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Author Topic: To all Landscape Photograher. I have a question  (Read 6578 times)
Yohohoho!
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« on: November 03, 2012, 04:24:25 AM »
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Sir/Madam I need your guidance I'am depressed. Here is my story. I'am a student, I want to be a better landscape photographer. Last year I just got 2 opportunity to shoot. This year I have none.. what restrains me from shooting is my studies(most of the time) and family gatherings.

I'm thinking if their is a way to improve my landscape photography even if I don't go to a location and shoot (atleast for now) after brainstorming with myself, Here is what I've came up to improve my photography while I'm far away to a beautiful scenery.

1.Do sketches of landscape everyday (atleast 10% detailed drawing) - I've thought of this so that I can be familiar on composition and study the relationship of shapes and lines and maybe contrast?

I thought of this so that I can be familiar on having a dynamic composition for my landscape shoots.

So far i've done this for 1 day, sketched my landscape on a drawing book, the drawing has a S-curve leading line, a streaking clouds mountain reflection (then I visualize it having colors)


I know you can't really learn unless you go out there and shoot. I am looking for a way to improve when I'm away of the location


here is my question to all landscape photographer out there

HOW DO YOU IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT WHEN YOU ARE NOT SHOOTING IN A LOCATION?




P.S. my mind is cluttered i hope you've understand what I want to say. please answer T.T thank you!

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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 06:33:16 AM »
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Good landscape photography for me is about seeing and showing the layered reality in the landscape. By layered I mean geological, biological/ecological, historical but also the meaning of what I see for me personally etc. Showing is done by using composition, light, colour etc.

All that can be practiced in the smallest garden, or in my case in a frog vivarium I built. The basics of composition, lightband colour are all there. This practicing helps me to make better photographs when the subject matter is more interesting and the vistas wider.

Drawing sketches might do the trick for you, practicing and develloping your eye for composition.
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Kevin Omura
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 12:48:22 PM »
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I guess my first thought is, where are you located. I like shooting landscapes but living in the city can sometimes make this a bit of a challenge so I make up projects to photograph based on an urban landscape. You might be able to do the same even if it is just during your travels between home and school.

Going out and shooting is just one part of the learning process. Another is to go and look at other photographers and even painters work. That could be in the form of books (analog  Grin) and blogs (digital) but looking at others work is a very important aspect of the learning process. Another might be to join a group or club where you can meet up with other photographers.

If you can workshops are another possibility though a potentially expensive one but again you wind up meeting others with similar interests which is always good.

For me I spend time reading whether it is books or magazines. Plus with the internet you can go out and look at other photographers work as many have websites. So pick a few names of Landscape photographers you like and go have a look at them.

I'm going to give you a project.... go try and check out the work of Dean Brown or just type in Landscape Photography in google and hit the images link and don't get depressed that you can't be out there in those locations but be inspired by the work itself.
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Yohohoho!
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 11:31:30 PM »
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I guess my first thought is, where are you located. I like shooting landscapes but living in the city can sometimes make this a bit of a challenge so I make up projects to photograph based on an urban landscape. You might be able to do the same even if it is just during your travels between home and school.

Going out and shooting is just one part of the learning process. Another is to go and look at other photographers and even painters work. That could be in the form of books (analog  Grin) and blogs (digital) but looking at others work is a very important aspect of the learning process. Another might be to join a group or club where you can meet up with other photographers.

If you can workshops are another possibility though a potentially expensive one but again you wind up meeting others with similar interests which is always good.

For me I spend time reading whether it is books or magazines. Plus with the internet you can go out and look at other photographers work as many have websites. So pick a few names of Landscape photographers you like and go have a look at them.

I'm going to give you a project.... go try and check out the work of Dean Brown or just type in Landscape Photography in google and hit the images link and don't get depressed that you can't be out there in those locations but be inspired by the work itself.

thank you sir it helps! hmm. when you read books or magazines do you look for specific topic or you"ll just browse it until something catch your attention?
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louoates
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 10:04:19 AM »
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Last year I visited an Ansel Adams exhibit of his architectural photographs. The amazing thing about it was that he shot houses, buildings, city views, etc. just like he shot his iconic wilderness landscapes. He used clouds the same way also. You could stand in front of his work and imagine that a building was a mountain, streets and other city objects were trees, etc. All the elements worked together in harmony no matter what the subject matter. That's your challenge. Don't think in terms of needing to get out into some vast wilderness to perfect your landscape work. Work with what you have now and the other "exotic" locations will fall into place just fine.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 10:42:24 AM »
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Hi,

I'd suggest that you try to do best of your location, sneak in some time, shoot some pictures. Make mistakes and learn from them.

