you have good eyes

People Pics in Yellowstone

Taking good pictures of humans, in general, may be one of the most challenging photographic situations for me.  There needs to be so much care and attention in the setup with equipment, lighting, angle of subject, location, time of day… there are so many factors.  Honestly, I have not put much interest in portrait photography until now. And for the Yellowstone trip, this was clearly not the focus.  Most of the time we were hiking and exercising and not in the best mindset for people photography.  And just as a matter of preference, I do prefer candid shots as opposed to posed photography in these situations.   Even so, I was a good sport, and took lots of people pics to document our  adventure…and I am glad I did.

This image below is one of my favorite pics from the Yellowstone trip.  It was a combination of good setup and lucky timing…and I got to be in the pic!  Usually hard for a photographer to do. =)

resting at the summit of Observation Peak - Yellowstone

The back story behind the photo. After a six mile hike to the summit, we decided to take a rest and soak up the view.  Lucky for us, we were the first to make it to the top that morning.  So the place was ours.  Since we were planning on staying put for a while, I thought it would be a good opportunity to setup up the camera on a timer to take some shots while we were eating.   It was a pretty simple setup.  With my Tokina 11-16 mounted to the D300, I placed it on a beanbag or SafariSack and faced it toward where we were sitting.  (Thanks to Marsha for introducing me to this product.) This is a great lightweight alternative to carrying a bulky tripod.  So, that was the setup.  Now for the coaching, I asked everyone to look at the camera for a photo and then act casually for another shot…just for my artistic preference.  On the third or so shot, a very polite newcomer joined us on the summit.  And just as he was saying “hello” the timer released the shutter as we all were smiling and greeting him.  Got it! I was not even behind the lens..!!  That was the luck.

Here are some other shots during setup and outtakes.

setting up for the shot

another initial shot

And yes, I did place the hiking bags in the shot where they would be less distracting, but still remind the viewer that we did carry those heavy packs. =)

The shots below are more of my favorite people shots on the trip.  And don’t forget, there will be more daily updates on my flickr photostream jayaxe04. Enjoy!!

1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, 16mm (Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8)

1/6400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320, 16mm (Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8)

1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, 16mm (Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8)

1/2000 sec, f/8, ISO 500, 68mm (Nikon D300, 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6)

1/500 sec, f/4.8, ISO 250, 40mm (Nikon D300, 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6)

1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 320, 11mm (Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8)

Click here to see all of the photos from the Yellowstone Trip.  (more photos daily on flickr)

Today is 10-10-10!
Thanks for reading, Jay.


4 responses

  1. Lani

    You make Yellow Stone look amazing! I want to go now! Amazing how everything is sooo clear, and the sky!

    October 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    • Lani- We had some amazing weather. But it does change in an instant… For instance, when we were hiking down from Observation Peak, we got caught in a hail storm!! And when we arrived at the bottom we stopped for lunch and it was sunny. Go figure!

      October 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

  2. Lizzie

    Great layout on the “Resting at the Summit” photo. Even the clouds were working in your favor. Awesome!

    October 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  3. Dorothée

    Love the one were we sit facing the sapphire pool.

    October 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

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