The Establishing Shot is now GPS
Typically I like to have an establishing shot when I am shooting pictures. Even if I decide not to use it, I file the picture away. The establishing shot helps people understand the context of the picture series they are looking at. However, today I look at the establishing shot at an even higher level. A satellite level! I try to have a least one picture GEO tagged and visible on a map. I discussed in a previous blog that I use SmugMug as my photo site because one of the key requirements was the ability to place my pictures onto a map via GEO tags. I have the Nikon GP-1 GPS (Global Positioning System) unit on my D90 and it works pretty good. I told you I am a gadget freak. Sometimes it is a bit slow to pick up a location, but when it does, it really helps to see where in the world I waswhen I took the photo. That was fantastic for my photo shoot at Kruger Park in 2009. It also came in handy when I hired a driver to take me to Navsari, India from Mumbai. It was a 6 hour journey and a few hundred pictures, but what a great experience capturing life along the highway from the moving vehicle. Many of the pictures have a GEO tag and by using the map I am able to tell the photo story as I pass through each area. I highly recommend that one of your establishing shots be the Earth location of the picture. I recommend even more that you consider getting a GPS unit for your camera. It adds a new dimension to your picture taking.
The entrance to Gervasi Vineyard is GEO tagged and on my photo website. I use both manual tagging and my Nikon GP-1 GPS device to make sure I get the establishing satellite position.
The above picture is GEO tagged, and on my photo website you can see on a map exactly where the picture was taken by clicking on this link.I have also marked it on the map below.
I enjoy looking at my travel map and realizing that although I have had the good fortune of seeing many places on Earth, it is too big to see everything it has to offer. Still more to see!