5 Great Outdoor Locations for Digiscoping

Do you like outdoor landscapes? Do you take it a step further, surveying them with spotting scopes and binoculars? If your answer is no to the latter, you’re missing out. Landscape photography is one-stop-shopping for anyone that enjoys nature. From hunters to hikers; vacationers to naturalists – you don’t have to be a professional photographer to successfully capture nature in its many forms. You need only the will to hit outdoor spaces, a smartphone, and magnifying optics. By including a custom Phone Skope digiscoping adapter, you’re well on your way to capturing appealing imagery of landscapes and the sights they offer. 

Dramatic Skies and Cloudy Features

Do overcast skies make dull images? Nope. While the Golden Hours at dusk and dawn can enhance a landscape, don’t put away your digiscoping gear at the sight of drearier days. Clouds often add interest and flair to a photo. Even just a few harmless white or gray truffles of cloud cover can make a world of difference to an otherwise uninteresting landscape. It’s amazing how interesting the colors reflecting from cirrus clouds can be – and of course, the ominous storm-laden cloud banks provide interest beyond belief. 

Remember, cloud cover is your friend when it comes to digiscoping pursuits.

Embrace Underwhelming Weather

Some of my best digiscoping weather comes during the triple-digit gauntlet common in Texas. Despite the sweat and toasted skin, hot clear skies produce awesome lighting and shadows. The same can be said for cold dreary days when God has cast any number of interesting cloud features overhead. Even the aftermath of showers can bring interesting lighting and offer new visual perspectives. Despite extreme temperatures and conditions, embrace the weather by dressing accordingly and packing items such as water and sunscreen. Likewise, pack layers for the colder temps. Staying inside during the more extreme days often means missing out on some great magnified images via digiscoping.

A Foreground Conclusion

Any interesting landscape can be made better. It’s true. One simple strategy is to add depth. There’s no better way to achieve this effect than by including an object or feature in the foreground. Said feature can be anything from a large rock, interesting tree, animal, or person. Always be on the lookout for nearby features that will give scale and interest. This will ultimately allow you to better tell your story. Where ever you are, look for foreground objects that help tell your story. A woodlot of colorful autumn color is striking. However, a horse or deer kicks it up a notch. You get the idea. 

A herd of deer in front of a lake

This digiscoped image is an eye-grabber, taking advantage of both water and foreground features.

Textures

Any image can be enhanced by mixed textures. The same can be said for enlarged digiscoped photos. Textures are everywhere in outdoor spaces; Mixed foliage, wood, grasses, and skies can all work in concert to add appeal. Note that the textures in the foreground can also enhance those in the background.

A wide variety of fall foliage

This image features a variety of textures, including fall foliage and dormant grasses.

Bodies of Water

Water views offer some great chances to magnify and capture some great imagery. The great thing about bodies of water is that you don’t have to visit the likes of Lake Tahoe to successfully utilize water for digiscoping. Water is an interesting subject in and of itself. Great digiscoped images can be achieved from an area creek or the pond out back. 

 For one, water is reflective which, if executed well, can result in stunning images. If you plan to capture the water at a close distance, even a modest breeze can sabotage your results. In this case, seek out still days or head out in the early morning or evening. As for more distant bodies of water, look for foreground subjects for added interest. Either way, consider including a water feature in your shot, such as boats, interesting vegetation, or animals.

View of a tree in front of a lake

Interesting digiscope photography of water can be achieved at a simple pond.

Background Walls

Hearty natural backdrops are the digiscoper’s friend. I find this one to be an excellent idea when capturing wildlife. As an avid hunter and scouter, there’s no better way to highlight a deer or other wild animal than to capture it in front of a tree line, hillside, or other natural mass. The background does a lot of the work for you by emphasizing critters that stand just outside of it.

Night time view of a deer in the field

The image of this young whitetail buck is enhanced by the wall of cover he stepped out of.

Frame It

A picture of a road in the forest

Framed by mixed vegetation, this country road demonstrates an attention-grabbing image.

Framing is about using side features to frame objects or sub-landscapes. It not only accentuates distant features but can highlight distance. Good candidates for framing are long roads enveloped in trees and vegetation or the area between adjacent hills or mountains. Opportunities for framing are abundant if you look for them. This is one of my favorite subjects for landscape digiscoping.

Digiscoping landscapes offer a world of opportunities. Regardless of the season, take some time to capture and record the endless sights inherent under big skies and around nature in general.

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