Brendon Perkins Photography

Take it Slow

Most cameras now days are choc full of features that can be a bit intimidating when you first pull them out of the box. The secret is to build an understanding of your camera’s capabilities over time. Photography is a process of learning that will last a lifetime. I learn new things about my camera’s capabilities all the time. I didn’t force myself to know all of it’s capabilities before my first shoot, nor do I know all of its capabilities to this day (2 years later), but I do make a concerted effort to learn new features and techniques with every shoot. Start by simply relying on your camera’s default settings when taking pictures. Before each successive use, make an effort to read the owner’s manual and pick out a new feature that you’ve never used before. Read more…

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Getting Great Cityscapes at Night

The secret to getting great cityscapes at night is to NOT take them at night! If you wait until darkness has completely set in, you lose a lot of the detail in the scene that you would have otherwise captured at an earlier point in the day. Great night shots of cityscapes are usually composed to capture the night lights that make a city glow. But those artificial lights start to come on before all of the daylight has disappeared from the sky. So the secret is to capture those lights just after they come on when there is still some natural light present in the sky. This technique also works in the morning by capturing your shots before the sun rises over the horizon. The image of Los Angeles in this post was taken in the morning and the detail of the wispy clouds against the red sky creates a dramtic feel to the image. Even though I am not a morning person, it was definitely worth getting out of bed to capture. Get out there!

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Opposites Do Attract!

One way to produce great looking photos that stand out is to compose your shots to contain a single foreground object with a bold color that contrasts against an opposing color in the object’s background. Opposing colors are colors that fall on opposite sides of what is known as the “Color Wheel”. For example orange is the opposing color of blue while red is the opposing color of aqua. Making use of opposing colors leads to greater contrast in the images you produce which, in turn, helps the eye to distinguish elements within a scene. Greater contrast usually helps images to take on a more three dimensional quality because the greater contrast contains stronger visual cues for the mind to process the spatial relationships of the elements contained within. Read more…

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Create Foreground Interest

Beautiful landscapes are everywhere, but capturing them in a way that conveys depth and interest can be a challenge. A landscape with depth is always more engaging than one which appears flat. To get beyond this limitation include elements in the foreground to invite viewers to explore the scene in their minds. When you arrive at a location to shoot, it is all too easy to plop your camera down and start shooting without really evaluating your surroundings to determine the optimal spot for capturing the shot. It is often the case that a much better shot can be obtained by simply moving your camera to the left or right by 5 feet. The solution may not be obvious upon first glance so don’t be afraid to experiment. During a trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I Read more…

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10 Holiday Tips for Capturing Great Photos

The holidays are an awesome time to demonstrate your passion for photography when it really counts with friends and family. So make sure you are prepared to capture some great memories that will be treasured for years to come by following these simple tips: Read more…

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Less Is More

The saying “less is more” is often true when composing scenes for capture as photographs. A common mistake is to try to include all possible things in one photo, but the reality is that images are usually more pleasing to the eye when unnecessary elements are left out. It is often wise to include only one clear center of interest in a photo. When composing shots ask yourself what the main element of the image is and then modify the composition to eliminate the other Read more…

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Keep Shooting After the Sun Goes Down

Twilight is my absolute favorite time of the day to take pictures. As the sun moves below the horizon, the sky begins to offer up alien hues that transform landscapes into surreal and mystical environments to conjur up emotions from deep within the soul. Low light prompts most people to head in-doors, but if you have the patience to stick it out for approximately 20 to 30 minutes past sunset, you’ll generally be rewarded with stunning photographs as long as you come prepared. Read more…

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Go Low for a Unique Perspective

Believe it or not, producing great images is often not about the size of your camera’s sensor array, the number of lenses you have, or how much they cost. Great photography is about experiencing the environment with all your senses and recognizing all the variables at your disposal to maximize the impact of the main elements in the scene you are capturing. One of the easiest variables that is often overlooked is to simply change your vantage point. As humans we are Read more…

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Better Composition: The Rule of Thirds

One of the most effective and easiest methods for improving the composition of your photos is to simply apply the rule of thirds. This rule states that an image should be divided into 9 equal parts by two equally spaced lines in both the horizontal and vertical directions. The main elements of a composition are then aligned with the lines and or their intersection points resulting in images that have a more pleasing balance to the human eye. In the image presented Read more…

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Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park, Big Sur, California

Big Sur is an amazing place for stunning coastal views and the most memorable of those views can be had at the Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park 35 miles south of Monterey. Park your car on PCH and follow the path that hugs the cliff for about 5 minutes until the McWay Falls comes into full view. The 80-foot waterfall cascades from granite cliffs right onto the sandy beach below. It is truly a spectacular sight against the emerald blue backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Christopher McWay and his wife Rachel originally settled the area in the late 19th century. Read more…

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