Don’t for­get to Look up!

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

What ’s the Big Idea?

It’s very easy to pho­to­graph what’s in front of us, as our eyes scan from left to right search­ing for com­po­si­tions. How­ever, of­ten look­ing up can be all it takes to shoot more dy­namic im­ages. Whether you are walk­ing through forests of tow­er­ing trees or large, sky­scraper-packed cities, you can cre­ate un­usual im­ages by point­ing the cam­era to the heav­ens.

What ’s the Key?

The key to this tech­nique is util­is­ing dy­namic lines as much as pos­si­ble. With this im­age of the gi­ant red­woods in Cal­i­for­nia, I wanted to show the pat­tern of lines that these trees cre­ate, as they are the tallest trees in the world. I mounted my Nikon D800 with a 14-24mm lens set at 14mm to ac­cen­tu­ate the lines. The hard­est part was crank­ing my neck to see the dis­play us­ing Live View! It took some mi­nor ad­just­ments in the fram­ing to en­sure that there were even pat­terns com­ing in from all the edges of the frame. Be­cause the for­est was so dark, I needed to use pos­i­tive ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion, and over­ex­pose the scene by one stop, oth­er­wise the dark trunks would have come out too dark. I’ve tried this same tech­nique in cities.

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