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THE BEFORE GUIDE TO LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY16/11/2010 - 7:53 AM
Another old but very, very popular blog from the Northscape Blog. This one both amused and upset in almost equal measure - so enjoy or not, as the case may be.
THE BEFORE WE BEGIN GUIDE TO GREAT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
Before we begin I’m going to assume that you have a few things, namely a camera, a
tripod and an idea of what you want to achieve.
Before we begin there are a few things you need to remember. Landscape
Photographers are the pinnacle of the photography world; they are actively involved
in saving the planet and have been known to camp in one place for years living on
lichen and rabbit droppings in the quest for the perfect photo.
Before we begin I am also going to assume that your camera has a bulb setting and is
capable of a four hour exposure.
Before we begin, you will also need to understand that you have to be capable and
willing to walk at least a quarter of a mile to your location.
Before we begin I am going to presuppose that you have in your head the list of
hallowed locations. If you don’t know them then you are not ready to take your first
steps as a serious landscape photographer. If you do not know them then you will
need to use the definitive work, ‘Google Images’ and spend many minutes
memorizing their names. As a guide – most of them are North of Birmingham and
West of Bristol.
Before we begin I will take it as read that you have a set of Lee Graduated Neutral
Density Filters and if yours are not made by Lee you are able to disguise them in your
camera bag or never discuss the subject in company.
Before we begin you will need to super glue a wide angle lens to your camera. This
will prevent lens changing accidents should you forget that you are a landscape
Before we begin you need to know that the word Photoshop is banned and that
anybody claiming knowledge of how it works will be shot at dawn….unless it’s a
decent sunrise, then you will shot after breakfast.
Are you ready – then we’ll begin.
You are about to embark on the mystical art of landscape photography. A craft so
complicated and involved that you will become the most spiritual of beings and yet
look like you are the most innocent of ramblers. You will evolve mathematical
equations for solving exposure problems so complex that only your brain alone will
be capable of achieving them. You will learn to say "ND Grad" so that it slips from your
lips like the most beautiful of prose and you will learn to gaze upon a new ND Grad
as though Michelangelo himself had crafted it from the fossilised sweat of a Unicorn
for surely it will have cost the same.
You will curse the central horizon, you will laugh at wedding photographers and you
will wet your pants when snow is forecast and laugh at anybody unlucky enough to
live in Milton Keynes, Northampton or Essex for surely no landscape photographer
would ever admit to enduring such places.
You will lust after a Land Rover in the sure knowledge that it would cut down the
quarter mile walk to a few yards.
You will encounter HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography. You will agonise for
hours about whether you dare use it or not when the answer is simple. Check your
MP3 player. If it is full of Pink Floyd, Clannad and Jethro Tull, then HDR is not for
you. If you not know what an MP3 player is then HDR will never be for you.
You will at some point claim to have 1 – Met Joe Cornish 2 – Know Joe Cornish 3 –
Seen Joe Cornish in one of the Hallowed Locations. (if you a reading this and
saying ‘Who is Joe Cornish?’, then it is time to take up wedding photography.). You
will in due course come to refer to Joe Cornish as Joe or JC and at least once in your
life make the pilgrimage to Northallerton.
You will fondly remember Velvia, even though you are unsure exactly what it is or
was. Do not worry – Velvia is part of the Landscape Photography Collective Memory.
Dropping ‘Wow, that looks so like Velvia’ into the appraisal of an image now and
then will be just fine.
And finally – you will follow the code of the Landscape Photographer – ‘Take
nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints and a small pile of cigarette