Best regards
Erik


Sir/Madam I need your guidance I'am depressed. Here is my story. I'am a student, I want to be a better landscape photographer. Last year I just got 2 opportunity to shoot. This year I have none.. what restrains me from shooting is my studies(most of the time) and family gatherings.

I'm thinking if their is a way to improve my landscape photography even if I don't go to a location and shoot (atleast for now) after brainstorming with myself, Here is what I've came up to improve my photography while I'm far away to a beautiful scenery.

1.Do sketches of landscape everyday (atleast 10% detailed drawing) - I've thought of this so that I can be familiar on composition and study the relationship of shapes and lines and maybe contrast?

I thought of this so that I can be familiar on having a dynamic composition for my landscape shoots.

So far i've done this for 1 day, sketched my landscape on a drawing book, the drawing has a S-curve leading line, a streaking clouds mountain reflection (then I visualize it having colors)


I know you can't really learn unless you go out there and shoot. I am looking for a way to improve when I'm away of the location


here is my question to all landscape photographer out there

HOW DO YOU IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT WHEN YOU ARE NOT SHOOTING IN A LOCATION?




P.S. my mind is cluttered i hope you've understand what I want to say. please answer T.T thank you!


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Kevin Omura
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 02:48:34 PM »
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thank you sir it helps! hmm. when you read books or magazines do you look for specific topic or you"ll just browse it until something catch your attention?

Thanks, glad to be of help. I like to read a bit of everything and I was lucky in that one of my instructors in university got me started on buying books so I've kept up that passion ever since. I used to like checking out the discounted art and photography books at the local book shops. School also had a very good library. In terms of subject matter, I like to look at everything not just landscapes as you can learn a lot from looking at a very diverse sampling of work.

For example the work of David Hockney with his little point and shoot camera. He takes hundreds of photos of a subject/location and then lays them all out into these amazing collages of 4x6 (might be wrong on the size) prints that make up huge images. I was lucky to be in Arles at the Rencontres when he was presenting his work in one of the galleries because seeing them in the 'flesh' is quite a bit different then looking at little photos of the work in books. The image of his mother is particularly compelling. But google his name and hit images and you can get a pretty good selection.

Another photographer, Sebastião Salgado makes stunning images not landscapes per se but his architectural background gives his work a very structured look that sets him apart.

Of course there is Ansel Adams....

Granted I have an interest in photojournalism so many of the books in my collection are by photographers of that genre. Eugene Richards, Mary Ellen Mark, Walker Evans, Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis although some have also photographed the urban landscape.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 04:14:08 AM »
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For me, landscape photography like most other forms of photography, is about capturing a mood.  So the quality of the light is what makes or breaks a picture for me.  You need to get out as often as you can, which can be in the middle of a city, or even in a backyard, and just try to get a feel for the different moods of the light.  Sometimes I look out of my office and will notice light that is unusual and I immediately want to photograph something.  I mostly photograph people, but sometimes shoot landscape.

The two pictures attached illustrate the way I think.  The first one was just around sunset and we had some storm clouds around.  The light suddenly became incredibly orange and was most unusual.  I shot into the garden with my camera and just photographed the light.  The next day at the same time we had almost exactly the same condition.  I grabbed my better camera and drove down to the coast which is half a mile away and took the second picture.  I arrived too late to capture the exact light I wanted, but still it was quite good.

So you can see you can practise looking for the light wherever you are, and then when you get to that magical location you will have a more intuitive feel for a picture.

Jim

Ps - if the light in the first picture looks unnatural - believe me it was.  It was as if a massive fire was burning in the sky and was quite surreal.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 04:16:35 AM by Jim Pascoe » Logged
Tony Jay
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 06:00:49 PM »
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You do need to be shooting images.
As already eloquently stated shoot where you are.
None of us consistently have the opportunity to shoot in iconic locations.

