Landscape Photography Tips
MARK ROSENGARTEN OFFERS BEAUTIFUL IMAGES ACCOMPANIED BY EXCELLENT PHOTO TIPS AND TECHNICAL INSIGHTS As the sun set, a long exposure from the dock while standing in the water: From the Gomez Mill, a 1/2 second exposure to show more detail in the spray: We did get about ten minutes of insane color on the horizon about 20 minutes after sunset: The Gomez Mill: A 2-minute exposure to smooth out the water and sky, done in Bulb mode: Using snow as the leading line into the sunset: Funneled along the inlet: It was wonderful meeting you all and I hope you all got a lot out of it! Hope to see you again and looking forward to seeing your work here!! Mark Rosengarten
REMEMBER--PIXELS ARE FREE Rebecca Bozarth attended a session led by DPA Instructor, Ken Ross, at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and beautifully exemplified the old Photo Adage, that "Pixels Are Free" so take as many images as you can, from every angle because you may not have another chance!! In fact, as we should have guessed, Rebecca is not the typical Digital Photo Academy student. She is a professional photographer in Atlanta, Georgia, who owns her own design company, Fotografia Film & Design www.fotografiafilmanddesign.com. She is a SCAD Atlanta graduate, and specializes in photography, videography, graphic, and web design. Great opening image with colorful floating orbs in the foreground to anchor the eye of the viewer and lead first to the Chihuly glass structure with adequate attention to the waterfall and of course the magnificent plant lady. The entire scene is upon us without too much focus on a detail or too far away so the impact of the scene is lost. Remember, either with your lens or your body or both, get closer. In this case the image is still anchored by the floating orbs but not all 4 and there is greater emphasis on the chihuly AND waterfall. The plant lady is left in the shadows. Now after closer go further back. The plant lady is shown in the context of the broader setting and creates a different perspective of the way she dwarfs the Chihuly. Interesting perspective. The colorful flowers in the foreground, green leaves included add a brightness to the overall image and compliment the Chihuly. Now back even closer than before to isolate the Chihuly and its relationship to the waterfall, grey stone to accentuate the artwork, with drama added with a shutter speed priority to catch the water in midstream. Even closer to allow the viewer to make a comparison and closer still. This one would might be favored by Chihuli himself even though a portion of his work is cut off. Now an emphasis on the plant lady in a vertical, enabling the viewer to take greater note to the water from the lady's hand. Chihuly is nice but the image works without its presence too. Same notion but this time horizontally and the photographer has a choice as does the viewer of the photo. This time the colorful orbs are missing and it is a study in green, enhancing the focus on the lady's face and arm. Another vertical with some complimentary yellow in the hair and closer look at the face of the lady This Chihuly might even be a completely different display but why not add it in to show the Art Deco, opaque whimsy of the man's creation.
Rule of Thirds Approach of Composition As Well As The Camera Control of Aperture Priority Greg Miller, one of the Digital Photo Academy instructors in the Hudson Valley chose to create the illusion that the sail boat, which was actually about 150 feet from the shore, was much further away and created an ethereal peaceful scene using the Rule of Thirds approach of composition as well as the camera control of Aperture Priority. But remember to move around a lot because there is always another compelling image in every setting. For example, student William Wilmot bided his time and focused closer on the boat, snapping the shutter just as the sun quickly winked at it. Additionally, he framed his main subject with the leaves in the foreground.
Even in poor lighting conditions, always try. Pixels are free as they say! With Landscape photographer, Greg Miller, Nana Greller was wandering beneath a thick canopy of trees amidst the soft light behind West Point Foundry, Preserve in Cold Springs, NY. It was a rainy Sunday, kind of low light that seemed to show no real promise, wondering of the possibilities for any photo worth keeping. Greg disagreed in regard to the potential and Nana came away with this lovely image, which is actually a fairly anemic waterfall, at least on that day, maybe not so piddly every day. The leaves frame the main subject nicely and the slow shutter speed priority renders a haunting version of the cascading water. Good job Nana.
That photo was taken during the Sunday workshop and Long Dock Park. It was just a grab shot since I rarely shoot during a workshop. 24mm on full frame Nikon D810 camera, 0.6 second exposure at F18. Shutter speed was important to render the water texture just right, so shutter speed of 0.6 seconds was chosen, then F18 was chosen to render a good exposure. Exposure was intentionally 1 stop less than the meter reading. The camera meter wants to render the scene a middle gray, but at this time of day, the scene is darker than middle gray. Using the exposure meter’s setting would have caused the photo to be too bright. Story 1: The chap who sails this boat swims to and from it from shore. Note that the water temperature on April is still quite chilly. Story 2: Most photographers go to Long Dock Park at low tide to shoot the pilings in the river that are visible at low tide. This beautiful view south towards the Hudson Highlands near high tide is rarely photographed.
