Photography Walks

Phone Photography Badge, Step 3

Since doing research and taking a class on phone photography, we’ve been sharing our new skills whenever we can! Step 3 of any badge is to take action and share what you’ve learned with others. To complete Step 3 of the Phone Photography Badge, we taught others some of the tricks we learned and took action by taking a couple of photography walks to practice our skills. We chose a forest hike and a trip to a local healing garden for our walks. 

Photo Walk: Copper Harbor

First, we walked through one of the only virgin forests in Michigan. Most of the trees were logged in Michigan between 1870 and 1890. Only a few places in the state were spared. The virgin forest we visited is called Estivant Pines and is located at the tippy top of the upper peninsula in Copper Harbor. 

When we were attempting to capture the large trees in our photos, we kept coming up short. I thought to myself… I wonder if a pano-type photo would work up and down instead of side to side! I broached it to the group and we gave it a try. Worked like a charm! It was just what we needed to capture the moment. 

copper harbor, panorama

See how we were able to capture the girls standing at the bottom of the tree all the way up to the canopy? Here was our attempt before figuring out the panorama trick: 

Here are a few others from our hike in the forest. 

In the photo above I used the grids to line up the tree and shot into the light for effect. 

Below, I used the rule of thirds to place the berries in the frame. I also focused on something in the foreground so the background would blur a little. 

Photo Walk: MSU Healing Garden

I also took a photo walk on Michigan State University’s campus, where Ava (Katie’s youngest daughter) was getting her senior pictures done. It was the perfect place to snap some photos, some of which I’m entering into our local photo contest! Which is your favorite?

In the above picture, the flowers are in focus and the pond in the background is blurred. In the photo below you can see that when I took the photo without focusing on the flowers in the foreground, the pond is all in focus. The yellow flowers from above are there on the bottom left hand side of the photo below. 

We also played with photographing the beautiful brick path that led through the garden. In the first photo below I’ve included a human subject (my niece) turning to look at the camera. The second picture shows a bridge along the path. Which do you prefer? I think I like the one with my niece in it best. There is something about pictures that include people that my brain seems to enjoy more! 

Can you see the rule of thirds at work in the picture below? I also used the grids to line up the peacock straight in my shot. 

Since we were on campus for Ava’s senior pictures, I tried to pick up some tips from her professional photographer. We learned how to use a big white reflector to manipulate the light for a better photo. You can see Katie assisting with the reflector below.

Have you ever gone on a photo walk? What are some of your favorite locations or objects to take pictures of? Have you ever entered a photo contest? Tell us about it! Comment below, send us a message, or reach out on Facebook or Instagram! You can find the badge guide and worksheets to help you complete it here.

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