Diablo Lake – How to Take Hiking Photos
Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park is a beautiful location. Beyond the beauty, it’s a great location to practice your hiking and travel photos. I hope my tips help you take great travel and hiking photos.
How to Take Hiking Photos
Composition, in my opinion, is the most important aspect to consider when taking photos, especially out in nature. Think of every image divided into three horizontally and vertically. Your focal point is very important. If you are putting a focal point in the center square, make sure there is a reason to center the picture as most of the best photos are above or below the center of the photograph.
All the photos here are from a day hike to Diablo Lake. The trail I chose is a 3.5 mile each direction or a ferry ride back for $10.00 cash on Diablo Lake run by the National Parks Department. Additionally, Skagit Tour teams offer a boat tour on the lake if you don’t want to hike. It costs around $40.00-$45.00. for the day, lunch included.
Diablo Lake Focus
The photo above shows the foreground in focus, while the middle ground of the ripples on the water reveals the breeze. The foreground is bright and light, while the background is dark. This shows the lake in deep turquoise. By doing this, the photo shows the size and enormous scale of the area.
Steps for Taking Travel Photos
The second most important point to consider is making sure your photo is square or straight. No one wants to look at an image where it isn’t straight on the horizon line. There are reasons to make a picture not centered, but, most amateur photographers can’t pull it off. Better to be safe than sorry. Therefore practice makes perfect, so practice taking photos that look straight.
Images and horizon lines must be centered and straight. Here is a photo that is not straight and therefore this beautiful photo isn’t a great photo because it’s not straight on the horizon line. The picture can be edited to fix this. But, from my point of view, the photographer should be able to get this right without an editor. ‘My bad’ this photo that I took isn’t the best I can do but, makes my point.
Line, Design, and Form
Sometimes the woods are beautiful and almost overwhelming. I look for light and darks, the contrast of the color and sometimes I see black and white in the middle of all the color. In the case, of this photo. I tried to shoot black and white while the bright green, color highlights, the highlights and low lights of the photo. The photo shows how thick the forest is and the deep growth continues along the trail.
Sometimes while traveling, your travel photos capture the moment. In this photo, there are shadows, lights and darks, and textures. The sun seems to make high contrast areas that reveal new forms and the shadow makes a design, within the image.
Point of View
The other point that makes this photo interesting is I squatted to take the picture not a big deep squat, but enough to make the perspective unique. Shooting up, from under, or between two points makes the composition look interesting and unique.
Look For Shadows
If you search for shadows, you will see many interesting designs with unique lighting. This adds an element of mystery and excitement in the photo. The contrast makes the photo capture the beauty of the location. The time of day, morning light or evening light also adds an element of design to a photo.
Lighting also captures the weather and conditions of the trail. Hiking photos can capture the color of the subject, in this case, the movement of the water forms a pattern of color and design – the subject is the water.
Travel and hiking photos are great when they include a person that is not staged and somewhat candid. This gives the viewer the sense of being at the location with the photographer. Try to show the location, the difficulty of the trail, the enjoyment of the experience, and the person’s personality.
Perspective and Point of View
Make sure you take photos of the full view. Capture the overall beauty of the spectacular location. The background of the image captures the North Cascade mountain range, the middle ground (the dam) demonstrates the scale, and the foreground shows the concrete material and contrasts the natural beauty of the mountains.
Change your point of view. squat, bend over, lay on your back and shoot up and shoot down. Find the things you like the best. find your favorite subject and shoot it over and over in any location. In my case, my toes in the water wherever I go.
My passion is taking travel photos with my toes in the waters of the world. It’s fun to reminisce about all the places I have dipped my toes, such as the Canadain waters where Polar Bears live, or the Nile, Amazon, and Mississippi rivers. Pick something you want to remember, document your moments with travel photos.
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