Tag Archives: perspective

Photography In The National Parks: A Matter Of Perspective

Photography is a matter of perspective, you know. It’s how *you* see things through your camera lens. My latest photography column has been published in the National Parks Traveler, and it deals with photographic perspective, using sample images I captured while visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.

To read the article, click on either of the two images above.

The first image is the ground level view of the wall of blocky, black lava rock comprising the Fantastic Lava Beds, next to Butte Lake in the northeastern section of the park.

The second image is a much higher view of the lava beds from the summit of Cinder Cone, about 2 miles away from the first view.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Lassen Volcanic National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks

Same Thing, Different Day

Bridge Over The Stream, Sunrise Area, Mount Rainier National Park (Washington state)

Same thing, different day, different camera, slightly different perspective. This is why it’s not only ok, but really a good idea to revisit favorite spots with your camera. Because, things can look slightly (or radically) different, depending upon the day, weather conditions, and season.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Mount Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography

A Matter Of Photographic Perspective

After an over-two-month hiatus due to various issues including eye surgery, I managed to make it out for a day hike in Mount Rainier National Park. I’d been checking the weather reports, and thought that “mostly sunny” meant it would be a relatively clear day during which to see “The Mountain.” As luck would have it, the only time Mount Rainier was actually visible was during that time I was hotfooting it to the restroom because I’d had too much coffee to get me going that morning. Thereafter, the mist/cloud cover shrouded everything in a veil of milky white and totally hid the mountain. It didn’t stop me from getting a little much-needed exercise and capturing a slew of leading line trail shots, but it did keep me from giving my new camera and a new lens a workout.

While I was hiking and photographing, I came upon the scene in the two images above. I thought it might be interesting to talk a little about photographic perspective. The first image has more of the trail in it than the second image. Which one do you like better? There’s no right or wrong answer here – it’s all a matter of your own perspective. But, you can see how an image may look slightly different, don’t you, depending on the position of the lens? It’s something to consider when you, yourself, are out there with your camera. Lens placement can make the same scene look slightly or quite a bit different. And, you can really see this change if you happen to be using a wide-angle lens, like a 14mm or a 16-35mm. This image was made with what you’d call a standard zoom: 24 – 105mm. And no, it wasn’t cropped. I simply zoomed the lens in a little bit to cut off some of the trail.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Mount Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography

Photography In The Parks: Scale, Perspective and Connection

Due to extenuating circumstances, the photographer with whom I share a monthly photography column on the National Parks Traveler website had to switch publication dates. So, here is the link to my latest photography column on the Traveler site. It deals with scale, perspective, and the connection these make with the viewer. The Traveler also has a Facebook page, so if you like what you see, then go on over to their FB Page and Like them!

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Filed under Blogging, National Parks, Photography, Travel and Photography

A Few More “Rules” Of Photography (To Be Followed Or Not)

As I mentioned in my last post, there are really quite a number of “rules” of photography.  Some of them you really do need to follow to ensure a decent shot, but others are more or less optional (so I don’t know if that means they really aren’t rules, or if they are rules that can be broken with no repercussions). The rules listed in this post are optional, but still quite helpful.

Fill The Frame

This is definitely an optional rule, depending on what you want to see.  Filling the frame means getting as much of your subject into the frame as possible, without any extraneous, distracting background or useless “dreck”.  For the mushroom photo, this works quite well.  I don’t want a whole bunch of grass in the photo (ok, you might, but I don’t).

However, for the photo of the man and the handprint background (which, btw, uses another rule I mentioned in a previous post), filling the frame is optional, depending upon what you wish to convey.   As you can see, filling the frame can totally change the focus of a photo.


I don’t think many landscape photographers care much for scale, because that usually involves including people in the photo, and the object of most landscape photogs is to to capture the vista sans humans.  I like scale.  I like showing the magnitude of the main subject by including lesser subjects – even human ones – in the photo.  It tells a story and gives the viewer a sense of the vastness that might not otherwise be comprehensible.

See the little photographers along the road?

See the little cars in the right lower corner of the road?

See the people standing at the viewpoint to the left of the image?

See the little rider standing on the horse’s back, holding the American flag from which fireworks are spewing?

Perspective (aka Viewpoint)

Perspective (or viewpoint) may mean you are taking the photo from below looking up, from the top looking down, or simply changing the photo from a horizontal to a vertical, rather than capturing the image full-on.  Perspective adds interest and focus on the subject, even if the photo isn’t facing the subject full-on.

This photo of the Glacier Park Lodge lobby also uses the sense-of-depth “rule” that I mention next.

Sense of Depth

Landscape photographers are always trying to convey a sense of depth to their scenes.  Photography is a 2-dimensional medium (well, unless you are using a stereographic camera), and the photographer wants to show the viewer as much of the same sense of depth (3-D’ness) as they themselves witnessed when they captured the shot.  This is created by including a foreground, middleground, and background.  Sense of depth is also created when you overlap things, like layers.  The viewer sees one layer, which leads their eye to another layer, which leads their eye to another layer – kinda like taking a mirror and facing it toward another mirror so that you get reflections (layers) going on and on and on to give you a sense of deepness (aka depth).


I actually wrote a previous post on just this rule, alone.  It’s a good one (both the rule and the post).  Be aware of the background against which you capture your image.  Sometimes the background helps to tell the story, but at other times, it may be no more than an annoying distraction that takes away from your subject.  In that case, you might think about changing your background by either moving your subject a little, using a professional backdrop or one of those digital backdrops, cropping out the offending parts – if possible, taking the background in your photo and blurring it, or, a combination of the above.

Carry A Camera With You

This rule is totally optional, but totally helpful.  I don’t carry my SLRs with me to work on a daily basis – they don’t fit in my purse and are heavy to lug around constantly.  I do carry my smartphone and a point-and-shoot (Canon Powershot G11) in my purse – originally just to capture any fender benders I might have the misfortune to experience (I’m a good little driver – dunno about all the other Texas crazies out there), but now, I carry it with me for those “just in case” moments, because as a photographer, you never know what experience is out there ready to be captured on the spur of the moment.


Filed under Photography, Rules