The Difficulty Of Landscape Photography

Many of the comments I often receive from persons who view my work are along the lines of, "I wish I could take images like yours." or, "Unless I have an amazing camera I just don't think I'll ever be able to take such amazing images." Well the truth is, everyone is creative and everyone has a unique talent and that includes YOU. The key is how to apply your creativity and natural talent to create visually appealing images.

Everyone interprets photography in their own original way however how you compose the elements in your frame can make or break your image. And whilst getting your composition spot on to reflect what you see in your mind's eye is one of the most critical and precarious things, one of the things I have learnt and what I teach my students is - There are no absolute rules for any one photograph. The truth is, ever photograph is unique as is every photographer however to create a visually appealing photograph which will force the view look and linger then you need to employ an array of techniques as well as a form of compositional discipline.

Every photo from a compositional view has a subject and you need to know just what that subject is before you even begin to think of composing the image and certainly before you press the shutter. When you're looking at a scene the best way to work out what that subject is can be done by simply answering the following question, "What do I find most interesting?" Once you've done that then it is just a matter how to frame that subject in a visually pleasing way. Look for anything in the frame that distracts from your subject and find a way eliminate or minimize it. You can do this by simply taking a few steps to the right or to the left, lowering yourself, and even moving backward or forward to make the shot work. Then press the shutter.

To sum this up landscape photography is more simple than you think. The difficulty is getting out and exploring these hidden treasures.

Regardless of what camera manufactures want you to believe you really don't need the latest and most expensive gear to make amazing images. All you need is a set of tools known as perseverance & tenacity.

So get out there and happy shooting.

My Gear

My Landscape Photography Gear

Canon 7D - A stunning DSLR offering great image quality and dynamic range.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - An amazing well constructed lens with the optical quality of an L series wide zoom in a prosumer barrel.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM - A lens I have wanted for a while and one of Canon’s best wide angle lens. Great image quality, very affordable and useful when emphasizing those interesting foregrounds.

Canon 70-200L F/4 (None IS) - An affordable and awesome L series lens.

Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Two Ivation Replacement Quick Release Plates for the RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter - Offering an excellent shooting platform this ball head has become my go to when out and about creating landscape images.

Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 055 Aluminium 3-Section Tripod with Horizontal Column (Black) - An extremely rigid tripod without the need for extra weight to keep it steady on a windy day.

Filters - I use a wide range of Formatt Hitech graduated ND and ND filters with my 85mm Holder along with a circular polarizer for my 95mm Threaded Ring. Second to none I have found Formatt Hitech filters to be best quality filters with little to no color cast.

Lowepro S&F Filter Pouch 100 - The perfect pouch for keeping my filter holder and all my filters safe.

Lowepro Fastpack 250 DSLR Camera Backpack - An excellent camera bag for carrying a lot of equipment.

Tips for Buying Your First Digital Camera

My tips for buying a digital camera is simply about knowing what you want to do with it and which features you need. Have you ever wondered how the pro photographers take fantastic pictures? Is it because master photographers own the best cameras that are usually high-priced and too complex to use for the average person or hobby photographer? Well considering that today's technology have a variety of digital cameras to choose from that can take take high quality photos and can be purchased for an affordable price I think not. First of all, think what you’ll be using the camera for, and which features you think are necessary for the photos you plan on taking. Someone who would use their digital camera for taking  holiday pictures might be comfortable with a simple point and shoot camera that is full automatic and takes care of the background work, such as where to focus, what aperture setting to use and white balance. However for a photographer who likes having more control over his/her shot would generally prefer a more advance camera with more options in its features. Therefore when buying a new camera you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

What will I use the camera for mostly?

How much can i spend?

Which features would I need?

How many (megapixels)is good enough?

Which special brand should I consider, and why is that model better than the other? (Don’t forget to compare everything)

When you've made your decision and purchased your new digital camera it's important that you learn how to maintain it in good condition. Clean your lens on a regular basis and especially before shooting. A dirty lens can result in a blurred and unusable image. Always use a recommended lends cleaning solution and  a cloth (microfiber cloths work best). Using unsuitable materials could severely damage the front element of your lens and render it useless. Understanding how the focus mechanism on your camera works can help you taking better pictures. Almost every digital camera has an auto focus option which works when you press the shutter button halfway down and hold it. Use this feature to lock the focus on your subject and then recompose the shot before you press the shutter fully and take the picture. Using this tip this will allow you to let your main target remain in focus.

Another excellent technique for taking great pictures is to follow the rule of thirds (it's actually more like a guideline) that helps create a satisfying balance between the our main subject and the supporting elements picture. To apply this rule, first separate your screen into 6 sections. This can be done by simply dividing your frame into 3 horizontal and 3 vertical lined equally spaced. Most cameras will have have this feature in live view and can be activated by selecting the grid view. Basically the aim is to place your main subject of the picture close to one of these focal lines. This would  give your picture a finer balance and generally make it more pleasing to look at.