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7 More Top Landscape Photographers

7 More Top Landscape Photographers - Here's another roundup of some of the great landscape talent we have on the site.

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Landscape and Travel


Safe on Calmer Waters by andylea
'Safe on Calmer waters' by andylea

How did you get into landscape photography?

I got into landscape photography by the back door so to speak. I used to paint and draw but I had trouble with my eye sight and I could no longer do the fine detail that was a trademark of my work so photography seemed to be another way of being creative.

Talk us through your setup.
I always shoot in RAW and use a tripod and filters. I seem to favour using two filters at the moment, an ND8 Grad and either an ND2 and / or an ND4.

What draws you to landscape photography?
I used to paint and draw landscapes so it just seemed the right way to go with my photography although I'm lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country, Lancashire, and I really enjoy walking and being in the outdoors.


last of the summer wine by Nick w
'Last of the Summer Wine' by Nick_w

How did you get into landscape photography?
I grew up in rural North Yorkshire, my grandfather was a farmer in the Yorkshire Dales. I think that is where I got my passion for the landscape of the UK. My favourite area in the UK remains the Yorkshire Dales.

I started in photography with film, but didn’t really take it seriously until I bought my first DSLR in 2007. In my job at the time I travelled a lot (still do) and wanted a hobby to enjoy on an evening, rather than being sat in a hotel room or bar.

I struggled to come to terms with the camera so enrolled on a course and it was probably the best investment I made in terms of my photography. I learned so much and made some great friends, who I still keep in touch with.

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
My preparation starts long before I set out. To research the location I use Google, Google maps check the weather forecast, tides, sunrise/sunset etc. I often scout the area before the prepared visit. I usually set myself two goals, some standard landscape “keepers” then I will tend to have a more ambitious project in mind, where I will be more experimental.

I try to always arrive at location in plenty of time, for example if I’m doing a sunrise, I like to get there in position at least 30 minutes before sunrise.

Because of the preparation I generally know roughly what I want to achieve. If I’ve visited the location previously I will tend to have pre-visualised the image in my mind’s eye. There are two vital components to landscape photography (at least for me) that’s light and composition. I spent a lot of time studying composition, reading around the subject, both from photography and art sources. I have also learned a lot from critiques of my images on ePz. For example Paul Sutton (sorry Sutty for singling you out!) pointed out in one of my early images the separation wasn’t enough between two elements in an image. That comment is engrained in me whenever I’m setting up.

I use a sturdy tripod and head, with cable release. I use manual settings most of the time as I want to be in control of the image. So I will set the ISO, Aperture, shutter speed and focus using the hyperfocal point.
I balance the exposure using a set of filters I'm constantly checking the image on the back of the camera, checking the histogram to ensure I’m not clipping any details and making changes to balance the sky and land. When light is changing fast I will bracket +/- 1 stop.

Recently I’ve been experimenting with exposure blending without filters (not HDR, or at least not tone mapped), and have had some good results. This is something I will be doing more and more. Most of my images have little or no cropping, because I take care in the field when composing the image. I sometimes present images in a letterbox format, but even then I will have planned this when taking the image – wide angle lenses are softest in the extreme corners, so when setting up I will take this into account.

What draws you to landscape photography?
I enjoy most photography and experiment a lot (too much). But what I enjoy about landscape photography is the solitude, having a stressful career, it allows me time to relax and think and enjoy the landscape and surroundings whilst listening to my iPod.


Sunrise on Derwent Water by martin.w
'Sunrise on Derwent water' by martin.w

How did you get into landscape photography?
I have lived in Sheffield all my life, so have always been a regular visitor to The Peak District. I did a lot of walking with my Dad, then moved on to go out regularly with a few friends. At this time I already had a compact camera, but I then purchased my first SLR, an Olympus OM20. Over the next couple of years I acquired a tripod, another lens and some other bits and pieces and it was about then that some of the trips out were just for taking photographs. From then on, mostly on my own, I learnt about when the best light appears and how to compose photos, using a trial and error process, with a lot of the latter!

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
Setting up a shot usually starts the previous evening looking at both the weather report and the sunrise/sunset times. I have never had a shot in mind that I would like to achieve, nor have I ever looked at gadgets to tell me where the sun will be. I tend to just go out and see what the light brings, though as most landscapers know, the light never shines for every visit. At best it is one in three. For a sunrise I go out well before the sun appears above the horizon to enable me to get in place and set up in time. I mostly use my 17-40mm lens, one I have had since back from the days of film, though I quite often use my 100-400mm lens too to get a different look at landscapes. I also use a set of Hard Grads and of course, a sturdy tripod.

