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Trailblaze Corona





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Behind The Lens

I took this photo in the hills of Corona California. I was with a group of hikers that were training for a fundraising hike for Make-A-Wish.
This was taken on an early Saturday morning in May this year. We got out there early to beat the heat, around 7 am, but we lucked out anyway because it was mostly overcast. The temperature was perfect for a 6-mile morning hike.
It was mostly overcast the entire morning until we got to this ridge and the sun started to peak out. Michelle went over to admire the view and the sun shined on her as if to say "Riley you need to take this photo now."
I was carrying most of my equipment in my backpack as usual, but I just snapped this shot with my Canon Rebel T6i and 50mm lens. I was carrying it freehand with no tripod or flash.
I love supporting the people at Make-A-Wish and journeyed with them to help document their training and fundraising. I wanted to capture their hard work but also the pleasure of just getting lost in nature. I didn't even instruct Michelle to go over to the ledge. I just saw her walk over to take it all in and I knew that was a great moment.
I haven't taken as many landscape photos lately, but when I do I just try to keep the editing minimal. The only thing I like to focus on is making the scenery look clear and colorful. I edited in Lightroom and primarily just brought up the Clarity, Vibrance, and DeHazing sliders to get those colors to pop.
In my camera bag
On any shoot, I typically bring my Canon Rebel T6i, which I used for this photo. For that camera I have 3 lenses; 18-55mm, 50mm, and 70-300mm. They are the standard Canon lens that came with the camera. I also bring my Panasonic Lumix G7 mirrorless camera that I use more for video. For when I want to take some really interesting shots, I also always have my DJI Mavic Pro drone and my Insta360 OneX 360 camera.
It's easy to overthink every single shot, but sometimes it's best to just keep things simple. I didn't do anything really fancy in this shot. I just made sure to get the exposure and focus right, and have my subject in the rule of thirds. Sometimes just going back to basics can remind you that simplicity can still be great and is what helped us along as photographers in the beginning.

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