Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to take a great outdoor picture -- A guest post

Today, we welcome a fabulous guest poster -- Shanna Cookson. Shanna is the most beautiful person I know. Eight years ago, we met in high school; now, we're married. That's evidence that Shanna is a very patient person. In addition to being beautiful and patient, Shanna is quite talented, especially with our camera. In her first guest post, Shanna demonstrates how to take a good outdoor photo. Here's Shanna:

How to Take a Great Outdoor Picture by Shanna Cookson

In Chicago, it’s fun to relax at Lake Michigan, whether to spend an entire day or just a few minutes. Whether sunbathing, picnicking, or reading the latest scoop on Jon and Kate Gosselin, Lake Michigan is the place for you. My personal favorite way to enjoy the lake is to take pictures of it in all its glory. I want to capture the way the light glistens on the waters, the way the trees sway in the breeze, and the way a child laughs as he squishes his feet into the wet sand.

All of this sounds picturesque, right? But, if you are like me, you have taken a few too many pictures that do anything but capture the mood of the moment. Maybe you snap a jillion pictures hoping that one, just one, picture will turn out. Or, even worse, you forgo shooting the Kodak moments for fear they will look like something out of a horror flick. Worry no longer. Here are a few helpful tips for taking a fabulous outdoor picture.

1. You ‘framed’ me! Take a look at the perimeter of the image, and ask yourself how the image is being framed. Is their any foliage that would help frame the subject? If I showed this picture to someone, what do I want them to look at? Are there objects framing the picture that do not fit with the mood I am trying to capture?

2. Take advantage of trees. When taking an outdoor picture, I like to look for foliage that will help frame my subject. If trees are present, take advantage of ‘em! In this picture, we can see that the leaves beautifully frame the Chicago skyline.


3. Texturize and Volumize. Nature is abundant with varying textures and sizes, and it is to your advantage to notice these details. In these images taken in Montana, we can almost touch the jagged edges of the rocks. We can also see the vastness of the cliffs.

4. Practice those shots. In today’s high-tech world, digital cameras are everywhere. We no longer have to endure the process of purchasing film, loading film into the camera, taking the film to the nearest Osco, and waiting from days to weeks to view the photographs. We now have the luxury of viewing our shots instantly. If you take a bad shot, just delete and start over. Trying new things doesn't cost you a dime.

So there you have it, a few tips on how to take a great outdoor picture. Your pictures will be framed, texturized, and more volumized. Keep taking pictures on a regular basis, and you will reap all the benefits your camera has to offer.

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