The BIG picture

posted on 12th of january, 2010

Last year, I was driving through Broad Pass in the Alaska Range. I was enjoying the amazing scenery when I suddenly noticed a large herd of caribou along the highway. Of course I slammed on the brakes and jumped out of the vehicle with my camera. At the time, I didn't have anything but a Point-and-shoot with a 35-140mm zoom range. Of course I wished I had a super-zoom or long lens, but that was out of the question. I just decided to capture the wildlife in its landscape. I am actually attracted (more often than not) to wildlife shots that include the subject in its environment, instead an animal with a totally OOF (out-of-focus) background.

So next time you photograph something, don't look around with 600mm eyes, but look around with varying focal lengths, so to speak. Try different focal lengths and compositions. Sometimes people want to see more than just the subject. Often, the surroundings can add SO much to improve the photo.

Another caribou shot with the AK range....

"Alaska Railroad"- There is a train along the bottom third, if you didn't notice. I used the mountains to emphasize the "Alaskaness" of the photo.

I just couldn't leave out all the flowers....

Of course there is a time to get close, and not let the surroundings swallow up the subject. But try not to totally forget the enviroment that is around the subject. Then decide whether it would complement the subject, or detract from the photo.

Comments (9)

Posted by Elimitchell on January 13, 2010
Thanks for the comments and compliments everyone. Just wanted to remind everyone not to get tunnel view and forget the surroundings. :) It happens to me, and probably many others.

There is also the idea of using wildlife to complement a landscape. It's the same concept.

Posted by Fultonsphoto on January 12, 2010
Good advice, I tend to zoom in too much sometimes on my wildlife images, will try some with the surroundings and see the difference.
Posted by Rzs on January 12, 2010
I like your images, they're amazing! You must have had a nice stay in there:)
Posted by Yuritz on January 12, 2010
amazing,good luck for the sales!
Posted by Frantab01 on January 12, 2010
fantastic images, good luck
Posted by Rosedarc on January 12, 2010
When the landscape is majestic, why leaving it out indeed?
Posted by Justmeyo on January 12, 2010
Beautiful images,wish you luck with them:)
Posted by smartview27 on January 12, 2010
great photos!
Posted by Mani33 on January 12, 2010
Well done shots indeed! Thanks for sharing... Cheers ;)

Comments (9)

This article has been read 950 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Elimitchell.

About me

Whether the subject is a soaring eagle, snowy Mount McKinley or a blooming Dahlia, ever since I began photography a few years ago I have discovered details through the viewfinder that I would not have seen otherwise. Through my photography, I hope share these incredible facets of Creation with others.

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