Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Autumn is a season when fleeting colors produce exceptionally vivid scenes. By combining water elements, you can add extra dimensions and motion.
Having a versatile, long zoom (e.g., the 70-200mm range) is critical to play with compositions. I also carry my 105mm ƒ/2.8 macro for close-up work. I use a tripod/cable-release setup for tripod work, and when handholding, I use a camera bracket, flash and small softbox.
Nature’s artistry is infectious in this season, and I find myself trying to push the boundary to create surrealistic or impressionistic images. These images need a lot of previsualization and planning to succeed. You’ll often end up making a whole lot of nonusable images to produce a successful one, but that’s part of the fun! Some of these techniques to experiment with include long exposures to capture water or wind motion, multiple exposures in-camera, camera shakes and zooming during the exposure. Be patient, use consistent techniques, and refine your composition and camera settings by reviewing images on the LCD screen. (This is where digital cameras are very useful, as you can see the effects instantly.)
Break The Rules
Creative and rule-breaking composition techniques are another way to create distinctive images. Ditch your tripod and start moving around with your camera and a versatile lens (e.g., an 18-200mm) while trying various compositions to generate ideas. When you find something interesting, set up the tripod and recompose with your preferred equipment. There are no hard rules here—in fact, you’re actually trying to break all the rules you’ve learned over the years. Shoot into the sun, use backlight and uncommon angles, and you’ll begin to discover new compositions that you’ve never seen before. The key is to slow down as you shoot and experiment. There’s no need to rush from one spot to another in search of iconic postcard images. Creating something of your own is more satisfying.
Arnab Banerjee is a fine-art photographer based in the lower Hudson Valley in New York, who focuses on nature and travel images. To see more of his work, visit www.arnabbanerjee.com.
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