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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Waiting for models

Yesterday I talked about getting yourself in the picture to add a bit of human touch. But sometimes that's not always possible. You mostly find that you're limited to using a wide-angle lens.

The reason for this is that the foreground is the most emphasised part of the frame and this is where you end up standing. So in the 10 seconds or so you have to get into the picture you don't have to go too far.

When you use a telephoto lens you're usually focussed a long way away. Too far for you to run and pose in 10 seconds or so. Take this shot above. I'm about 200 metres away from the palm trees and I don't think even UsainBolt could make that in 10 seconds!

So sometimes you have to wait. I had already taken a couple of landscape (ie no people) shots of these palm trees at sunrise when I noticed a young woman walking along the foreshore.

It took her about twenty minutes to get to this point as she sat down to enjoy the view, looked at this and that and just generally enjoyed an early morning walk. Meanwhile I was sitting there with all my fingers crossed wishing her silently to walk into my frame.

Eventually she did but the task wasn't complete. As I have spoken about before, when you have a silhouette it needs to be instantly recognisable. A profile shot usually works best so I sat and waited for her to turn side on to the camera. And then she decided to really help me out by lifting a bottle of water up to her mouth and taking a drink, so the sun shone through the bottle as well as giving me a great profile silhouette.

It doesn't always work this well. Sometimes you just never get the right person into the frame, and even when you do they're never quite facing the right way. Them's the breaks. If I had a dollar for every potentially great shot I've missed...well you know the ending.

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