Where, When and How To Take A Great Outdoor Photo In YYC

August 9, 2017

YYC-based outdoor photographer and social media personality Tasha Marie Palmer, better known through Instagram and Society6 as @TeaPalm, is recognized for her stunning captures of Canadian nature. We spoke to about what inspires her work, naturescapes for beginners, and the best places around the Northwest to take an Instagram-worthy photo.

Where do you draw inspiration for your work? Your naturescapes are incredible!

I draw a lot of my inspiration from the environment in which I live. I have a desire to capture the beauty that I see every day. My landscapes really are about the romanticism of the beauty in our Canadian landscapes.

How long have you been taking photos? How did you begin initially?

I’ve been taking photos since I was 14. It started with a family trip to Europe. I brought my Canon point-and-shoot and fell in love with photographing buildings and landscapes.

What kind of camera do you use? What would you recommend as a first camera for someone getting into nature photography?

I now shoot with a Nikon D810 and a Nikon FM2 film camera. Cameras today have improved so much and it’s easy to buy a quality camera that is affordable. For someone who’s interested in photography, I’d recommend the Nikon D3300 or Nikon D5300.

Two Jack Lake Credit: Tasha Marie (@TeaPalm)

What quick tips would you give someone looking to learn to take a great outdoor photo?

This is a great question. I’ve realized over the past few years that photographing nature is quite difficult to capture since you have no control over the environment.

The first tip is to always have a focal point in your image. This prevents the photo from being flat or overwhelming. Having a focal point allows the viewers eye to be drawn to one spot, adding interest and a main subject to the image. Treat the landscape as you would a portrait–find the most interesting point and compose the scene around it. This could be a perfect reflection, the top of a mountain, or a small figure within a landscape. If the viewer can’t find a focal point then the photo is going to be less likely to catch their eye.

Another quick tip is to use the rule of thirds or don’t use it at all. Depending on the landscape, you need to decide what composition best frames and aligns the subject, creating interest and highlighting the focal point of the image.

Lastly, be patient and wait for the best light. Any amazing landscape can be completely enhanced with great light. My favourite time to shoot is just before and after sunrise or sunset.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Credit: Tasha Marie (@TeaPalm)

Do you have some favourite places to take photos within Northwest Calgary?

There are few hidden gems in the Northwest for those looking to take a great photo. In the fall, I love to shoot in Bowness and Baker park. The trees, pathways and river are amazing when the leaves turn orange and red.

Another great spot to photograph is in Nosehill Park. There is tons of wildlife and great spots to view downtown Calgary and the surrounding area. Bearspaw and Springbank also have some nice parks and ravines that I love to explore.

Cityscape, Credit: Tasha Marie (@TeaPalm)

What’s your favourite shot that you’ve ever taken?

This is always a difficult question, but I would say “Winter’s Sorrow.” It is a self portrait taken on the Bearspaw Reservoir, just outside of NW Calgary. The lake was frozen over and it was a foggy morning, making it an ominous landscape to shoot in. What makes this my favourite photo is the relationship that is created between the human figure and the surrounding landscape. It’s a combination of nature and conceptual photography, two of my favourite things to photograph.

To see more of TeaPalm’s work, visit her website and follow her on Instagram!

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