Let’s face it – in a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket, it isn’t easy to get your photos to stand out. Especially when you are photographing a popular landmark!
We Took the Creative Challenge
Two of us from the PocketWizard team wanted to take a photo of the Vessel, a popular new structure in the Hudson Yards area of New York City. We really wanted to make it pop and do something that no one else had done. Here are some results and our 3 tips that might help you make a photo that truly stands out.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of Available Light and Adapt When Light Changes
We worked all day at Photo Plus Expo and managed to make our way to the Vessel around sunset. This was great timing – it isn’t called the “Golden Hour” for nothing! We were hoping to arrive in time to take advantage of that great natural light, however, as luck would have it, we couldn’t get on the structure until after sunset. We had to be flexible and turn our attention to the available light coming from the cityscape.
Tip #2: Augment Natural Light with Flash to Call Attention to Your Subject
Sometimes it helps to visualize your image before you take it. Knowing that the eye will normally gravitate to the brightest spot of your photo can help you compose the best image. We wanted to highlight the geometric angles of the Vessel, but the available light wasn’t enough. One of us hand-held a flash near the top floor of the Vessel and the other triggered that flash remotely from the ground -using PocketWizards of course! We were able to highlight a specific area of the Vessel and bathe it in bright light.
Set the exposure in your camera for the ambient light and then try adding a pop of flash. Adjust your settings as necessary.
See the two pictures below, the first uses just available light and the second adds a pop of flash to the upper left corner. Your eye is naturally drawn to that area, and the light adds dimension and interest.
Tip #3: Change Your Perspective
Walk around your subject and explore different angles and distances. Try a shot at ground level, vertical versus horizontal, wide versus cropped – be creative! The more you can move around, the more interesting perspectives you will find.
We love the look you can get when you get far from your subject and then use a telephoto lens. It compresses the image making the background appear much closer than it really is.
The E Release Can Help Your Images Stand Out
We created these images using PocketWizard Plus III radios that were upgraded with the E Release, our new firmware that dramatically improves the triggering distance of your PocketWizard radios. This enabled us to try many different perspectives and ultimately get the look we were going for by allowing us to create a lot of distance between the camera and our flash – almost a quarter of a mile! We think the end result is an image that really pops and stands out from the rest.