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Camera Shop Muskegon: Lighthouse Facebook Photography Challenge

Find your favorite Lighthouse and snap a pic!

MUSKEGON, Mich. — It's another week and it's time yet again for another photo challenge! 

This week Justin Stubleski, from The Camera Shop Muskegon offers up some great advice and tips for capturing your favorite Lighthouse. Here's what he had to say:

With 124 lighthouses in Michigan, it shouldn't be hard to complete this Facebook photo challenge!

Instructions:

1. Grab your cell phone or camera and get ready to capture your favorite lighthouse!

2. Share your images with us! Email your captures to photochallenge@camerashopmuskegon.com. Let us know what camera, lens, or phone you used to capture your images.

3. Join us on Monday, July 13th, 2020 at 5:00 PM for a Facebook Live Tips & Tricks recap of" Your Favorite Lighthouse " Photo Challenge.

4. Tune in to our Facebook LIVE Photo Challenge photo review of "Your Favorite Lighthouse" on Monday, July 20th, 2020 at 5:00 PM..

Your Favorite Lighthouse 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 "lighthouse photography" or "Michigan lighthouses". This will provide you with enough inspiration to spur your creativity.

2) Light - One of the most important qualities of any successful photograph is the quality of light. After all, photography means painting or drawing with light! When capturing your favorite lighthouse you'll want great light! Great light will allow you to emphasize the space, structure, and atmosphere around your favorite lighthouse. Look closely to observe how light influences textures, contrast, shadows, and reflections that define the structure of the lighthouse you're photographing.

Also, be aware of the time fo day and location of the lighthouse 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. Shooting in the middle of the day is not ideal, but can still produce results, especially if you are playing with shadows and textures. Clouds are always a nice touch!

And finally, don't be afraid to shoot your favorite lighthouse in all kinds of weather conditions and different times of the day. Each shooting situation will render a unique result.

3) 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, if you can. A drone is perfect for shooting above a lighthouse, but be aware of your flying restrictions and safety regulations. Shooting a lighthouse from a higher point of view will minimize distortion, looking down can emphasize lines and shapes, while conventionally looking up creates a looming feeling of dominance.

Along with perspective, don't forget that a lighthouse has more than one side. Shoot around your favorite lighthouse. Each side can present you with new angles and perspectives. Just remember what we talked about with light and time of day. Each side of the lighthouse will be painted with light at different times of the day. So you may want to revisit your favorite lighthouse throughout the day to capture it at its best. Be mindful of what pierhead your lighthouse in on. If it's on the South pierhead, try shooting from the North pierhead, back towards the South, and vise versa.

4) 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. Use the pierhead that leads out to your favorite lighthouse as converging leading lines. Remember the saying, "The devil is in the details." If you come across any implied shapes or structural details, focus on them, playing with composition, and filling the frame.

6) Converging Lines- Converging lines is technically known as the keystone effect. This is the visual distortion of two or more lines that get closer and closer together at a point on the horizon. This typically occurs when you look up at a building. This can be corrected by shooting from a higher vantage point to reduce this distortion. You can also accomplish this with a tilt-shift lens, but they can be expensive to purchase. The best way to correct converging lines is to correct the image in an editing program like Lightroom and Photoshop. Phone apps like Snapseed are an effective editing tool for your mobile device.

7) Suggested Equipment - To get the most out of your shots I suggest that you shoot utilizing a wide-angle lens to capture the full breadth of your favorite lighthouse. Shoot on a tripod. Shooting with a tripod will add stability to your shots and will help in controlling distortion, making minute adjustments and will reduce camera shake from shooting handheld. And finally, try using a CPL filter (circular polarizing filter). A CPL filter will help reduce or remove unwanted reflections off of lighthouse windows or water. It can also make skies bluer.

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