Beginner Tips for Approaching a Landscape Scene - Trust Me Shops

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Beginner Tips for Approaching a Landscape Scene

Beginner Tips for Approaching a Landscape Scene

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Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park is one of the most scenic overlooks on the entire planet. Because of its sheer beauty, it is difficult to walk away from it with a bad photograph. (I have always said that it is easier to make a beautiful photograph of something that is already beautiful than it is to make a beautiful photograph of something that is not beautiful.) And, almost every camera-armed tourist who drives out the end of the Wawona Tunnel on State Highway 41 comes away with a very similar photograph—similar to the one that Ansel Adams famously captured so many years ago. Because we have seen that photograph, and others, from the overlook, many of us have a photograph in mind before we leap with excitement out of our vehicles, camera in hand, to capture the scene before us.

Also because of this, the manner in which you approach photography at Tunnel View can provide lessons to all photographers on how to approach any landscape image, how to visualize it, and how to, hopefully, come across with not only the perfect "postcard" shot, but with images that are unique and speak to your own vision of the scene.

Note: I do not consider my photos of Tunnel View to be the best ever taken… they were merely the best photos I could get of the vista in the short time I visited Yosemite, in 2010.

The Scene

When I traveled to Yosemite years ago, I knew what the view from Tunnel View looked like. Sometimes, as we photograph landscapes, we find ourselves arriving at or returning to a scenic spot; other times, we are out for a walk or a drive and we stumble across a vista new to our eyes.

Scenario 1: Previsualization through Photographs and Homework

If you are traveling to a location, like Tunnel View, with the goal of photographing it, by all means, scour the Internet and travel books to prepare for the photograph you want to capture. There are even "photo tips" books for popular destinations that go so far as to discuss what focal length lens you will want for a certain photograph and what time of day is best for a particular location. This isn't cheating—it is preparation.

Scenario 2: Everything Is New

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