What draws you to landscape photography?
As someone who isn't very articulate I find it very difficult to put into words what draws me to landscape photography. I enjoy the ever changing conditions as well as the seasonal changes, from the bitterly cold winters, to the bright heather coloured moors in the summer. Often just the sheer beauty of watching a landscape light up as the sun rises over misty valleys, or catching the light on frosty rocks is enough. More than once I had to force myself to actually take photos while I watched a dawn break, feeling that I am the only person out there to witness it, though that's often because I am the only one daft enough to be out there at such ridiculous early hours!


Brisons sunset
'Brisons Sunset' by BillyGoatGruff

How did you get into landscape photography?
That's a difficult question! I suppose I've always loved landforms and climate. There's something huge and compelling, even humbling, about the physical majesty of our world, not to mention its staggering, almost visceral beauty.

At school, many years ago, physical geography was probably my favourite subject. I always got a great deal of pleasure from finding out how our planet and its atmosphere work. But it wasn't until I'd left school and did a stint at art college in the late seventies that I really learned about landscape photography.

During my course I learned how to develop and print my own black and white photographs and was, coincidently, introduced by my photographic tutor to the photographs of Edward Weston and, more importantly for me, Ansel Adams. Adams' work just blew me away!

"I want to be able to do that!" I said to myself, although it wasn't really until many years later that I was able to begin to learn how to. I'm still learning and will probably never stop.

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
Sometimes, through pre-planning, I will have the luxury of knowing exactly the shot (or shots) I want to take; sometimes I won't have that luxury and will then have to react to what nature provides, hopefully in plenty of time to get the lie of the land and assess the compositional possibilities of the location I happen to be in prior to shooting any frames.

In both situations, I suppose my set-up procedure is more or less the same.

I'll usually start by just being there; finding somewhere to sit or stand and soaking it all in and getting a feel of the place and the light.This will usually help with a lens choice - more often than not I'll opt to go really wide. I just love really wide shots with a lot of perspective, and big skies if possible.

There's a sort of routine I often (but not always) adopt: assembling the body and lens, fixing the hot-shoe level and remote release and filter holder, but not actually using the tripod. Hand-holding the camera in this way allows me to easily and quickly try different compositions and formats to refine my ideas of what I want to shoot.

I may even shoot a frame or two to check the histogram, which will usually reveal whether I'll need any filtration for the sky. It will also give me an idea of the shutter speed range I'm likely to get and helps me make creative decisions about using a polarising filter and/or solid NDs. Once I've got a good idea of what's what, then I will set up and level the tripod. I often find that levelling the tripod is the lengthiest part of the process.

With the camera mounted and levelled I will then make use of live view to fine tune the composition and set the aperture. For my landscape images I usually shoot in aperture priority mode, and usually f/11.

Next it's focussing. I use hyperfocal focussing and will either focus manually, or use auto focus to focus on something at the hyperfocal distance before switching back to manual focus so the camera doesn't start thinking for itself. It sometimes happens that there's nothing in the frame at this distance, so then it's necessary to dismount the camera and auto focus on something at the HFD (quite often my feet!) and then remount the camera and double check all the above.

I'll usually fit a filter at this point, based on my earlier estimate. In any event I will shoot at least one test frame to check the histogram and then dial in any exposure compensation or adjust the filter or even add another one if necessary. This also enables me to check whether I can nail the shot in one frame or whether I'll need two (or more) frames to cover the whole dynamic range.

Providing the light isn't changing too much, I've found that a lot of the set up only has to be done once if I'm changing from landscape to portrait format, although it does have to be repeated if I change my location relative to the light significantly. At the end of the day, photography is about capturing the best data with the tools available.

What draws you to landscape photography?
In one sentence? The beauty of planet Earth.

Ok, that's a bit glib, but I do find that landscape photography is a means of combining my love of planet Earth and my love of the visual image, something I've been involved with for a long time. Mostly I guess it's being able to communicate my sense of being there and what moved me about being there.

I don't get as many opportunities as I would like but I try to make the best of them when they come along. An old adage states that "a picture is worth a thousand words." I couldn't agree more. And landscapes don't usually require a model release!


drunkie sunrise
'Drunkie Sunrise' by Landlord

How did you get into landscape photography?
I always wanted to paint, but I discovered at school that I was a little better with a camera than I was with a brush and the love affair began!

For as long as I can remember, when I got the chance and some spare time I always went to the country rather than the city, that has not changed. Now I feel lucky, 25 years ago I got the opportunity to move away from the town with a company move to Scotland, I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. I now live in arguably one of the nicest parts of Britain, the Trossachs, and unless I move overseas I really have no desire to move anywhere else.

