David Johnston

How to Take Better Hometown Photography

David Johnston
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Duration:   7  mins

You’re an outdoor photographer, and you love traveling to different places to create your images. But what if you tried going local, focusing on new ideas with hometown photography? In this premium video lesson, professional photographer David Johnston shows new paths to creativity for shots of your hometown.

Seeing the familiar in a different way. That is how David describes hometown photography. His first suggestion is to capture your images in black and white. In your own town, you are used to seeing the same scenes in color, but black and white will open up your imagination. For his own hometown photography, David found an old Greyhound bus station and captured wide shots in black and white. What a difference! He created contrasts, shades of gray tones, angles and shapes. To add different looks, he held camera.

Another approach with hometown photography is to walk around town, locate iconic local buildings and frame them in unique ways. Vary your lenses: wide angle, telephoto, fisheye. Experiment with vertical and horizontal formats. Try different perspectives. Shoot images at dawn, dusk, and even at night. Pairing the setting sun with city lights can yield creative images and lighting formations, especially with long exposures. As cars pass in the night, a very long exposure will yield a colorful streaking effect.

Long exposures can be effective with hometown photography in many ways, for example a stationary building or house with clouds streaking across the sky. David suggests you follow the tourists, who tend to go to the most popular places. You are capturing the mundane but making it look unusual.

Follow along as David guides you through incorporating creative ideas into your hometown photography. You might like the results.

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