Exposed! :: Top Summer Photo Adventures ::

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A few years ago I wrote about TAM - Territorial Artistic Myopia - the false sense that if you want to photograph anything good you need to go somewhere exotic. That's HOGWASH!

In this month's Exposed Photo Newsletter we explore some top photo adventures close to your home.

Local photo tips
Local photo tips - shot from our front yard!

Photo adventures close to home:

1. Macro Photography
Grab a macro lens or very wide angle and get very, very close to your house plants, garden plants or even dandelions. You do not need to go to the tropics for fine florals!

Equipment-All you need is a tripod, macro or close-up lens and a plant of some description

Advanced-Mold the light with flashlights, reflectors, diffusers.

2. Event Photography
Almost every village, town or megacity has some kind of event in the summer - everything from family summer festivals to sports events (running races, baseball tournaments, dance festivals) to music and cultural events. Bring your equipment, approach organizers if appropriate (media passes are often easy to acquire!)

Equipment-Any camera equipment can work. A classic event lens is a 70-200 f2.8. Flash can be helpful or totally not appropriate!

Advanced-Set goals for yourself and contact local media with your work. Expect to get paid if they use your photos!

3. Candid Portraits
Barbecues, birthday parties and weddings offer a smorgasbord of faces to photograph. Bring your portrait lenses and seek out the best smiles, laughter and secret kisses!

Equipment-SLR camera and different lenses depending on desired style:
Wide angle - 14-24mm for intimate, animated portraits from three feet.
Classic portrait lenses – 85-105 for traditional head and shoulders portraits Big telephoto up to 200mm for the event where you need to be everywhere.

Advanced-Shoot with the lens you use the least. Push your limits and comfort zone. Use a big lens to hide your shyness? Use the 85mm or 24mm and get closer!

4. Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Oceans and Creeks
There's gotta be some water somewhere near you. Where there's water there are photo opportunities! Try slow shutter speeds and end-of-day light.

Equipment-Any lens or camera is possible!

Advanced-Try slow shutter speeds for milky, flowing water. Slow may mean 1-10 seconds.

5. Sunsets
There are few places that sunsets don't exist! And where there are sunsets there are fine photos waiting to happen! "But it's cloudy!!" Doesn't matter. There are beautiful photos waiting to happen at twilight and you get two attempts per day!

Equipment-Any lens or camera is possible! I prefer something wide angle.

Advanced-Try a photo every 5 minutes at sunset - re-exposing each time. See the transition over the magic hour. Check the colours in the sky - they are different than your eyes and brain see!

Local photo tips
Local photo tips - shot from our back yard!

6. Weather
Sometimes the best photos come from the worst weather! Too wet, windy, snowy to go outside? You're missing some magic! Protect yourself and equipment or shoot outside weather from inside! You can do it!!

Equipment-Protect your equipment with umbrellas, bridges, plastic, underwater casings

Advanced-Slow shutter speeds can help pronounce the rain, snow, sleet, wind, etc.

7. Wildlife
Wildlife exists everywhere! You may not discover rhinos in your back yard but with some patience you can find squirrels, raccoons, dragonflies, birds, dogs, cats. Patience is the key!!
Be willing to explore, investigate and wait.

Equipment-Long lenses are traditionally used for wildlife but if your 'wildlife' cuddles with you on the couch you can probably risk getting close with a wide angle lens!

Advanced-Big apertures like f1.8, f2.8 will allow you to shoot at fast shutter speeds when wildlife becomes more active - at twilight. Try 1/500th or 1/1000th of a second to freeze the action. If that's not possible try panning at 1/15th or 1/30th of a second.

Pro Perspective
You do not need to travel to find fabulous photo opportunities. Start in your background with equipment you already own. There are galaxies of unexplored possibilities within 500 metres of your home. Guaranteed.

The photos in this newsletter were taken just outside our front door and 2 minutes from the back door.

Remember what is common place to you is exotic to someone half way around the world!

Take your photo equipment and walk no more than a 100 metre radius from where you live. You must find something to shoot. "But there's NOTHING to ahoot!"
Oh yes, there is. Get on the ground, pull out a macro lens or a wide angle lens. Get close. Now get closer.

Open your mind. Ignore the limitations of your bored imagination. Sit and watch as long as it takes to see beyond the familiar. The invisible galaxies of photo fun are waiting for those who are willing to see!

Photos please! Anyone up to share your photos from this challenge? Send us your 'local' photos. We'll feature one on the blog in the next week or two!

Final Frame
Take photos.
Save your travel dollars!
Have fun!