Today I am a tourist

June 18, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

My wife and I visited Yellowstone National Park last week. Due to being up too early too many mornings the days before, we were exhausted. So we did not get up for any sunrise shoots. I became a typical tourist for the day. That means that I arrived on the scene just as the photographers left. The sun was harsh and the light was bad. The place had too many people present to do any kind of serious photography anyway. I decided to just enjoy the day as a tourist would. My camera bag was not even taken out once that day. However, can I be a photographer tourist? My cell phone was put to use. There is a time and place for just enjoying a day, for considering your body and your family.

But we are still photographers. Even when we are not doing any serious photography we can still be creative. Here I shot from an angle so that there was no glare on the water (I did not have a polarizer filter with me).

In this image I tried to use the lines to lead the viewer into the image.

Yes, I know, these are not great images. They are just cell phone shots taken at the wrong time of day. However, as photographers we are always mindful of the light. Most of the time the light was horribly bright. So what do you do to solve the harsh light issue. Well, as you can see, there were many clouds. So rather than just shooting shots left and right without paying attention to the light I waited until one of the clouds moved in front of the sun. While the scene was in shadow for a few moments I snapped the shot. These are little things we can do to help us get better images, even when just taking the day off.

          Always be checking your angles. Should you shoot from low down? Is the image balanced compositionally? Can I create depth? Watch people's shadows to make sure they are not intruding into the image. Make sure that your spouse shields the lens from direct sunlight since the cell phone does not have a lens hood. Oh' and please wipe your lens with a microfiber cloth regularly as dirt and fingerprints can make your images soft. Learn the basics of how the phone's camera works (tap to focus, tap and hold then slide up or down to adjust the exposure, etc.)

          So the point is to still pay attention to photography basics even when you are just having a good time. And by the way, cell phones are capable of taking some decent images.


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