Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Week of Storytelling: Day 1 – Shoot Wide

Photograph © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.
Canon 5D Mark II. Canon 15mm lens.

It’s Day 1 of Storytelling Week here on my blog. Each day, I’ll share a photography tip illustrated with one of my favorite photographs that I took this past April at the Sister’s Meal Festival in the province of Ghizhou in southwest China.

The idea of this week long project: When you go to an event, on the other side of the world or on the other side of town, try to “tell the whole story” with your pictures.

Today’s tip: Capture the wide view.

You need at least one wide-angle shot to tell the story of an event. Here I used my 15mm full-frame fish-eye lens to capture an extremely wide view of the festival. When using a fish-eye lens, run your eyes around the edges of your frame to check your composition. You don’t want your shoes in the picture – in most cases.

When composing your picture, include a foreground element in the scene to add a sense of depth to your image. Use a small f-stop to get the entire scene in focus.

Watch the background, which can make or break the scene. Here, I composed the picture carefully so that the hill in the background filled the top of the frame.

For this shot, I held the camera above my head and tilted it downward. When using this technique, the Live View feature really helps with composition.

Want more travel photo info? My current app, 24/7 Photo Buffet, offers dozens of photo tips for photographers on the go – even HDR photographers.

Explore the light,

P.S. Shoot me an email if you are interested in joining my 2011 China workshops. I will have some guest pros leading some workshops, too. Email me: Rick Sammon at

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