While sketching landscapes can be useful in undestanding composition there are other factors to consider:
Cameras don't see the world the way you do - sounds silly but it does explain, to a degree, why people often struggle to capture, with their cameras, what they saw with their eyes.
So, learn to look and see in the way that your camera does - I know of no other way apart from shooting consistently.
As a general statement learn about ALL the controls on your camera to the point that you are the manual - many startlingly beautiful landscape images were shot in lighting conditions that lasted only seconds, messing around with camera controls often means missing the shot.
Understand YOUR camera's sensor - dynamic range, headroom, noise characteristics, ISO performance - learn to leverage this information to optimize file quality.

In summary it is vital to know your tools, the technically merely informs the creative, and shooting regularly with experimentation in mind is the only way to improve the creative artistic bottom line.

BTW there is nothing exhaustive in the issues that I have sought to highlight - the main message is that learning about landscape photography means shooting lots of landscapes (whether this means urban landscapes or iconic wildernesses).

Regards

Tony Jay
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Yohohoho!
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 01:49:07 AM »
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You do need to be shooting images.
As already eloquently stated shoot where you are.
None of us consistently have the opportunity to shoot in iconic locations.

While sketching landscapes can be useful in undestanding composition there are other factors to consider:
Cameras don't see the world the way you do - sounds silly but it does explain, to a degree, why people often struggle to capture, with their cameras, what they saw with their eyes.
So, learn to look and see in the way that your camera does - I know of no other way apart from shooting consistently.
As a general statement learn about ALL the controls on your camera to the point that you are the manual - many startlingly beautiful landscape images were shot in lighting conditions that lasted only seconds, messing around with camera controls often means missing the shot.
Understand YOUR camera's sensor - dynamic range, headroom, noise characteristics, ISO performance - learn to leverage this information to optimize file quality.

In summary it is vital to know your tools, the technically merely informs the creative, and shooting regularly with experimentation in mind is the only way to improve the creative artistic bottom line.

BTW there is nothing exhaustive in the issues that I have sought to highlight - the main message is that learning about landscape photography means shooting lots of landscapes (whether this means urban landscapes or iconic wildernesses).

Regards

Tony Jay

Tony thank you for that advice. I'm pretty focused on the composition thinking about lines and forgot about my camera. maybe I should take it one at a time. First I will know more about my camera, like taking proper exposure and creative exposure of any subject. then with that knowledge I will study light (how it will turn out with different exposure) then maybe I then can go to study lines..

what do you think?


again thank you again, kevin! Smiley

and to sir jim, thank you very much!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 02:58:59 PM »
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The shortest answer to that question that I can give is that being a photographer is how I see the world.  In that sense I'm 'always' making photographs - it's a part of my perspective on the world. 

When I was 14-15 and just getting serious about photography, I often couldn't afford film so I'd just take the camera out and experience life through the viewfinder.  That helped teach me how to 'see'. Make yourself a cardboard framing card and carry it in your pocket.  Added to that, look at photographs of others and determine, as best you can 'why' that photograph was made that way, and how you might have done the scene - the same or differently, and how.

Mike.
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Yohohoho!
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 08:56:34 PM »
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The shortest answer to that question that I can give is that being a photographer is how I see the world.  In that sense I'm 'always' making photographs - it's a part of my perspective on the world. 

When I was 14-15 and just getting serious about photography, I often couldn't afford film so I'd just take the camera out and experience life through the viewfinder.  That helped teach me how to 'see'. Make yourself a cardboard framing card and carry it in your pocket.  Added to that, look at photographs of others and determine, as best you can 'why' that photograph was made that way, and how you might have done the scene - the same or differently, and how.

Mike.

What do you look when you study famous photographer images? composition, light, color?
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 03:19:03 AM »
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Ask yourself looking at photographs
- am I attracted?
- what attracts me? Place, light, colour indeed.
- what 'route' do my eyes take? This helps to learn more about composition.
- what did the photographer want to show?
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 03:37:57 AM »
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As well as the broad "traditional" landscape - don't forget the intimate landscape - a close-up of a small part of the world that may echo the large scale, or merely show a detail that most people walk past, unseeing. Moss in a corner of a wall, a fern growing in a tree, interesting patterns in the natural or built landscape - or imaginary landscapes seen in the peeling paintwork of urban decay. Let you imagination loose and the insight and feel for framing and composition you gain can only help when you get those precious moments in the countryside!

