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Old Jan 29, 2013, 1:54 PM   #1
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Default Outdoor photography- why I do it + why do you do it ?

Where I photograph:

I live in Western Canada in a great place, the northern prairies. It's the northern extreme of the Great Plains that stretch all the way from up here then, further west in Canada and the USA and all the way down to Texas...encompassing a lot of states and three Canadian provinces.

90 miles east...from where I live is the Canadian Shield...a beautiful area comprising a multitude of cold Canadian lakes and rivers, thickly forested areas, beautiful rocky terrain.

120 miles or so northwest is the start of the Boreal forest....which comprises thousands of lakes, rivers, miles of forested area.

So while the winters maybe cold and snowy and the summers hot for an outdoor photographer, my location...in my view ...is hard to beat.

I'm retired so my time is more free that it used to be and I take full advantage, traveling every 3-4 weeks on a photo 'safari' as it were, to different locations in one of these areas.

I'm fortunate indeed.

I go down isolated back roads (I carry emergency kits winter/summer) in these different areas....on the lookout for various fauna. I've come across moose, bear,wolves, eagles, fishers, pine martens, owls on many sorts....etc. Even a wolverine once...thankfully I was in a freighter canoe and it was on land in this instance.

I used to go down forest trails by foot...always with a camera and a telephoto in hand. I still always have cameras (DSLR's/ variety of lenses) in the car....but as I'm in my '60's now I don't walk down forest trails as much and as a result miss some wildlife.

Today I was in part of the Boreal forest with camera. It was snowy, overcast....not a great day for photography.

Didn't come across any Birds of Prey (am looking for Great Grey Owls)...but did get one fast...but very blurry...photo of a fox luxuriating in the snow above it's den. When I got within 200 feet or so...it disappeared at great speed...head first...down into it's den. Some might say...what a waste of time...one blurry picture of a rather common fox.

Why photography ? Is it the photo...or the experience ?

But that in itself made it a worthwhile day. I find that in the end it doesn't matter a whole bunch if I get a good photo of wildlife.

It's great if I do...but if I don't see any wildlife...get any good photo's of wildlife....it's also just as enjoyable to be outdoors in the middle of nowhere, never knowing what you will come across. Also the beauty of the different areas is quite striking and that's always a bonus.

To be outdoors without another human within miles....just you and your camera...it's hard to beat...for me anyways.

I've been doing this for many years and I've come to the conclusion that the act of photography and the experience go hand in hand.

It would be different if my living depended on photography. Then the focus would be almost entirely on the pressure to make the trip pay, get something marketable.

But for an amateur such as myself...it's a blend of the journey, the adventure, the experiential and the photography.

How about you ?

Last edited by lesmore49; Jan 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 5:21 PM   #2
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In a nutshell, and not quite seriously, I take pictures of landscapes because it I took pictures of nude, young women, my wife would, at the very least, divorce me.

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Old Jan 29, 2013, 5:35 PM   #3
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Why do I do outdoor photography?

Because that's where the stuff I want to photograph is.

I live in Maryland, in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Chesapeake Bay has more coastline than the entire west coast. Plus, I live near Andrews AFB, and there's always something interesting going on over there.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 6:58 PM   #4
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I suspect many "enthusiast" landscape photographers are much like fishermen... not quite knowing what you might catch,or how big- or indeed if anything at all... but not being too bothered of the catch (or not...) as one is in the great outdoors,close to nature,enjoying the fresh air- away from all the bull that one has to put up with on a daily basis everywhere else...!!
I'm personally bordering on the obsessed with my home area,Snowdonia- spending every spare second in the hills- my beloved place of choice- and perhaps I take pictures of it so that I can look at it when I'm not there...!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
In a nutshell, and not quite seriously, I take pictures of landscapes because it I took pictures of nude, young women, my wife would, at the very least, divorce me.
brian
Excellent response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
I suspect many "enthusiast" landscape photographers are much like fishermen... not quite knowing what you might catch,or how big- or indeed if anything at all... but not being too bothered of the catch (or not...) as one is in the great outdoors,close to nature,enjoying the fresh air- away from all the bull that one has to put up with on a daily basis everywhere else...!!
I'm personally bordering on the obsessed with my home area,Snowdonia- spending every spare second in the hills- my beloved place of choice- and perhaps I take pictures of it so that I can look at it when I'm not there...!
Snowdonia is beautiful-I was there with my family four years ago - stayed just outside on the coast at Harlech and travelled around.As well as Snowdonia itself I have a bit of a thing for castles and was spoilt for choice.There was also the out of context beauty of Portmeirion . It was a landscape photographers dream (and it didn't rain too much...)

