photography

Dr. Zvi Margaliot’s Tips for Landscape Photography in the National Parks of Canada and the United States

in Opinion

Dr. Zvi Margaliot is an experienced plastic surgeon who has worked in Canada and the United States. His specialty is the surgery of the hand and wrist. Throughout his medical practice, he has been involved in incorporating technological innovations in his work. Dr. Margaliot is also an avid landscape photographer, traveling to various locations around the United States and Canada to photograph the remarkable natural beauty of both countries.

Dr. Zvi Margaliot shares his top tips for landscape photographers and lists some of his favorite locations in the national parks of the United States and Canada.

Explore Your Location

Don’t restrict yourself to only the most visited places in the area you want to photograph. Get off the beaten path and find lesser-known vistas. Sometimes a short, 5-minute walk will give you access to a completely new angle on a well-photographed landmark, and result in a unique perspective. Sometimes a hike of a few hours will reveal a real gem that no one has photographed before. These unique locations are what will make your photography skills stand out in a crowd.

Work with Depth of Field

Try to arrange your shots to give you maximum depth of field. To achieve this, try focusing on close-up objects and faraway objects behind them. This can be achieved with a smaller aperture. Sometimes true tack-sharp front to back focus can only be achieved using a more advanced technique called “focus-stacking,” but the results make all the difference between an amateurish snap-shot and a print-worthy photograph. When you shoot everything with a narrow depth of field, your photos will appear flat and boring, no matter how beautiful the landscapes are.

Use Weather to Your Advantage

If your trip happens to coincide with weather events, do not give up hope on taking great photographs. You can use different weather elements to adjust the light in your shot and to create texture and interest. For example, if it is raining, the mist and fog will provide a mysterious atmosphere to your photo. Overcast skies produce a completely different lighting effect from the full sun. Wait out a storm to catch a unique photo of sunlight breaking through a gap in the clouds, or the look and feel of a forest right after a rain shower. By using all of these elements, it will add different dynamics and enhance your overall photograph.

Use a Tripod

For serious photographers, a tripod is a must. I never go on a photo trip without my tripod. Tripods can help stabilize your camera when you choose a longer shutter speed. They also provide a professional look to your photos. Learn how to use your tripod in advance, so you can set up your shot in seconds and not miss a great opportunity when it presents itself.

Use Water as a Reflection

By going out to take pictures early in the morning, it means that most bodies of fresh water will be calm. Get down low and close to the water to capture as much of the scenery reflected in the still water and use it as an additional feature in your composition. This will make for a beautiful photo and will enhance your portfolio.

The Best National Park Destinations in the United States and Canada

While the “big three” of the American National Parks, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon, have gorgeous natural landscapes that everyone should see and photograph, some lesser-known gems can still provide incredible creative inspiration to the photographer.

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine is unique, due to its glacier-formed landscape. Mountains seem to rise right out of the sea, covered by evergreen forests. The dramatic rocky coastline provides iconic sights like the top of Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole. The Schoodic section of the park, located on the mainland, is also a photographer’s dream with its granite cliffs and rough seas.

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is a long, narrow park traversed by Skyline Drive. This mountain roadway makes it easy to access the most gorgeous sights along the way. Many people flock to Shenandoah in the autumn. It would be beneficial to consider visiting in the spring to avoid some of the crowds.

Jasper National Park, located in Alberta, Canada, is the perfect place to explore all that the Rockies have to offer. The snow-capped mountains and jewel-like lakes are surrounded by deep forests. The park features many kinds of wildlife including bighorn sheep, elk, and bears. The park is recognized as a dark sky preserve, meaning that the night skies are not obscured by on-the-ground lighting. There are popular festivals in the fall where nighttime photography is practiced.

My favorites so far are Yosemite, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, Jasper and Banff National Parks, The Everglades, and Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. I hope to visit and photograph as many of our amazing national parks as possible before my creaky knees give up.

Explore and Photograph National Parks

With these simple tips for the landscape photographer, Dr. Zvi Margaliot will help you begin on your photography journey. Armed with your camera, you will be able to produce stunning works of art. Travel to the American and Canadian National Parks for outstanding natural areas which make perfect subjects for your portfolio.

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