Sunday, May 1, 2011

White Sands

White Sands by Tom Whitney Photography
White Sands, a photo by Tom Whitney Photography on Flickr.
New Mexico, USA


We took a family "Road Trip" vacation a la the Griswolds a few years ago and one of our stops was White Sands New Mexico - in August. As you can see from the complete lack of shadows that we were there at midday and the light was as harsh as it could be. Oh, and it was HOT!

The biggest challenge here was actually the exposure. I was using a polarizer, so I could knock the light down a little. Once I got the composition that I was looking for (particularly the little "crater" in the lower left), I set the aperture for f/10 in aperture priority and took a few shots.

St. Louis Arch - Avoid the "Walkup Shot"

St. Louis Arch by Tom Whitney Photography
St. Louis Arch, a photo by Tom Whitney Photography on Flickr.
I was in St. Louis a few years ago and had the opportunity to visit the arch.  Unfortunately, it was mid-day and the lighting was far from optimal.  So I started looking for perspectives that would make the most of the harsh light.  In this case I think it really worked to my advantage and it certainly helped me avoid the "walkup shot".

The "walkup shot" is the view that you've seen 1000 times before.  Every major photographic target has the same problem, from Portland Head Light to the Eiffel Tower, to the Taj Mahal ; it's been shot a million times - and mostly from the same vantage point and perspective.  What is one to do?