You can try exercises like taking a card with a  rectangle cut out of it to frame things wherever you go - a good way to train yourself to see compositions you might otherwise miss.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 03:47:27 AM »
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What do you look when you study famous photographer images? composition, light, color?

I will let Mike answer for himself, but your question made me think about what I look for in pictures of others as well as my own.  While composition is important, the mood of a picture is what really makes a difference to me.  There are no real 'rules' of composition though many have tried to formulate them - if it works it works in my opinion.  No matter how well composed a picture, if there is no sense of mood the picture does not work for me.  Therefore it all comes down to whether the subject tells a story, or if the light creates a mood.  Composition is a secondary consideration - though most of my favourite pictures would also be well composed.  My own opinion is that new photographers would do well to spend most of their time looking for interesting subjects, then photograph them at a time when the light is a bit 'special'.

I find looking at the work of others can be quite inspirational.  A picture can suddenly spark a train of thought that leads you into making your own pictures - not copying someone else, but just an idea of your own that was triggered by a picture or part of a picture.  Ultimately, unless a person is naturally gifted visually, most of us have to take tens of thousands of pictures before we learn what works or does not work for us.  And the process goes on and on!

Jim
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Yohohoho!
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2012, 06:23:53 AM »
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I will let Mike answer for himself, but your question made me think about what I look for in pictures of others as well as my own.  While composition is important, the mood of a picture is what really makes a difference to me.  There are no real 'rules' of composition though many have tried to formulate them - if it works it works in my opinion.  No matter how well composed a picture, if there is no sense of mood the picture does not work for me.  Therefore it all comes down to whether the subject tells a story, or if the light creates a mood.  Composition is a secondary consideration - though most of my favourite pictures would also be well composed.  My own opinion is that new photographers would do well to spend most of their time looking for interesting subjects, then photograph them at a time when the light is a bit 'special'.

I find looking at the work of others can be quite inspirational.  A picture can suddenly spark a train of thought that leads you into making your own pictures - not copying someone else, but just an idea of your own that was triggered by a picture or part of a picture.  Ultimately, unless a person is naturally gifted visually, most of us have to take tens of thousands of pictures before we learn what works or does not work for us.  And the process goes on and on!

Jim

noted! thank you! Smiley
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petermfiore
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 08:20:15 AM »
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It is always about the light. Learn to see and find the quality of light that creates the moods you seek.
That is the true subject of your images. With that in mind, what the light falls on almost doesn't matter.
"You get more by waiting than you do by moving". With patience the light evolve to transform your chosen motif.

This is the formula I use for my landscape painting.


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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 09:11:13 PM »
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1. Library - Go to your library and pull out some creative composition books, specifically on landscape photography.
2. Take photographs, even in the city or at any place that could possibly be called a park. You'd be amazed that if you really work a scene, you can get some excellent photographs. In the picture attached, there is a walking path between the camera and the trees. You'll have to use some creativity on this.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2013, 12:49:49 AM »
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What do you look when you study famous photographer images? composition, light, color?

As others have said, for me there needs to be a primarily visceral response.  Either the image catches my interest or it doesn't.  If it doesn't then I move on fairly quickly, and I'm the first and probably harshest judge of my own work.  If the image does interest me, then I begin to probe into what attracts me - light - quantity/quality/ direction, colour, composition, framing, depth of field, subject, tones, structure, shape, etc.  Over the years these elements become less about definitions - not so much a 'checklist' as a learned response, a 'Way' of seeing.  It's different for everyone, of course, and that is as it should be.

Mike.
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2013, 08:27:13 PM »
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I'm thinking if their is a way to improve my landscape photography even if I don't go to a location and shoot

Simple: Make photos all of the time, even if the subject is not a landscape, even if all you have for subject matter are room you are in, the things on your desk. Landscape photography is not so different from still life or portraits (except thaat in a landscape you have little to no control over the lighting. The thing all good and great photographers have in common is  they have taught themselves how to find what is interesting to them in the here and now, in what is right in front of them. You can and indeed must teach yourself this habit as well. This practice trains your brain to be aware and to be aware is to be prepared for when you do get to the places you ache to  visit.

Shoot from different angles, shoot the same subject in different light. Teach yourself to see possibilities.
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