I recently bought a new camera and my wife decided she would like to learn how to use my old one. We were both off of work on Monday so we decided to try out a paved walking trail near our home. When it is finally completed the trail will be twenty miles long of continuous paved walkway. Right now there is about twelve miles finished that is located across two counties. It is set up for biking with eight foot wide trails and some additional walking trails that are about four feet wide. The majority of the walkway skirts a big creek that is about fifty to sixty feet wide in some spots.
After we got parked and started on the trail, I started giving my wife the basics of how to use the camera. It only took a few minutes to realize that my teaching would end up being some basic comments about how to hold the camera and how close you could get to take a shot. For her first lesson she wanted to do point and shoot and I could explain why the picture was blurry or the objects were too far away. She wanted to just use the 18-55mm kit lens rather than worry about learning how to change the lens. Once we got her ground rules in place , things went a lot smoother.
The trail is great for bikers and walkers but is not really filled with good photo areas. The creek had recently flooded the walkway and surrounding woods and everything up to eight inches high was covered in dried brown mud. The walkway had been cleared but all the little ground hugging wildflowers were covered in light brown dust. We had a nice time just walking and she managed to get a few shots that were ok. Here is one of some flowers on a bush that were in bloom. The bushes were in bloom everywhere and the aroma was not pleasant.
During our walk we found a small pond right next to the trail and there was a flock of geese resting on a little island just off the shore. I didn’t want to bother changing lenses so I took a shot with my 18-135mm lens set at 135mm. This is the shot I got (cropped slightly) –
It was an ok shot but when I got home and looked at it on my computer I realized there were also three nice individual shots I could crop out of it. In the one below each goose has their neck twisted in a different pose and their bodies are arranged in a nice triangle configuration.
In the next one their heads are all in the same position but one is standing up which helps lead your eye through the frame. The branch on the ground then leads you on out of the shot creating a nice left to right flow. Notice that their bodies also create a triangle. I also like the way the reflections in front of the geese lead you into the shot.
In the next group four of the five geese are all posed the same way and create a small triangle next to the one goose standing alone and looking the opposite direction. I left the little stump in the background because I thought it helped create the top point of a larger triangle that led your eye through the shot. The composition might still work if I cloned it out.
I think the individual crops have a lot more impact than the larger scene with all of them in it. What do you think?
Until next time —