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Change your perspective

Image of the February 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
February 2020 Issue

Tramping photography can be quite repetitive, but by thinking outside the box, you can spice up the status quo of your tramping photos

Tiny worlds
Macro photography is a beautiful way to access a world normally invisible to us. Getting up close with tiny subjects like flowers and bugs is par for the course of macro photography, but you can take this to the next level by challenging your viewer with visual riddles. Capture the gritty fabric of your backpack or use unusual perspectives with a shallow depth of field to shoot flowers in new and unusual ways. Images that take a few seconds to figure out can help break the monotony.

Not every lens is capable of taking extreme close-up shots. Special macro lenses are required for focussing at distances below 20cm.

Foreground, foreground, foreground
There is hardly an image that is not made better by thinking about its foreground. Sitting in deep grass or between rocks when taking a photograph dramatically shifts its outlook. Crawling around on the ground is a sacrifice well worth making since it anchors your image to the landscape and gives your viewer a sense of place. We know your legs and back hurt, but give it a try!

Up high, down low
Making an effort to capture what is going on below our feet and above our heads can add to the overall story of any tramping trip. Boots sinking into a boggy mire tell the story of suffering across Stewart Island in one image.

A sky full of dramatic clouds can be the herald of a coming storm.

The Breakdown
Before the glory of open tops tramping lies the slog of walking through gloomy forests. Since it was the middle of the day, there was no way of capturing my environment in an interesting light. Looking straight up changed that entirely. Shooting into the sun added contrast and drama to the image, and allowed me to offset the greens of the forest with the blues of the sky. It is not an exciting image, but it tells the story of our approach as part of the overall narrative of the trip.

Can you hear the birds chirp and the leaves rustle?

Photo details

  • Camera: Fujifilm X-T2
  • Lens: Fujifilm XF16-55
  • Settings: 16mm, ISO200, f8, 1/100s

– Dennis is a commercial photographer and teaches photography at www.heroworkshops.com

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