Photo Friday – Taking Salt Flat Photos in Bolivia

24 Aug

We’ve seen a lot of optical illusion type photos taken in the Salt Flats of Uyuni that come out terribly fuzzy, so we thought we’d share with you how we got ours to be relatively clear.

In the photo above, Bryan looks like he is about to eat Kristin.  To get a shot like this Kristin had to be far enough away from Bryan to appear small enough to sit on the spoon.  You can eyeball this and have the person in the background move as necessary.  Whoever is taking the photo needs to be down on the ground, relative to whoever is in the foreground of the shot.  From here it’s just a matter of lining them up so that she appears to be all the way on the spoon instead of just above, or below it.  In some cases it’s easier for the photographer to move, in others you can adjust the subjects slightly.

The real trick, however, is getting all the subject to be in focus.  To accomplish this we used the manual settings on our cameras, though really you just need to be able to adjust the aperture.  We set the aperture to a high number (the higher the number, the smaller the opening that lets the light in) and then let the camera set the shutter speed.  In the first photo, we had the aperture at f29, with a 1/60 shutter speed.  We took 8 or 10 photos, adjusting the focus slightly in each one until we were happy.  Sometimes it works to focus somewhere in between the subjects, other times it works better to focus on either the front or the back subject.  At this point I can’t remember what worked best in each photo, but just take loads and you’ll be sure to get at least a few that turn out.

For some, like the jumping shots with the guidebook, the photographer has to get right down onto the ground in order for the effect to work correctly.

Again, the key for us seemed to be getting the aperture at a high setting, with a slower shutter speed.  For the jump shot we used f25 with a 1/80 shutter speed.

Good luck, and don’t forget to bring some props!

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6 Responses to “Photo Friday – Taking Salt Flat Photos in Bolivia”

  1. eliseblalock August 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    These are fantastic! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the bowl and spoon before. Love it!

    • Ashley September 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

      Thanks! Our friends had brought a bunch of props in anticipation of these kinds of photos…

  2. Kristin August 25, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    We are honored to have made it into Photo Friday! I love those pics. We had an awesome photographer that made them possible! Hope you are feeling better! xoxo

    • Ashley September 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

      Feeling much better, thanks! These wouldn’t have been possible without Bryan knowing that we had to close down the aperture so much!

  3. Kristin August 25, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Oh, and I had a few friends who thought that we just photoshopped those pics, lol. Btw, is Roar-naldo still with you?

    • Ashley September 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      Roarnaldo is totally still with us! I haven’t managed to put many photos of him up on Facebook lately, but he’s definitely around 🙂

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