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Posted by  in Photo Contest on 03

I’ve had the privilege of seeing tens of thousands of different pool photos.  I’ve seen lots of beautiful creations, but gosh darn it, I’ve seen an awful lot of BAD photos.  Here is some free advice about how to take better pool photos?

  1. Get a ladder.  A tall one.  Eye-level shots of swimming pools are lousy and amateurish.  Sky shots from 20 feet or higher are fabulous. Shoot from the ladder, or use the ladder to get up on the roof, or into a tree.  Safety is your problem.  I just want a good photo.
  2. Bring a tripod.  Trust me, you will never ever get a world-class photo of a swimming pool without a tripod. Although I still want to see the photos of your pool even if you do not have a tri-pod
  3. Use the right camera. You should be shooting digitally, with an absolute minimum of five megapixels, preferably ten.  A wide-angle lens is smart, but if you don’t have that, I suppose you could get a bigger ladder, and move farther away….
  4. Timing – Mid-day shots are almost always a waste of time and film, unless it’s a perfectly cloudy day.  You should be targeting for early morning and pre-dusk shots. Obviously, you’ll want to arrive early so that you can take full advantage of the changing light.
  5. Hose down all the stonework, brickwork and the deck.  It enriches the colors, and adds sparkle to everything.  Please remove the hose, the pool sweep, the floaties, and any other distractions before you shoot the photo.
  6. What shots?  We’re looking for two things: wide angles, and close-ups.  If you get up on the ladder and catch 95% of the pool, you’re wasting your time.  Get a close up of the waterfall, and the grotto, and the beach entry and the water arches. But then, when you shoot the pool, get the whole darn thing, plus all of the deck and the area around it.  We can always crop it down later.
  7. How many shots? Fifty to a hundred shots is normal. Anything less than twenty shots is just not sensible.  YOU WANT LOTS OF CHOICES that you can go through and thin down to a select few.