Home Photo Tips Digital Photography Tip: Look Up

Digital Photography Tip: Look Up

Look Up at Landscapes

This photograph was taken just west of Zion National Park in southern Utah. I was captivated by the beautiful light which caused the colorful rocks and clouds of Zion to absolutely glow. I turned to see why this light was so unusual and this is what I saw.

It always pays to look up and around whenever you’re shooting- you’ll see photographic opportunities no one else will see.

What and Why

This photograph was taken by a Nikon D200 camera through a Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. To get maximum clarity with acceptable depth of clear focus, I set the aperture at f/11 using the aperture priority setting. To get the maximum detail I used a low ISO of 250. I used the pattern exposure setting with an exposure compensation of -0.7 to get more saturation. The camera selected a shutter speed of 1/45 second which, although slow, was acceptable since the camera was mounted on a Gitzo G-1410 tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. I tripped the shutter with a release cable, which required two squeezes since I used the mirror lock up to eliminate any possible camera movement.

I walked a short distance to where the sun was directly behind the hill to silhouette it as well as to catch the brilliance of the light through the clouds and the clear sky in the lower right. Move if there is a better angle to your subject. The lines of the hill top (set at one-third into the frame) tend to draw the viewer’s eyes to the bright clouds.

More Articles by: Steve Guymon, Outdoor Digital Photographer:
Digital Photography Tip: Depth of Field
Digital Photography Tip: Crop for Impact
Digital Photography Tip: Polarizing Filter
Digital Photography Tip: Finding Subjects
Digital Photography Tip: Can’t Stress this Enough Look Around
Digital Photography Tip: Look Around
Digital Photography Tip: Shoot Many Images
Digital Photography Tip: Be Ready


  1. May I add, when taking photos of the sun setting, or rising, or any setting in nature, look up and look around. Sometimes when shooting a sun set, the Eastern sky provides the better photo op.

    By all means, focus on your subject. But don’t forget to take in the entire picture. Look around you, look in all directions.


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