MUSKEGON, Mich. — It's another week and it's time yet again for another photo challenge! In this week's photo challenge we are challenging you to capture planes, trains and automobiles! This week's challenge may pose some challenges. Automobiles are simply everywhere and should pose no challenge to capture. Trains and planes on the other hand might be trickier to capture. It'll be exciting to see your results in the coming week. Here are some tips to get you started!
1. Grab your cell phone or camera and explore the possibilities of planes, trains, and automobiles .
2. Share your images with us! Email your captures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know what camera, lens, or phone you used to capture your images.
Planes, Train and Automobiles Photography Photo Tips:
1) Inspiration - As always, start with research! I always encourage everyone to search for inspiration within the genre types of photography you are in search of capturing. In this case search for "train photography", "car photography" or "plane photography". Click on the image tab and look through all the images you come across. This alone will provide you with enough inspiration to spur your creativity.
2) Safety & Location - Depending on what you choose to photograph in this week's challenge you'll want to consider your location and safety. Never put yourself in harm's way to create your photographs.
In the case of photographing trains, you'll want to clear of active or inactive train tracks. It's hard to judge how fast a train is moving and trains typically hang over their tracks by three feet. So photograph them from a safe distance. Train tracks are also private property and you should be respectful of trespassing laws. If you don't know where trains are running on a daily basis, I suggest looking for parks or monuments where train cars have been fixated in one location.
If you choose to photograph planes or other vehicles of flight, I might suggest shooting near an airport. Try to position yourself in an area that allows you to capture planes coming and going. The Grand Rapids airport has a viewing and observation park that affords you this luxury for free! I suggest grabbing a telephoto lens and spending some time out at the GRR International Viewing Area. Outside of shooting at an active airport you can visit an air museum to photograph planes that have been saved for historical reasons and public viewing. Some other smaller airport, VFWs, and War Memorials have erected aircraft outside or around their facilities. This gives you a chance to photograph the details of nonmoving air vehicles.
The easy one should be cars. When photographing cars that are moving in the streets, be mindful of how close to the road you are. I like to photograph the details of cars. So I would look for a classic car show where people like to show off their cars. This way you can capture the details of cars in a safe manner.
3) Lighting & Time of Day- Be aware of the time fo day and location of the objects you're photographing. The best time to shoot is typically morning after sunrise and evening just before sunset, when the sun is at a low angle in the sky. These times will produce the best quality of light. Shooting in the middle of the day is not ideal, but can still produce results, especially if you are playing with shadows and textures of the object you're shooting.
4) Angles & Perspective- Perspective is key in creating creative and interesting photographs. Shooting from eye level can create some great images, but try and show the viewer something new. Try shooting from a higher point of view. Shoot for a low point of view. Most of us are stuck on the ground at eye level, so show us something we don't normally see.
5) Lines, Shape, & Details - Keep your eyes peeled for horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and curved lines. Lines can lead your viewer into and through your image, create and imply movement, and influence your viewer's emotions. Remember the saying, "The devil is in the details." Focus your efforts on capturing the details of planes, trains and automobiles. Maybe it's the hood ornament of a car, the rivet on an airplane, or the drive wheels of a train. These objects are typically traveling faster than we can see what makes them special and move. Show us what's special about them up close.
6) Timing - The decisive moment is a concept made popular by the street photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. The decisive moment refers to capturing an event that is ephemeral and spontaneous, where the image represents the essence of the event itself. The best way to capture an object in a decisive moment is to first, find a good background, wait for your subject to enter the frame at the right time, and then click the shutter.
7) Shutter Speed - Shutter speed expresses the passage of time or motion. When photographing things in motion, you'll have to make a decision to freeze the action using a fast shutter speed or a slow shutter to allow for motion blur. You may require a tripod to accomplish shots with slower shutter speeds. You can also try a technique called "panning". Panning is a photographic technique that combines a slow shutter speed with camera motion to create a sense of speed around a moving object. It is a way to keep your subject in focus while blurring your background. Choose your target and set your shutter speed around 1/60th of a second. Now move your body and lens at the same pace as the moving object. Keep the subject in focus and hold down the camera trigger to continuously shoot frames as you move with the subject. Keep shooting through the entire rotation.
7) Suggested Equipment - To get the most out of your shots I suggest that you shoot utilizing a wide-angle lens, a macro lens, or a telephoto lens. The size and focal length of your lenses will differ depending on what camera system you own. If you are having trouble deciding, stop by your local camera shop for advice on what lens will work best for you. Shoot on a tripod. Shooting with a tripod will add stability to your shots and will help in controlling distortion, will allow you to make minute adjustments, and will reduce camera shake from shooting handheld. Try using a CPL filter (circular polarizing filter). A CPL filter will help reduce or remove unwanted reflections off of the objects your shooting and also make your skies bluer.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful in capturing this week's challenge of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Have fun everyone and never stop creating!
Information courtesy of Justin Stubleski.
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