Machu Picchu

10 Countries, 10 Days, 10 Tips: Day 9 - Peru

Rick  Sammon photograph.
It's Day 9 of my travel series here on my blog. Thanks for joining me.

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru.

Tip: Pack your wide-angle lens or wide-angle zoom. The wider the better.

Machu Picchu is breathtaking – in more ways than one.

First, at about 8,000 feet above sea level, the air is thin. Hiking around can literally take away your breath. Therefore, you must be in good physical condition for your trek to this 15th-century Inca site. In addition, you may get an altitude headache. Drinking coco tea can help.

Second, the site is, indeed, breathtaking. To capture the entire scene, you'll need a very wide-angle lens. I used my Canon 15mm lens to capture these scenes. If I go back, I'd take the new Canon 8-15mm zoom. It's the most versatile wide-angle lens available for landscape photography.

If you can't capture the entire scene with one lens, shoot a panorama.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Due to the contrast range in the scene (bright sky and deep shadows), you'll probably want to shoot HDR. If you are new to HDR, check out this article: HDR Must Know Info.

Both of these photographs have a good sense of depth, due to the foreground elements. When there is not an obvious foreground element in your frame, use the ground as your foreground element. For more composition techniques, see my Composition class on Kelby training.

Here's another tip: Don't look down!

I hope you can join me on one of my workshops and photo tours. Great fun, great photo ops and great people.

Explore the light,

Grey Skies Are Gonna Clear Up . . . with a few adjustments in Photoshop and Lightroom

While going through some files looking for fisheye photos, I came across a picture I took at Machu Picchu on a very overcast and drab day, which is often the case in this awesome setting. The original image is below.

As always, I envisioned the end result, which is something that I recommend to all my workshop students.

With a few enhancements, I was able to turn the drab shot into a more fab shot.

The point of this post: don't let the weather get you down when you are shooting. In many cases, you can create a dramatic image from your Raw file when using Lighroom and Photoshop.

Speaking of fish-eye lens, check out this article I wrote: Can 1mm Make a Difference?

Here are the links to the 14mm and 15mm lenses I use:

Explore the light,