I never would have believed that it was possible to become a better photographer in less than 5 minutes. But that’s exactly what I learned on a trip to the Northern Territory in Australia, cosponsored by Canon and with unlimited access to two professional photographers. In less than 5 minutes I went from being an average photographer to winning the “Best Creative Filter Challenge” an award that was given after 5 days of shooting the Northern Territory’s amazing landscapes like the Wildlife of the Yellow Water Billabong. Ironically, I won the challenge for a photo I took on the first morning.
One of the first stops on our tour of the Northern Territory was to Mamukala Wetlands. It’s a beautiful spot and popular spot among birdwatchers. Unfortunately we arrived there mid-morning when the light wasn’t ideal for taking photographs. I took a few shots similar to the one above, that were OK, but didn’t capture the beauty of the place.
That’s where I learned Lesson 1 in How to Become a Better Photographer: Change Your Focus
“If something is not working, change your focus,” were the wise words of Krystal, one of the professional photographers on the trip. My focus quickly changed to the lime ants. Not because of the ants themselves, to be honest, but because our guide Bender was eating them saying they taste just like limes. I started taking photos of them more to distract him from trying to convince me to try one than anything else. Here’s what the first unedited photo looked like:
Obviously the position of the light wasn’t ideal, so Krystal taught me Trick #2 in Becoming a Better Photographer: Change Your Position. This could mean just moving a few steps or shooting your object from a higher or lower angle to get a different perspective. I moved a few steps and leaned in more and got the following result:
Definitely better, but it still needed some help. This is where I learned Lesson #3 in How to Become a Better Photographer: When the light is less than ideal, play around with special effects. I saw Krystal do this on several occasions and she said it was a good time to experiment when you otherwise wouldn’t get that “wow” photo. Fortunately I was shooting with Canon’s newly launched EOS 650D (sadly only borrowed as I am in love with this camera). One of the great features about this camera are the Creative Filters. There are a choice of seven different creative filters which all achieve different results.
It was layering two of the creative filters on top of each other, the Art Bold Effect and the Fish-Eye Effect that I achieved the photo below and won the “Best Use of Creative Filters” Challenge:
And that’s how yout become a better photographer in less than 5 minutes, without eating a lime ant! Note: No lime arts were harmed for the purposes of this photo. I can’t say the same for the ants who were near our guide Bender, who was really hungry.
This photo has been submitted to Nancie’s Budget Travelers Sandbox where you can see more travel photos.