Last fall, we took a trip to Virginia. While there we toured Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home, Monticello. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable. We learned a lot about Thomas Jefferson and how life was at that time. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello was run like a small town. He had slaves who worked on the land and in the house. They grew the food, made the meals, made their clothes, etc. They did it all at Monticello. The ironic thing that was mentioned in our tour is that Jefferson was remembered as a man who did not believe in slavery. Yet, he had slaves. It is also rumored he had fathered six children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, VA. He died in his bed in Monticello on July 4, 1826. He was a draftsman of the Declaration of Independence and also served as the third President of the United States. While we were not allowed to take pictures inside, we took several outside!
In October, we took a short trip to Apalachicola, Florida. Located by the Florida panhandle, Apalachicola is well known for the abundance of oysters that are prevalent in the outlining waterways. While there we took pictures of fishing vessels and other items that we spotted around town. As you look at these images, you will get the old Florida feel of this unique fishing village.
These photographs were taken from a fall trip we took to the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia. We took many, many photographs of course. But the following ten images are examples of how to transpose an ordinary, well taken photograph into one that may be a bit more interesting! Try a few of these photography ideas, and let us know how your images turned out.
When taking outdoor shots on a sunny day, capture the blue sky. It makes the clouds and surrounding scenery pop. Hint: shoot opposite of the sun.
Shoot for the Eyes
Get the eyes perfect on an animal, and the fur and feathers will be sharp and in focus. If you get some depth of field on rest of the body, that is okay. The face is the most important.
Follow the Path
When shooting an outdoor scene, have an object in the distance that will take divert the viewer’s eyes to another point in the image. In this image, your eyes go to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.
Color Contrast and Water Reflection
The photo on the left shows a bright contrast with a dark blue sky and the bright red fall leaves on the trees. The photo on the right shows a mirror reflection of the mill in the lake.
Tilt the Camera
Historic buildings are great photo opportunities. And they will look great taken as they are. But let’s make it more interesting. Tilt your camera but don’t overdo it. In this photograph, a slight camera tilt and dramatic sky enhance the image.
Stop and Shoot
Take a scenic drive with your camera. When something interests you, stop and shoot it. In this case, it was the burst of color from the beautiful fall foliage. And always compose the scene in your camera before pressing the shutter.
Think Out of the Box
Not every photograph needs to be a person, scene or animal. Think of something totally different to photograph.
Shoot scenes that depict the holidays. The fall provides many opportunities. If you have children, dress them in fall clothes and put them in a pumpkin patch. It is the photograph Grandparents will love forever!
Roads, rivers, railroad tracks, paths and fences are items that show a perspective view. This also diverts the viewer’s eyes to a destination in the photograph. Want to make it even more interesting? Find an area in which the perspective is not straight, but curved. In this photograph, there are several curves leading the eyes to the trees in the background.
Take a road trip to remote areas. In this photograph, we stumbled upon an old hunting cabin that had been abandoned. Nestled in the woods in an isolated mountain road, this tiny red cabin caught our eyes and the shutter of my camera!
Recently we visited the NASA Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida. It was amazing how much there was to do and see at the space center. We watched a 3D film that showed the development of the Hubble Telescope and the enormity of what can be seen by this majestic technology device. Our bus tour took us past the NASA Office Complex and several of the launch pads. Never seeing a launch in person, I assumed it was done at the same launch pad, but there is more than one! The highlight of the trip was viewing an Apollo spacecraft. The size of the rocket boosters and height of this spacecraft is amazing. Also on display were the Lunar Module and the Space Rover. Before leaving we watched a simulation of man landing on the Moon. The trip to the NASA Space Center was far better than expected, and we would like to return when they get one of the Shuttles! Please enjoy some of the shots I took of this trip.
In a recent visit to North Carolina, I captured the beauty that surrounds the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel a sense of peace when I am surrounded by these majestic mountains that are truly a blue color when you see them in the distance. While there we stayed at the Azalea Inn in Blowing Rock, NC. The Azalea Inn was a quaint old fashioned style motel that had an abundance of foliage and flowers surrounding the property. We also included an adventure of seeking obscure and tucked away waterfalls to photograph. Some of the trails were a bit treacherous, but the reward of seeing a majestic waterfall deep in the forest was well worth it!