Last week I had an opportunity to spend about an hour at Peggy’s Cove capturing some travel images with the M.Zuiko 14-150 mm II zoom. We had a late breaking business consulting project confirmed, so we ended up driving out to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a whirlwind visit that saw us drive over 4,250 kilometres during the 10 days we were away.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
We knew that we would have very little time to do any sightseeing during this trip so our travel image opportunities would be limited. We packed our E-M1 Mark III and the M.Zuiko 14-150 mm II zoom as we decided to keep our camera gear to a minimum.
After the business sessions ended we had part of an afternoon available so we drove out to Peggy’s Cove and did a quick walkabout. This article shares a selection of handheld images captured during that quick visit.
As we strolled around I let my mind wander and captured a range of subject matter. I also thought about how to demonstrate some of the capabilities of an ‘all round’ lens like the 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II zoom. As photographers we sometimes overlook the importance of using small, light gear while travelling, and how handy a zoom with an extended focal length range can be.
I spotted the jumble of colour from the corner of my eye. The result was the the photograph above. I attempted to arrange the various elements to give them some shape, colour flow and balance.
Peggy’s Cove, like many other popular tourist destinations, is usually crowded with people. While I don’t often like to create images containing people that I don’t know, sometimes adding people can help demonstrate scale. I used the undulating pathway to serve as an interesting leading line in the image above.
The image above would not have had much visual context and scale if the specs of people in the distance were not included in the composition.
When choosing a ‘one lens solution’ for our quick trip to Atlantic Canada we narrowed our choice down to the M.Zuiko PRO 12-100 mm f/4 IS or the M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II. Ultimately the 14-150 won out due to it being smaller and lighter, and providing an additional 50 mm of reach. Losing some wide angle potential and one stop of light on the long end of the zoom were trade-offs we were willing to accept.
Since we weren’t planning on taking many indoor images in low light we didn’t think that not having the PRO 12-100 mm in-lens IS was that big of an issue. I ended up taking a few images of people indoors using 2 second exposures at ISO-200 and the 14-150 mm images turned out well.
While creating these travel images with the M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II zoom I tried to compose a few different versions of similar scenes or subject matter. For example, I noticed quite a few chairs positioned on various rocks and decks around Peggy’s Cove. Here is a collection of four images that focus on that subject matter.
If I would have had my M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom with me I would have used that lens… probably shooting at f/2.8 to achieve more background blur. Given that I was using the 14-150 I decided to back up a bit physically and use a longer focal length to help blur the houses and sheds in the background to some degree. I wanted all three of the featured chairs to be in focus so I tweaked my aperture a touch to f/6.3.
I also like to compose parts of objects if I can highlight repeating patterns as seen with the curved chair backs in the image above… or with the wooden slats in the image below.
There were so many people climbing all over the rocks I had to wait for folks to leave so I could grab some quick images before the next group approached and sat down.
This photograph of the single red chair was my favourite one of the selection of images I created of this subject matter. I only had about 25 seconds between occupants in this chair to create this image. I love the feeling of tranquility this simple composition conveys. Equidistant composition technique was used to create a feeling of balance in the image.
When capturing travel images it can also be helpful to quickly compose both horizontal and vertical versions. Sometimes we can get stuck creatively and compose in only one orientation.
On a personal basis, I think the vertical orientation is much stronger visually than the horizontal composition. One of the things I love about using M4/4 camera gear is that I find the height/width ratio is much easier to work with and results in less cropping. This is especially true when composing vertical photographs.
Travel images… at least for me… often involve capturing a bit of whimsy. I find these types of photographs help celebrate human creativity.
I had two occasions during our short visit to Peggy’s Cove to “work the scene” somewhat. Travel images provide us with a record of our travels, and can also be experimental and educational. Let’s have a look at three images that have the same red shed in them.
This is a pretty typical ‘rule of thirds’ composition that plays on triangular shaping of various elements.
The above photograph is another ‘rule of thirds’ composition. In this composition the pink boat on the left hand side acts as a strong leading line.
Our third example in this series has a more intimate “being there” feeling. I had to pick my way through some old fishing gear and other obstructions to get myself properly positioned physically to create this image. No photographers were injured during the process.
Travel images can sometimes be simple tests. With the image above I was trying to create a strong feeling of compression while still maintaining clear visibility of key details on the shed (i.e. door and windows). The overlapping elements make the channel almost disappear. As is usually the case, test images like this one are seldom my favourites.
Let’s have a look at four more compositions that utilize the same shed.
The image above is built around a strong geometric orientation of the triangle shape that enters from the right hand side. Travel images can often follow this simple composition approach. What’s missing is a foreground element to anchor the photograph.
This foreground element was easily added by simply changing to a lower shooting angle and using an image bleed on the left hand side. Incorporating a foreground element helps to create a feeling of more depth. The bleed on the left hand side directs a view’s eye towards the shed. The photograph also gives us more visual context as the width of the water channel is better defined.
Our next example is a vertical composition that also uses rule of thirds technique. In this case a large rock in the bottom left hand corner is used to anchor the composition. Eye flow through the image is more relaxed and overall there is a feeling of calmness and tranquility in the composition.
At first blush we may not even recognize the shed at centre frame in the upper third of the composition is the same building that appears in the other images previously discussed. This image was captured from a lower vantage point, shooting up the channel.
There is a subtle ‘magic 7’ used in the composition which helps with eye flow. The mass of seaweed acts as a leading line coming in from the bottom right corner and and directs a reader’s eye to the red and white boat in the background. Taking a moment or two to consider eye flow with our travel images can make a difference.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard approach in post. Images were resized for web use. This is the 1,202 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
How you can help keep this site advertising free
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated.
If you click on the Donate button below you will find that there are three donation options: $7.50, $10.00 and $20.00. All are in Canadian funds. Plus, you can choose a different amount if you want. You can also increase your donation amount to help offset our costs associated with accepting your donation through PayPal. An ongoing, monthly contribution to support our work can also be done through the PayPal Donate button below.
You can make your donation through your PayPal account, or by using a number of credit card options.
As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store. Be sure to use my discount code when you make your purchase.
Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.
Article and images are Copyright 2022 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!