By coincidence at the same time I moved to the Trossachs so did two other photographers, we all became great friends and both of them helped and encouraged me... with big words like "reciprocity"!

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
Like most people I suspect, most of my images are taken locally to where I live, but you still have to do some homework, even if it's only a conscious thought process. Where will I go?, is there something that has changed? Etc.

Given a little time, out might come the photographer's ephemeris and I will look at locations that perhaps I have discovered on a previous walk (more likely driven past in the car!), I do try hard to find new images particularly on my own patch.

When I go further afield, more often than not I will contact a photographer through ePz from that particular location for some local knowledge and advice, I've never been one for not asking!

The best advice I could give any landscape photographer would be to get out early, stay out late and always use a tripod. Further than that, look at other people's work and really critique it, don't just say "nice shot" ask yourself why it's a nice shot and how could it have been done better. Later that will come in handy when you're out-and-about and you're asking yourself "how can I make this better?" or "is this the best I can do?".

When taking the image I would compose the scene and then quite frequently I would use the live view to focus, particularly if there is something that I would like to be pin sharp in the scene, say a rock in the foreground for example. I'm a little lazy and although I have a bag full of filters I have a tendency to bracket my images using the auto bracket facility on the camera (set to maintain the f stop and vary the shutter speed) and then manually blend the images together back at home in Photoshop (I really don't like the tops of mountains or trees becoming black because of a filter being badly used). Finally, I always use a shutter release cable so that the camera is not touched or worse, moved while I make the exposures.

What draws you to landscape photography?
I love the 'wow' factor of a dramatic landscape, recording it and letting others see what I have captured.

I have been taking photographs for over 25 years. In that time I have tried to evolve with every advance in technology and creative technique, in more recent years with help and advice from several ePz guys... You know who you are!

When I think of where I began and look at where I am now, I am amazed at how far I have come and how far there is still left to go. Every month it seems someone develops a new technique that refines photography just that little bit more and stretches me that little bit further. It excites me.


'ReculverTowers' by derekhansen

How did you get into landscape photography?

I took up photography in the early 1980's back in the days of film when I received a Yashica 35mm SLR for my 21st birthday. At that time I was just shooting anything that took my eye. I used slide film either Fuji or Kodachrome.

Work, marriage and kids took over and I really didn't take any serious photographs until 2008. I have always been quite creative and even earned some pocket money sculpting miniature figurines commercially back in the 90's. I was also a keen amateur painter though quite ironically I specialized in portraits rather than landscapes. During the summer I went on holiday and I remember being quite frustrated at the images I was getting with my £50 Fuji compact so I bought a couple of magazines and recall seeing some landscape shots that really impressed me.

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
I am fairly methodical when taking landscape shots. I almost always use a tripod and remote release. I also use Grad and ND filters quite a lot although at other times I will take different exposures and blend using layer masks in Photoshop. When framing a shot I look for strong compositions that lead the eye through the image. I use the Live View facility almost exclusively when taking landscape images. I like this because not only is it easier to see the view than it is through the eyepiece but I also have it set up so that I can adjust exposure by moving the cursor around the image. It also locks the mirror up and by magnifying the image you can really fine tune the focus. Most shots are taken in aperture priority although I do sometimes use manual. I try to keep an eye on the histogram after every shot but to be honest I am always forgetting to check. As a matter of interest I never use the live view for hand held photography as I like the stability of the third point of contact holding the camera to the eye.

What draws you to landscape photography?
What draws me to landscape photography in particular is that it gives me a creative outlet while experiencing nature and the outdoors. I like the solitude of being out in the field or by the coast. For me, the feeling you get as you release the shutter and capture a great view in beautiful light is unbeatable.


winter scenery
'Winter Scenery' by dmhuynh72

How did you get into landscape photography?

I first developed an interest in photography as a teenager when I started to play with my dad's camera, and loved taking pictures on holiday.

Talk us through how you set up and take a shot.
I always do my photography at dawn and dusk, when beautiful golden light illuminates the landscape. I normally arrive at location at least half an hour early to give me time to find good composition and wait for the light. I use a graduated ND to balance the light in the sky and foreground.

What draws you to landscape photography?
I am greatly inspired by Scotland's stunning landscapes and bought myself a DSLR camera about five years ago. During my trip to Scotland I managed to get some nice photos and my work in subsequent publications.

For those interested in landscapes, Steve Gosling will be holding a landscape workshop on 3 May 2013 in The Lake District (Keswick/Derwent Water).

The workshop is priced at £50 and more information can be found on Damian McGillicuddy's website.

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