Bring the Beauty of Grayling to Life through Outdoor Photography- Grayling, MI is known as a haven for lovers of nature, offering a wealth of beautiful spots in which to lose and find oneself, and feel like part of the great energy that connects all human beings. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the average American spends 93% of their time indoors, with one in four hardly stepping outside at all. Many studies have shown that spending time outdoors is crucial for our physical and mental health. If you love the art of photography and wish to make the most of Grayling’s natural landscapes, follow these tips and inspire others to experience the beauty of nature through your stunning photographs.
Choosing the Right Location
Some of the most inspiring places to photograph are green or water-bound areas. Start off with Hartwick Pines State Park, featuring vertiginous pine trees and a delicate play of light that varies greatly depending on the time of your visit. Photographable areas include narrow pathways between trees and the quaint Hartwick Pines Logging Museum. The height of the trees begs for shots taken from ground level upwards, when the sun’s rays creep in between the lofty branches. Don’t just aim the camera upwards; look out for intricately shaped roots, single trees, and smaller flora such as flowers and moss – which make for dazzling extreme close-up shots. Other natural areas to watch out for include Mason Tract Pathway, the Rayburn Property Trail, and of course, Wakeley Lake. The latter is stunning both at sunrise and sunset so visit at different times for completely different effects.
Composition is Everything
When shooting your photographs, think of the effect you wish to produce. For dramatics shots, place your camera low on the ground and shoot upwards, or, on the contrary, find a high vantage point and shoot canopies of trees or a lakeside horizon from above. The general rule when it comes to composition is to divide your image into three horizontal rows. This rule helps you avoid mistakes such as shooting too much of a horizon and too little of the natural landscape or body of water that is closer to you. Your chosen composition, however, will depend greatly on how you choose to display your photos. If you will be displaying various photos as part of a collage, then selecting various compositions of the same subject is key. By playing with angles and filters, and by shooting at different times of the day, you can show your audience the big difference that changing perspectives can make. Use virtual time-lapse photography to the last precious minutes of the sun setting, or of flowers moving towards the sun.
Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
You don’t have to drive for miles to find a natural paradise worthy of photographing. A nearby garden may house beautiful flowers that are native to Michigan – including butterfly weed, Joe Pye weed, and the purple coneflower. Get down in the grass and take close-ups of a single bud on a dewy morning. Your shots will become even more interesting as insects begin to emerge. Think bees, ants, and grasshoppers – all of which make excellent subjects for nature photography.
Experimenting with Your Equipment
Use different lenses for different effects. Invest in a good wide-angle lens, which is ideal for dramatic landscape photography. If you plan on swimming in a lake or even a pool in the summer, a GoPro-style camera will take stunning photographs of people and/or nature under water. Use different filters, too, including a polarizing filter (which gives richer hue to blue skies) and a graduated neutral density filter, which improves detail and color saturation in nature shots.
If you thought you had to travel to far-off lands to capture the wonder of nature, think again. Grayling, MI has a host of natural spots that are perfect for playing with angle, composition, and lighting. The best way to discover everything you are capable of is by simply heading out with your camera, lenses, and filters, and spending the whole day practicing with new techniques. After you have been out a few days, don’t forget to print out your very best shots and display then in an artistic fashion through collages, edited videos, or even printed fabric for items like cushions, bedsheets, or T-shirts.
Author Sally Perkins