“I’ve been lucky enough to have visited some of the most glorious spots on earth, and I still haven’t seen a fraction of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. But I’m ambitious enough to believe that I’ll have the opportunity to visit and photograph some of the few remaining untouched and pristine corners of the world!” — Jeff Breault
Jeff Breault from Wichita, Kansas has traveled across the globe and taken exceptional photographs of beautiful landscapes. The diversity in light, color, texture, and climate in natural environments around the world require very specific photographic skills – skills that Jeff Breault has honed during his many travels.
Amateur travel photographers may find it difficult to transcribe their personal visual experience of enjoying a landscape to the landscape photograph itself. When we look at a shoreline, or forest, or mountain range, we are compelled by certain color compositions, cloud formations, rays of light, etc. If we simply point and snap a picture, however, we will likely achieve a flat, less-than-inspiring result. This is because when we look at something, we mentally isolate the features we find most compelling. Camera lenses will not do this automatically.
Knowing how to photographically intensify the particular aspects of a landscape that make it beautiful to our eyes is critical to ensuring spectacular natural photographs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when photographing your travel destinations.
Find a focal point.
“Photographing expansive vistas can be very challenging – what seems like a glorious, panoramic view in real life can easily look bland and charmless in a photo. Choose one specific element to highlight, like cloud formations, flowers, or the sunset, and focus on that to give contrast and a sense of the scale.” — Jeff Breault
Use reflections in water to add visual interest.
“I enjoy photographing water, both because it is beautiful and because it is so challenging. If there are reflections in the water, I know it is going to be an exceptionally interesting photo. The glimmer of the sun and the reflection of the surrounding foliage can add wonderful color and texture to the finished shot.” — Jeff Breault
Give the landscape personality.
“I try to not only photograph what I see in front of me, but what I feel when I look at the view. If I feel wonder or awe, I accentuate whichever elements in the landscape that really communicate the splendor. If I feel fear, or that the landscape is foreboding, then I emphasize the colors, shade, and shapes that give the environment an oppressive appearance.” — Jeff Breault
Whatever your travel destination may be, having the tools and skills to photograph a wide variety of scenes and landscapes will ensure that you document your experiences beautifully, and have an abundance of memories you can enjoy and revisit again and again.