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Adventure Magazine

Adventure Main | E-mail the Editors | Adventure Customer Service | Subscribe November 2004

There & Back
Reader Photo Critique
An Adventure photo editor offers keen insights on reader-submitted photos for our new back page feature.

Since the launch of There & Back, our new back page feature in the magazine that celebrates readers' great travel experiences—like kayaking in Venice or hang gliding on Lookout Mountain—travelers from across the globe have been sending us their hard-won adventure photos and dishing out why their trip was superior. And since every sharp shooter, from amateur to budding pro, could benefit from a few tips, we asked Associate Photo Editor Caroline Hirsch to weigh in with some constructive pointers on a few standout photo submissions.

Name: Jennifer Hershey
Destination: Ammassalik fjord, Greenland

BEDAZZLED IN GREENLAND: Adventure reader Jennifer Hershey poses in front of some stunning scenery during a kayaking trip through Ammassalik fjord in east Greenland.

I love wild, remote places. Given that there are only around 3,000 people living along the east coast of Greenland, this definitely qualified. Because there's almost no vegetation, the landscape is composed of these magnificent swathes of ice, rock, water, and sky. The air is incredibly clear, and the sun on the water is dazzling. When the weather turns foggy, the mood is haunting.

This shot contains a great extreme landscape shown off very well by the dramatic sunlight filtering through the clouds. However, the photo would have benefited if the photographer had pulled back a little and shown us more of the landscape—perhaps choosing a horizontal format instead of vertical. It would have also been better if the person in the shot posed more naturally, not being aware of the camera. Putting people off-center, maybe looking out at the vista, or hiking down the hill are all good solutions. The colors of the landscape are beautiful, but the image has a little too much contrast. But that's something that can be easily fixed in a program like Photoshop.

—Associate Photo Editor Caroline L. Hirsch

Photograph courtesy of Jennifer Hershey

Name: Chuck Robinson
Destination: Arches National Park, Utah

PLAYING THE SLOTS: Adventure reader Chuck Robinson snaps a lighthearted shot of his wife, Debbie, slipping inside a slot canyon in Arches National Park.

My wife Debbie and I went to Arizona and Utah to enjoy the solitude and immense beauty by way of hiking through the deserts, mountains, and rocks. Our stop in Arches National Park was a "planning stop," a preview to a whirlwind hiking adventure we want to do next year. But we were nearly knocked speechless not just by the vast rock formations, but also by realizing the enormity of how the canyons were created and continue to evolve. As you look out over the landscape, the age of the Earth reveals itself—over four and a half billion years and counting.

Critique: A frolicking pose is a nice way to catch eye contact while showing someone hiking through narrow canyons. The image would have been aided by really capturing the colors of the rocks. Here, they seem a little pale and faded. Brighter rock color and a more saturated exposure would have helped separate the figure from the landscape, and added more punch to the image. To prevent the colors from getting blown out, you'll need just the right combination of shutter speed and aperture, which are dependent on a host of variables—time of day, cloud cover, and set-up time, to name of few—and it takes trial and error to nail.

—Associate Photo Editor Caroline L. Hirsch

Photograph courtesy of Chuck Robinson

Additional Excerpts
From the print edition, November 2004

Adventure Travel 2005: Amazing excursions for the new year
Return to Zootopia: David Quammen revisits the Galápagos
No Margin for Error: America's most perilous peak
Pelton's World: Former no-go zones make a comeback

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There & Back Submissions

We want to know about your globetrotting. To contribute to There & Back, send letters and photos to adventure@ngs.org. Please include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

The Photographer's Handbook

There & Back
Paddling past the Piazza—Olivier Renck goes kayaking in Venice.

Gear: Digital Cameras
The time is now to go digital. Here are three great options.

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November 2004

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