From Don Peters/ DPA instructor in Chicago To view more of his images please visit http://digitalphotoacademy.com/portfolio/donald-peters/ Look down! On a 52nd floor balcony, overlooking Chicago’s Gold Coast, I had the world before me. The grandeur of Lake Michigan was enhanced with all sorts of watercraft and the surrounding, majestic skyscrapers of Chicago. That afternoon, even the Navy Blue Angels were flying by, screaming for photographic attention. However, something compelled me to simply point my camera straight down to the tawny beach below, dotted with sunbathers and colorful umbrellas. The random pattern of humanity at play “spoke to me,” and I captured this shot of summer in the city. To me, besides rendering an interesting pattern, the shot creates the question, the wonder as to what activities, conversations, hopes and dreams are going on within the multitudes milling about below. (Nikon D300 with 28-300mm Nikkor lens at 200mm, ISO 200, 1/500 at f/11)
From Josh Anon/ DPA instructor in San Francisco To view more of his images please visit http://digitalphotoacademy.com/portfolio/josh-anon/ I am a big believer in pre-visualizing photos and then executing them. Even if your pre-visualization isn’t perfect, it gives you purpose and lets you actively plan for a shot instead of reacting to what’s around you. In this case, I knew that for the fourth of July, San Francisco would have a big fireworks show downtown, and the forecast was (unusually) fog-free. That meant I had a chance to create a unique image of San Francisco, with the Golden Gate Bridge (the most distinctive icon that immediately screams “San Francisco” to a viewer) and fireworks. I knew of a good spot in the Marin headlands and arrived hours in advance, expecting a crowd and wanting a parking spot. A lot of photography involves patience! I framed this shot up before the fireworks started balancing where the bridge is and where I roughly estimated the fireworks would be, based on what I saw in the paper. To shoot, I put my camera in bulb mode, held a piece of cardboard in front of the lens between fireworks bursts, and exposed each image for 2-3 firework bursts. While the fireworks are a tad over-exposed, I still like the shot because of how the intense brightness and shapes from the falling embers contrasts with the darkness in the rest of the frame, just like when you see fireworks with your naked eye. Canon EOS 1Ds with Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L at 35mm on a tripod. f/5.6, 8 sec, ISO 200.
From Josh Anon/ DPA instructor in San Francisco To view more of his images please visit http://digitalphotoacademy.com/portfolio/josh-anon/ Even though Mark Twain never actually said the coldest winter he’d ever had was a summer in San Francisco, the near-daily fog does make for some cold summers. And some beautiful pictures! The bay area’s geography is also unique in that there are hills in the east bay, and the hills are often a demarcation line for the fog. Depending on the weather conditions, there are days where a low, thick bank of fog rolls into the bay but below the top of the hills. This makes it so that you can get a great vantage point, looking across the city and seeing where the fog is. I was in the hills on one such day, guessing the weather conditions would be correct, but I arrived before sunset and before I could see for sure what the fog was doing. As the sun started to set, the fog moved across the bay. A long lens on a tripod (roughly 400mm) let me isolate the features that make the scene say “San Francisco,” that is the bay bridge, Sutro tower, and the downtown skyline. Even though the fog covers most of them, you still have a sense of geography. Waiting for the lights to come on also added a nice element to the shot, a bit of warmth and brightness contrasting with the fog. Canon EOS 1Ds with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS on a tripod at 400mm. f/16, 1.6 sec, ISO 100, -2/3 stops in evaluative metering.
From Josh Anon/ DPA instructor in San Francisco To view more of his images please visit http://digitalphotoacademy.com/portfolio/josh-anon/ I often carry a Sony RX1 with me, as it’s got great image quality in a very compact form factor. I don’t always want to carry a big DSLR. Especially on photo trips, when I’m in a different environment, even when I’m not shooting my main subjects, I often see opportunities for interesting photos that make me want a camera. This street scene is one such example, as I saw it while leaving dinner in China, near Mongolia one evening. I liked the row of bikes and the people walking, as it captured how the town felt. The converging lines into the distance added depth and visual intensity, and the warm colors on the signs provided a nice balance to the cool shadows. And as I framed up a shot, I saw a car starting to drive down the street. I quickly focused and shot a burst, getting the car in different positions. It was sheer luck that this one guy looked back at me (it’s possible I swore when I saw the car and rushed to get the shot setup), creating a nice connection between the photo and the viewer. Sony RX1 at 35mm, f/2, 1/80 sec, ISO 6400
From Frank Siteman/ DPA instructor in Boston To view more of his images please visit http://digitalphotoacademy.com/portfolio/frank-siteman/ Symmetry, timing and simplicity are the backbone of many stand-out images. This photo was taken while on a casual, end of day walk along the shoreline at Old Orchard Beach in Ogunquit, Maine. As the sun was setting behind me, only the clouds were being directly illuminated, creating a scene with an intense, warm-cool (yellow/blue) color contrast. Adding to this, was the reflection of the sky on the mirror-like, smooth sand beach, that appeared with each retreating wave, making the timing of the exposure an important factor. Choosing a wide angle allowed for the inclusion of the most real estate (keeping both the actual clouds and their reflections on the sand) and enabled me to work with a slowish shutter speed of a 1/15th sec with an aperture of f/8.0, holding focus from the foreground to the horizon. This was a situation where breaking the “rule of thirds” allowed for a more dynamic image. Camera was Canon 5D, ISO 200 and using a 24mm focal length with a 24-105 IS lens.