Tips for landscapes.

Valley of fire, NV

I’ll give you a few landscape tips for beginners, today.

    1. Use the right lens. I recommend either the ultra wide lens (10-20 on a crop camera, 16-35 on a full frame camera), to show perspective and depth; or a telephoto lens, to bring backgrounds closer.
    2. Use a low ISO, like 100 or 200.
    3. Use a high f-number, like 11 or 16. Especially important if you use the telephoto lens above.
    4. If you can, use a tripod. The two settings above may well require it.
    5. Focus one third into your scene. That gives you the best sharp focus range.
    6. Just in case, carry a polarizer and an ND filter. The polarizer for removing reflections or to emphasize some blue skies, and the ND filter for slow shots of waterfalls or water surfaces.
    7. Consider shooting some panoramas. For those, use manual setting, so that all pictures are exposed equally. Avoid foreground objects. Turn the camera while on the tripod, overlapping successive images by, say, 30%.
    8. Don’t pack too much. Weight doubles hourly when carried!
    9. shoot at the best time of day. Often, that means 5pm or 5am, the “golden hour”.
    10. Consider bringing a flash. More than you’d expect, you’ll want to light up your foreground.
    11. Keep the image simple. Pay attention to detail.
    12. Look for attention points in the foreground, middle ground, or background. Like frames, reflections, s-curves, juxtapositions, etc.
    13. Prepare. Enter location coordinates, found on google, into your gps.
    14. take one iPhone picture so that you have the coordinates, and then copy them in Lightroom from that iPhone picture to your other photos. Unless, of course, your camera already has a gps built in.

These fifteen rules should get you going! For a little more detail, see my Landscape Photography book on http://Learning.photography .


Come to my April 27 workshop in Toronto, if you want flash techniques that work. See the previous post.

One flash

Today, I taught a Hamilton workshop. From that workshop, one photo that illustrates how you can take a photo with just one flash. Here’s student Paul.

This kind of chiaroscuro lighting is simple and very effective. And you don’t need much. One off camera flash.

Many more workshops coming up, starting with one in Toronto in under a month, where I’ll be teaching exactly that.

See here for details. Early bird pricing only until April 1!

"Flash Techniques for Quick Creative Success" – Toronto, April 27 2019

 

Bright pixels.

You have heard me say it many times: “Bright pixels are sharp pixels”.

Nothing wrong with this:

But it does not make the subject stand out as the bright pixels. And it does not feel special. This one does, and is also much more dramatic:

And the subject i s now the Bright Pixels. Shot at 100 ISO, 1/200 sec, at f/11, using a 40mm lens on a full frame camera and lit with a battery-pack powered Bowens strobe fitted with a beauty dish. Slightly desaturated in Lightroom.

This was a picture I shot today in a class I taught at Sheridan College in Oakville.

Many more courses coming up, so stay tuned. I can teach you how to do this, quickly.

 

 

Black. And white.

Black and white, or B/W, or Monochrome, is underused. Much, if not most art portraits are B/W. And why?

Well – colour, especially when desaturated, is not bad at all. Here’s today’s self portrait:

Not bad.

But the B/W version shows the mood better.

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B/W reduces an image to its essence. And coloured items do not distract. And white balance is not an issue. So for both creative and to a lesser extent technical reasons, try some B/W. Shoot RAW so you can do the actual conversion in Lightroom.

Here, finally, is another one, of one of today’s students, using a beauty dish:

Stands out, no? I love that beauty dish.

 

Fix your pics

A “product”: picture, like this iPhone shot of my watch, needs some TLC.

Let’s look at the “before” and “after”:

Look at that full sized, and you will see the healing brush spots!

And these small improvements make a big difference. An iPhone is fine given the right circumstances, but the TLC is not an option!