy details.

You can find Meredith and more of her creative work on Instagram @this_chaotic_life.

ISO 80, 50mm, 1.8f, 1/400SS

ISO 80, 50mm, 1.8f, 1/400SS

4. Focus on the activity

We camp in our trailer almost all summer long so hot dogs over the fire, marshmallow roasts and picnics are commonplace for my family. This summer, I want to capture these events often because as commonplace as they are, they hold wonderful memories of family time fun.

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

Incorporating food into your summer-themed images is a delicious and fun way in which you can document your summer memories. When photographing your summer food memories be ready with your camera before that snack is up for grabs. Also, don't be afraid to incorporate different perspectives and angles while capturing food moments.

Enjoy the deliciousness of summer! Be sure to tag #thephotographersnotebook on Instagram too!

Next week I'm sharing tips on how you can best capture your summer adventures! You won't want to miss Part 4 of The Sensational Summer Photography Series! Talk to you then!