In the second of our weekly series of beginners's landscape articles, Martin Pettinger looks at how trying a different approach can improve your images.
'I Yady Yag' is short for something I learnt on a
business training course. 'If You do what you’ve Always
Done You’ll get what you’ve Always Got!'
Often I am challenged about the colours of my landscape photographs.
adjusted this in Photoshop?” asked Nell
(We’ll call her Nell for the purposes of this story)
and No” I reply and go on to explain how I have
shadow areas and increased contrast in the sky but done very little to
the colour. I.e. the colour is as seen but the photograph was taken
whilst most folk were tucked up in bed!
At a slide competition I overheard Bill and Ben ?(again fictitious
names)? state “That’s
been photoshopped” each time a
dramatic colour landscape has been projected and yet I felt they were
often wrong. At a later date I take Bill out to do some photography.
It’s getting late and the sun has set.
this evening but it’s a bit late for me, can we go out
next time say round about tea-time” asks Bill.
but I don’t do tea-time - I always photograph before
and after tea!"
It’s a fact that it is difficult to take great landscapes in
middle of the day. It is possible and sometimes bright light is great
for black and whites, whilst in the depths of winter the sun is
relatively low during the middle of the day.
The attached photographs were
taken 25 minutes before sun-rise the earliest I have taken landscape
photographs and it certainly isn’t what I’ve always
Return of the pink feet, taken with a Canon 10D with a Canon 24mm lens. The exposure was f/22 at 30sec on ISO200. A Circular polariser and a 3-stop neutral density graduated filter were attached.
322 Seconds Later, taken with a Canon D30 with a Sigma 18-50mm lens. The exposure was f/16 at 0.6sec on ISO100.
But if your looking for
amazing colours and amazing atmosphere you’ll often find it
amazingly unsocial hour. Now I have seen some of Bill’s
landscapes, many taken when the sun is high and the light is flat. Flat
light equals flat landscapes and if you always photograph in flat light
you’ll get flat landscapes – “I Yady
doesn’t like late nights or early starts and that’s
each to their own. But before you question the validity of a landscape
please consider the following story:
One of the first photography talks I attended was by a landscape
photographer and he told a story about a fabulous photograph of a stone
circle he’d taken on a remote Scottish Isle and how the
of this photograph had been challenged. “I’ve visited and
photographed these stones for 25 years
” said old
Hank (I think
you get the idea now) and I’ve never seen colour like that.
because you’ve never visited the stones when I
” replied the landscape photographer.
you’ve been lucky
” says Hank.
“Have you ever
them at 3am in July
” asks the landscape
Hank looks dumbstruck. “Sounds
like you’ve been lying in
for the last 25 years
” finishes the landscape
So before you think a landscape has been created in Photoshop think
about when it could have been taken.