The Human Element in Travel Photography

by Robyn Porteen
( August 16th, 2015 )

Travel PhotographyWith most of the population able to take pictures on every kind of device imaginable. Taking landscape and popular landmark photography is commonplace and almost boring these days. Adding a human element to your photos can get you thinking about the scene through the eyes of the person in the photo. It can help you imagine the adventure that lies ahead for the person actually doing it.

Woman In Canyon

Adding feet to your photos is also becoming a trend. It lets the viewer know that you are on your journey and you can see the feet of the person in action.

Red Sneakers

Feet Landscape

So next time you are out with your camera or digital device. Try adding people in your photos looking towards their journey, you will come home with a great new perspective on your photography.


Business Man Standing







Hiker on Mountain: Copyright – softlight69

Woman in Canyon: Copyright - Krzysztof Wiktor

Red Sneakers: Copyright - Denis Raev 

Couple of Shoes:  Copyright - Olena Kachmar 

Looking at Mountains: Copyright - Eugene Feygin

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Summer Carnivals are Great for Long Exposure Photography

by Robyn Porteen
( August 3rd, 2015 )

Carnival Photography

It’s Carnival season around the United States and along with that come the smells of elephant ears and cotton candy! The days are long gone of wanting to ride on any of the whirly, tilting and fast contraptions that are out there for current thrill seekers. So, I opt for capturing the whirls and motion on camera instead.

Carnivals are a great place to hone your long exposure skills. The colors and the lights, people moving and rides in constant motion are great subjects for some artistic photography.

Rides at Dusk

Items to bring along for long exposure photography are, a tripod, and a neutral density (ND) filter for daytime or twilight shots. Long exposures on bright skies or at twilight will blow out unless you can stop down your lens. Hoya is a great brand for ND filters that have great reviews and are reasonably priced.

Midways can be full of people and strollers so make sure you pick a place to set up your tripod out of the main stream of foot traffic. This carnival had a great spot in the middle of the midway where they run all of the power cables. It was a good location to set up out of the way. I was able to get in position to get the Ferris wheel and the Cliffhanger ride together.


The sky still had light and all of the rides had come to life with multi-colored bulbs. I set up my camera and made sure I was focused and ready to go.

Carnival Ridesf 2.8 – 6.5 seconds –  - ISO 500 - ND10

I took several shots and each one was completely different. The sky changes colors pretty fast, so make sure you pick your favorite location right when the sun is going down.

When the sky turns black, you can still get some great photos. Here are a few different perspectives on the Freak Out ride. These were 30 second exposures with a 10 Stop ND filter.

Long-Exposure3 Long-Exposure2Long-Expossure1Three Photos Above – ISO 1250 - f3.0 – 30 second exposure – ND10

Looking at the calendar, summertime and Fall host many great events for colorful photography. In my neck of the woods, I have a Hot Air Balloon Race, a Chinese Sky Lantern event and Fireworks at the Ballpark coming up.  Check into your local activity guide, you never know what events you can capture!  It just might be your next award winning photo!

Copyright – Robyn Porteen



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Look Up! A Different Photography Perspective

by Robyn Porteen
( July 18th, 2015 )

Eiffel Tower

Look Up!

Do you sometimes feel like you are in a photography rut and all of your photos are starting to look the same? Do you feel you are losing your passion for photography? Try changing your perspective.

Trees Perspective

When I was at the cabin in the woods on vacation this past summer, I had the same feelings. After one hike of photographing nothing but forest ferns and green trees, I was bored. So I decided that I would go out each day with a different eye. One day was macro and I trained myself to just see the small details like bugs and tiny flowers. The next day, it was changing my perspective to photograph all the scenes with the camera almost on the ground from a bugs view. And then I decided to start looking up. That’s when I made the plan to photograph the night sky as featured in my last post.


Horse in Dingle Ireland

Look Up

I love looking up, especially in cities. You can see architectural details and turn of the century murals on the tops of buildings. You never know what is looking down at you from above. The most interesting Gargoyles and animal sculptures sit above doorways and on rooftops.


Eagle Frist Museum

So get out there and just Look Up! You never know what you will find!

Goddess in New Orleans



Eiffel Tower: copyright - Roman Sigaev
Trees: copyright – Curtis Culver
Courtyard: copyright -Mycteria
Horse, Dingle, Ireland: copyright – Robyn Porteen
Pole Perspective, Dublin, Ireland: Copyright – Robyn Porteen
Goddess, New Orleans: Copyright – Robyn Porteen
Eagle, Frist Museum: Copyright – Robyn Porteen

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