Here are the top tips to take pictures in Big Bear Lake. Location, location, location is not only a saying but a lifestyle in photography. When you visit or live in a mountain town, you can’t go wrong finding a great location. For everyone, it’s a blessing to get to experience the fresh air, beautiful skies, and shimmering lake. Now that you’ve fallen in love with the town, it’s time to get out your camera or cell phone to snap some photos in Big Bear.
Light is the most important element in your photograph. It’s what gives form and shape to your subject, brings out texture and detail, and enhances contrast. Without light, you wouldn’t have a photo – it’s just that simple.
Light can come from different sources: the sun or other artificial light sources. It can be natural or artificial. It can also be soft or hard light. Whether your light is hard or soft has everything to do with the size of the source compared to your subject. Large light sources create softer light, while smaller light sources create harsher light on your subjects. Pictures in Big Bear are stunning because of the different levels of light depending on the time of day.
The direction of your light will also affect the mood and tone of your photo; direct sunlight often creates harsh shadows that don’t look very flattering for portraits, for example. I’m a fan of the sun behind the subject, it creates a dreamy glow but make sure you know your camera angles because a sun flare could destroy your photo if you don’t know how to properly capture that moment.
Tripods are an essential tool for photographers. It’s a three-legged stand that supports your camera, allowing you to take sharp pictures in otherwise difficult conditions. Even the most steady-handed photographer loses the ability to keep their camera steady after a few seconds of exposure, so we recommend investing in a tripod if you’re serious about photography.
If you plan on shooting outdoors at night, or under very low light situations which require longer shutter speeds than your hands can support, a tripod is also a must-have item. Slow shutter speeds also let you use effects like panning (a highly stylized method of blurring the background while keeping the subject sharp) and intentional camera shake (used to convey motion). Both require extremely slow shutter speeds to achieve and are nearly impossible without a tripod. Taking shots at dawn or dusk? Get yourself a tripod! Want to make long exposures? You need one of these bad boys! Tripod FTW! Pictures in Big Bear can range from starry nights, sunny mornings, or stunning sunsets. Tripods will help photographing during the darker time frames.
The best (and maybe only) way to take good photos is to learn to use your camera. I know, it sounds like a cop-out, but bear with me. All the tips I’m going to give you work better if you understand how your camera works. If you struggle with getting good photos, I can almost guarantee that it’s because of how you’re using your camera and not the limitations of your equipment.
People always ask me what camera I use but honestly, it isn’t about the gear. It’s about the person and the knowledge they have behind the lens. You can create beautiful photos with just your cell phone! Just know your angles, lighting, and be creative. Taking pictures in Big Bear Lake, California doesn’t have to be with expensive camera bodies or lenses but if you do have the equipment, use it. Youtube is your best friend to teach yourself photography or how to use your camera. It will teach you the basics and then you have to get out to practice. Never put down the camera and it will become another part of you.
My top recommendation when starting out is to learn the exposure triangle and read your manual!
That perfect moment is finally here. You’re ready to snap the shutter, but it’s still a little dark, or maybe there are some distracting elements in the background. If you’re like most of us, you don’t have time to learn Photoshop or Lightroom (or even if you do, maybe you just don’t feel like spending your vacation doing photo editing). Lucky for you, there are easy-to-use apps that can make your photos stand out without any photography knowledge.
Some of the best photo editing apps for outdoor photos include Adobe Photoshop Express (Free on iOS and Android), Snapseed (Free on iOS and Android), and Darkroom (Free on iOS). A professional photographer will include basic editing in their photography packages.
Photographing the same scene from a different perspective can give you an entirely different photo. Whether it is getting low to the ground or upon a ladder, the change in perspective will greatly enhance your photos. When you have a location that doesn’t give you too many different options for backgrounds, the perspective of your photo will open that up for you. Shooting from the ground up will have a sky background for your subject or pure white, depending on the lighting. You’ll see me on the ground a lot because of this reason. It gives you a beautiful angle if you do it just right.
From above, you can capture a unique view of hands being held, couples holding each other, and just overall in the photo. Find a pretty area with nature or an artistic view of the street below to breathe new life into a photo from the same location as before.
If you’re looking for a professional photography session, I’d be happy to help you find the perfect location and capture those memories that will last you a lifetime. I’m a local who grew up in Big Bear Lake, California, and can’t get enough of the beauty that it has to offer.