MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY- DAVID TAYLOR

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MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY- DAVID TAYLOR

Transcript of MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY- DAVID TAYLOR

  • MASTERING LANDSCAPEPHOTOGRAPHY

    DAVID TAYLOR

  • Above: One of the pleasures of shooting landscape images is that you can spend time doing something pleasurable in a beautiful location. You also have a concrete reminder of that moment as a keepsake, in the form of your photograph.

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  • MASTERING LANDSCAPEPHOTOGRAPHY

    DAVID TAYLOR

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  • First published 2014 by

    Ammonite Press

    an imprint of AE Publications Ltd

    166 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1XU, UK

    Text and images David Taylor, 2014 (unless otherwise specified)

    Copyright in the Work AE Publications Ltd, 2014

    All rights reserved.

    The rights of David Taylor to be identified as the author of this work have

    been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs, and Patents

    Act 1988, Sections 77 and 78.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval

    system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior

    permission of the publishers and copyright owner.

    While every effort has been made to obtain permission from the copyright

    holders for all material used in this book, the publishers will be pleased to

    hear from anyone who has not been appropriately acknowledged, and to

    make the correction in future reprints.

    The publishers and author can accept no legal responsibility for any

    consequences arising from the application of information, advice, or

    instructions given in this publication.

    British Library Cataloging in Publication Data: A catalog record of this

    book is available from the British Library.

    Editor: Chris Gatcum

    Series Editor: Richard Wiles

    Designer: Robin Shields

    Typeface: Helvetica Neue

    Color reproduction by GMC Reprographics

  • Introduction

    Chapter 1EquipmentCameras

    Lenses

    Tripods

    Other Accessories

    Camera Care

    Chapter 2ExposureFirst Principles

    Exposure Meters

    Exposure Modes

    Aperture

    Shutter Speed

    ISO

    Exposure Values

    Dynamic Range

    Histograms

    Exposing to the Right

    Dealing with Contrast

    Chapter 3LightWhat is Light?

    The Qualities of Light

    Color Temperature

    Time of Day

    Weather & Light

    Chapter 4PreparationThe Sun

    On Location

    File Formats

    Picture Controls

    Chapter 5SubjectsCoastal

    Woodland

    Hills & Mountains

    Lakes, Rivers & Waterfalls

    People & Animals

    Sunrise & Sunset

    The Seasons

    Buildings in the Landscape

    Bad Weather Days

    Night Photography

    Details

    Panoramic Images

    Chapter 6CompositionCompositional Rules

    Aspect Ratio

    Orientation

    Visual Weight

    Balance

    Color

    Symmetry

    Lines

    Creating Depth

    Minimalism

    Chapter 7FiltersUsing Filters

    UV & Skylight Filters

    ND Filters

    Extreme ND Filters

    Graduated ND Filters

    Polarizing Filters

    Chapter 8PostproductionPostproduction Fundamentals

    Basic Image Corrections

    Black & White

    Output

    Preparing to Print

    Glossary

    Useful Web Sites

    Index

    Acknowledgments

    Contents

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    6

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  • 6 MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

    Photographers often go through two stages as

    they start to explore photography. The fi rst stage

    is relatively simple to defi ne: its the learning

    stage. This is when the technical issues involved

    in making photographic images are grappled with

    and mastered.

    The second stage is slightly subtler. It requires

    the photographer to ask himself or herself a

    philosophical question: what kind of photographer

    am I? If the answer is landscape photographer,

    then this is the book for you.

    Defi ning SkillsAll photographers need to know the basic

    technical skills of the craft. However, as strange

    as it may seem, this is actually the easy bit, as

    theres a logic behind things such as exposure

    or focusing. Even if they seem mystifying initially,

    these skills can be learned.

    Less easy to defi ne are the skills that need

    to be learned once youve decided what sort of

    photographer you are. A wedding photographer

    needs to have the same basic photographic

    skills as a landscape photographer, but that

    doesnt mean that one would be able to do

    the others job. Wedding photographers need

    to be able to get the best out of people and to

    have the patience and organizational skills of a

    saintly general. Im full of admiration for wedding

    photographersits not something Id wish to do

    on a regular basis, if ever!

    A landscape photographer, however, needs to

    understand how the landscape is affected by the

    weather, the seasons, and the light falling upon

    it. Navigational skills are also useful for finding

    Introduction

    potential subjects, but above all, empathy for

    the natural world is essential. Without that I

    dont think a landscape photographer can make

    images that will inspire others. Ultimately, to be

    fulfilled creatively, a landscape photographer has

    to move beyond being a mere technician to find

    his or her own artistic voice.

    Right: One aspect of landscape photography that I fi nd endlessly fascinating is the way the light changes

    throughout the day, affecting the mood of an image.

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  • 7INTRODUCTION

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  • 8 MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

    Slowing DownLandscape photography gives you permission to

    temporarily cut yourself off from the modern world.

    Being out in the landscape early in the morning

    or late in the evening means youre often on your

    own, with only your thoughts for company. These

    are all good things: creativity requires a certain

    amount of peaceful contemplation to fl ourish. Its

    incredibly diffi cult to be creative in a noisy, busy

    offi ce if others constantly disturb you.

    It is important to allow yourself time at your

    chosen location without feeling a desperate panic

    to shoot. This means arriving in good time so you

    can wander around, take in the atmosphere, and

    allow your subconscious to get to work. In fact

    theres something to be said for not shooting for

    at least teneven 20minutes after you arrive.

    Its all too tempting to fi re your camera like

    a machine gun, hoping that if you shoot often

    enough you will create at least one worthwhile

    image. Dont give in to that temptation. A few

    good images will always be more satisfying than

    scores of mediocre ones.

    This is another good reason to arrive in good

    time: if youve got time to think and to contemplate,

    youll panic less and shoot fewer images. An even

    more compelling reason to slow down is that

    every image you shoot will have to be assessed

    and either rejected or processed at some point

    in the future. Overshooting will expand the time

    this takes, and this could be time better spent

    outdoors shooting instead!

    Left: Walking can be incredibly helpful to the creative process, particularly if you take time to look around you as you walk. This image was shot on an afternoons stroll because I did just that.

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  • 9INTRODUCTION

    Above: Landscape photography isnt an immediate social experience in the way that portrait or wedding photography is. The pleasure of sharing comes later, when you show your images to friends, family, or via social media. And your work should be shared: spreading the wonder of the natural world will encourage others to explore it for themselves.

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  • 10 MASTERING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

    Landscape photography as a genre is almost

    as old as photography itself. This means that we

    have our pick of nearly two centuries of images

    to look at and learn from, and everyone should

    have heroes and heroines to inspire them. The

    Internet has made this easier, of course, but theres

    arguably nothing better than curling up with a book

    about landscape photography and taking in the

    work of others. For me, this is a particular treat

    on dark, wintry evenings when the weather isnt

    cooperating and inspiration is lacking.

    The work of a really great photographer, more

    often than not, still seems like magic to me. I

    somet