I'm in East Sussex on the south coast of England.I think we are lucky here because there is a huge variety of landscape to photograph in what is a comparatively small area. It just gives me a huge amount of pleasure to go out and enjoy the landscape often walking a fair way in the process and capturing via camera my take of what is around me.Only problem can be that often I have family with me and then a balance has to be struck between enjoying the day out without the photography side overwhelming it.I will then often be found lagging behind with my camera while the rest march on.

I agree with Lensmore49s last comment -its a pastime for us,if it were a job of course the outlook would be different.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 9:14 AM   #6
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Why do I shoot outdoor photography, Because that were I am at that time. I don't shoot a lot of landscape photography, my wife does most of the landscape shots. I shoot, or prefer to shoot, portraits, family event (ie: weddings, birthdays, etc.) but if I'm outside and something catches my eye I will take the shot.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 3:23 AM   #7
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I enjoy being outdoors. Always have.

Photography allows me to stop, look around me and savor the beauty. The camera then, captures it for me to view and enjoy all over again when I get home.

I also, by the way, love the fact that others enjoy taking photographs outdoors as well. Their photographs allow me to see parts of the world I, otherwise, would know nothing about.

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Old Mar 20, 2013, 2:00 PM   #8
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Default Advice for Grand Canyon shots

I thought this would be a good place to get some helpful suggestions. My husband and I will be on a group tour of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Las Vegas the 1st week of April. I have read various blogs and articles on the time of day to shoot, etc. I have a D90 with 18-105 and a 70-300. Should I stick with the kit lens, filters to use, etc. Thanks for your help.

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Old Mar 20, 2013, 2:25 PM   #9
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I thought this would be a good place to get some helpful suggestions. My husband and I will be on a group tour of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Las Vegas the 1st week of April. I have read various blogs and articles on the time of day to shoot, etc. I have a D90 with 18-105 and a 70-300. Should I stick with the kit lens, filters to use, etc. Thanks for your help.
The right time of day to shoot is when you are there. Golden hour photos are great, but mid-day shots can also be terrific. If you know how to use one and like them, a CPL can be worth having. But they take some experience to put to good effect, so if you haven't used one before, you should probably only use them in addition to whatever shots you would normally take. Use the lens hood. My CPL can be adjsuted witht he hood in place, but YMMV.

Personally, I would bring both lenses. I often like a tele for cropping the view that works for me -- I want to get Snoopy in tight!. But that will depend on your shooting preferences, of course. If the 70-300 is the Nikon VR, I really like it, but usually shoot aperture priority and set it to f/7.1. Wider open than that often disappoints me with the sharpness, but closed down more doesn't seem to offer any improvements on that score with my lens. FWIW
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 5:29 PM   #10
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I used to do a lot of landscapes with my prime lens and short standard zoom. Last year I got myself a Tamron 70-300 mm with OIS and it open me to bird photography. I live on an island city surrounded by water with plenty of seabirds and waterfowls to photograph. I have had a lot of good pictures with this lens even though the focusing is very slow and not good at flying birds. This lens stays on my 5DMKII most of the time. I now need a lens with faster focusing so I bought a Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 with OIS. It came yesterday and have not had a chance to test it because of bad weather. Hopefully, this lens will help me to capture more flying birds pictures.
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