Swamps... what's the secret?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by manaheim, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok, I see swamps all the time and I think they're absolutely stunning to look at, but no matter what I do, the pictures I take of them are NOT great... not even remotely interesting, in fact.

    So what the heck am I doing wrong? :grumpy:
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think swamps are rather like woods and trees 0 they look darn impressive to look at, but getting it on film/digi is a lot harder. I guess the key thing is that when you are there you get a sense of the size of the swamp and the different parts to it - whilst with a photo you lose a lot of that aspect.
    You could try really wideangle and lowdown shots?
    me - I give up and start looking for bugs
     
  3. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

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    We have swamps and marsh areas as well around here. I find shooting them when you don't think it's a good time is usually a good time. ;) Shooting early in the morning, low sun, rain + cool temps sometimes give mist/foggy parts.

    Skies that are weird with bright red sunsets and clouds can cast cool lighting.

    If you can stand the bugs in the summer, going out into the swamp can result in cool shots as well, different perspective. :thumbup:
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I hate bugs. :)

    Ok, those are good thoughts. I guess I'll try. It just seems like there should be some way to capture the look and feel of a swamp on "film".

    This whole aspect of photography foils me. I understand what elements make a scene look neat to us, and what types of scenes will fail in a picture and the specific mechanics of why it fails... but what I DONT get is why there isn't SOME WAY to make it work. I mean, aside from dramatic light and stuff... if it looks cool to me now, why can't I get a pic of it now, you know?

    So bizarre.
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    A couple of things:

    Find a place which interests your eye ... a place which says swamp to you but not to the camera ...

    Visit this area at different times

    1) ) Then look at the light ... look at what it does to the water and plants ... the light will change and that change will have a direct effect on the subject and the image ...

    Take a tarp to lie on will make it easier to shoot low. Take a tripod to shoot long ... shoot in every manner that you haven't shot yet.

    Remember what Robert Capa said " If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

    Gary

    PS- Find a large fountain, in the late afternoon, when the light is hitting the fountain directly ... take your time and do a 360 around the fountain ... examine how the light interplays with the droplets ... see how the water droplets change from light to dark as you change the angles between you, the sun and the water.
    G

    PPS- I also found that in cases where I get frustrated ... to start shooting selective elements of the whole ... and while shooting individual elements ... I get an idea of how to shoot the whole enchilada.
    G
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  6. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, it sucks, doesn't it? There are frequently times that I'll stand in front of some beautiful scene, look at it, and say "I know that if I try to take a photo right here, it will never look as good as it does in person!" But, that's part of the art... finding those ways to do new, interesting things and find new, interesting angles that do make the scenes look good on film.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Swamps also have many areas with sun leaking in from above. This gives harsh light and shadows... a little tone mapping can make all the difference in the world in those cases.
     

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