Guest post by Shutterfly fan Paul Altrocchi Paul’s Inspirational Scenery
I have developed a hobby of scenic photography while on hiking and snowshoeing adventures, during travel vacations, or simply from enjoying the beauty around my local area. I love putting the best of my photos in Shutterfly photo books, calendars, Christmas cards and even made a 4 season coffee mug.
The camera I use has a rectangular LCD screen, similar to the shape of a postcard, so when I am taking photos, I try to imagine some pictures as a postcard, one that I can use in one of my projects, or to bless others with by sharing photos on my website, by email or Facebook. No matter how gorgeous a particular location may be, it is still up to the one behind the lens to capture the moment and turn it into a memory; not only for you, but for the joy we have all felt when those we love give a big WOW response.
I now want to share some tips I have learned or cultivated in in my own experiences. And to help you remember easier, I have put together 4 groupings of alliterations starting with the letter C, in order to help you “C” scenic postcards in your photography.
- Complete Content
- Color Contrast is Critical
- Capture Character
- Creative Coordination
First of all there is Complete Content, in the first photo above; you notice that there is a foreground, main object and background, which is basic knowledge for most photographers. In this picture, the foreground is the dirt road and the terrain below, the main object is the fabulous fall colors and the reflection on the water, with the background as the mountains and the sky. Complete Content for scenic photos often has each of these components. There also happens to be excellent color contrast as we will discuss next.
I am always looking for Color Contrast in my photos, I happen to like to use the blue sky and clouds at the top of my photos. Fantastic fall colors peaking in intensity and shining in the sunlight, as in these first two photos are favorites for this time of year. A combination of water, mountains, the sky, rocks, different trees or building structures allows for numerous ways to find Color Contrast.
Most postcards have something unique or distinct within the scenery, catching the eye, this is what I mean by Capture Character. In the two photos above, character is found in things like the group of rocks lined with a colorful growth, meandering water, a fallen dead tree, funky cloud formations, pointed mountain ridges or the tire tracks in the river bed. Character can also be seen in the hiking trail or a tree in the silhouette of the sky, as in the 2nd photo in this series. There is an abundance of Character found in nature and God’s marvelous creation to inspire us for scenic postcards.
Our 4th alliteration is Creative Coordination, utilizing various camera angels, zoom options and daring to take a photo from a different perspective than the majority of people would settle for. The two previous photos were taken from the identical location, offering slightly different character features, yet maintaining complete content and color contrast, even highlighting the dynamic fall colors with more zoom in the second photo.
I hope and pray this will help you “C” your way to some of your own scenic postcards!