Landscape

Landscape Photography (Two Photographs)

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My opportunities for landscape photography this year have been few, but I have taken advantage of them. I have tried many of the tricks the articles talk about like leading lines, foreground objects etc.. After a while you get an idea of what works for you, the same for editing. Learn, but make it yours.


Inexactitude

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In photography there is an an aspect of reportage, but nothing is ever perfect. We look for symmetry, leading lines and catchlights etc., sometimes more implied than present, hopefully having the desired effect. I often feel perfection is the enemy of the good in photography, that sometimes the audience should do a modicum of work to fill in the blanks.

 


Trees -2 (Two Photographs)

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These tree photographs were taken in early spring, when there was still a chill in the air. I liked the abstract nature of the canopy; little has been done to to enhance the photograph. The original files were taken in black and white on my Fuji camera.


Trees (Three Photographs)

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I did a couple of series on trees at two different parks, this is the first. We tend to ignore trees as merely a feature in a landscape. I thought I would try for something a bit different using contrast and shadows.


Placid (Two Photographs)

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Even without the ducks this would be quite an interesting scene, calm and placid. I took about 20 photographs but only one had all the elements I wanted, especially the ducks in a good position. Sometime patience is rewarded.


Landscape (Two Photographs)

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There is nothing quite like a great water landscape image to calm the mind, though being there in person is even better! I was not quite sure how to process this in black and white so I stuck with a classical slightly dark approach.


Twist and Turns (Two Photographs)

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I have stared at this bizarre tangle of trees on many visits to the lake and wondered if I could do it justice. I came closer this time using luminance masks (created with Greg Benz’s Lumenzia). Without luminance masks the range of highlights would have been distracting.


Lines (Two Photographs)

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Using leading lines in photos to direct your viewer’s attention is a tried and true technique in landscape photography. And here the line of trees is emphasized as well as an interesting sky. You can use leading lines for almost every kind of photography, even for shooting birds.


Hard Edges (Two Photographs)

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The camera and computer add sharpening, we can add more when we edit and the photo gets sharpened once more when it leaves the post processing software. Too much of it leads to halos or white outlines around objects. Three solutions: do no sharpening or do less of it, paint the outlines away or follow some of the more complicated  tutorials on the web. I usually go back and try minimizing the sharpening but I will paint away outlines if all else fails. Fortunately these photos had no unusual problems.

 


Marsh (Two Photographs)

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When I narrow my focus I sometimes see the beginnings of an abstract composition. Here I wanted the plant to come alive within a composition that had no real boundaries, and that avoided deciding on a specific subject.


On The Edge (Two Photographs)

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I call this on the edge, but frankly it still amazes me to live in a large city and be so close to pristine nature. Sure the city has to some extent integrated nature into the city itself, but concrete paths are not natural. The beautiful nature reserves just minutes away are much better.


Farm Land (Two Photographs)

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This is me messing around with black and white photography and contrast. The two shots are of the same scene, one in portrait the other landscape format. I wanted to use the lines in the field to guide the eye deeper into the scene.


Alone (Two Photographs)

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The black and white photograph is based on the five shot colour High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo below. My metering mode was the High-Light Weighted metering. Most new cameras have exposure bracketing and many software packages can merge those into an HDR photograph. I like HDRs where it’s not evident the HDR process was used.


Windows (Two Photographs)

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Windows often make me curious and I have several photos of great windows. Of these two photos the circular window is in the building where Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, lived before defecting in 1945.


Tree Stumps in Water (Two Photographs)

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A great subject for photos with contrast are things in water like tree stumps. The color of water, and interesting detritus all help build a photo. When I do this kind of photography I like to have more than one element and some abstraction, something that looks different usually the background.


Calm (Two Photographs)

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You will recall that Windows desktop of rolling hills. I always thought it calmed the nerves before having to  deal with the operating system. Well this photo is along the same lines, except it has not been smoothed or airbrushed. And certainly a bit of calm would help these days.


Grasping (Two Photographs)

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There is significant talk in photography about pre-visualization. Obviously it is key when you’re working in a studio, slightly more difficult to explain in nature. It’s a mixture of that “gotcha moment” when you have that one shot you want and seeing in your mind how the photograph will look after processing. The latter has always been my objective. I took this photograph some time ago, and yet seeing it again a few months later I could recall just what I was after (see the title).


Three (Two Photographs)

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I was reading an article about landscape photography and making use of the foreground, specifically about anchoring your photo with three things. I thought it might be fun to take a series of photographs of three things. The next day in the park I saw what became this photographtwo lilies, the island bush and the reflections. It’s a start on the project.


HDR Tree (Two Photographs)

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Again this is using Photoshop and Luminar 2018 as the processing programs. In this case the results were not at all what I expected in terms of the highlights but the results are fine. HDR as a means of taking down highlights did not work in colour but did in black and white. The question becomes is HDR worth it for this kind of shot. I will try a few more shots before deciding.


A New Forest (Three Photographs)

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Having planned a city walk with street photography gear, my wife and I stumbled on a park. Unnamed which was unusual. Squeezed by a school at one end, backyards at the side, and an urban highway that encircled the rest. Still given the density of the trees it was quiet. A real forest, the kind children used to love to play in and now regularly used by dog walkers. The story of the park that day was the magnificent trees. So operating on less is more, here are three trees from the nameless forest.


River View (Two Photographs)

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I took this at Parc de la Plaisance in Quebec. Nice park, great place for photography, although their boardwalks were damaged in the winter storms. The Black and White in my view is the keeper and the colour is just to show the base that I worked with. It has a hint of drama and might make some great wall art.


Impressionism (Two Photographs)

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These two photographs were of a scene that reminded me of some of the impressionist art I have seen by Monet. Many rules were broken by the Impressionists in moving from the more realistic styles that preceded them. That is the case here too, the subject being the canvas rather than something defined. I think photos like these make for some nice wall art.


Patterns (Two Photographs)

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Building on what I said in Monday’s post about impressionism, these two photographs move into the realm of patterns and shades. Fall almost always provides the Impressionistspalate of color and the sense of frantic chaos that is sometimes seen in nature.


Some Black and White Photos (Three Photographs)

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I published the colour versions of these last week on this blog. I knew then that they would be equally good in B&W. The concern when I show both in a post is that neither version will get the attention it deserves. A risk I take, this time I chose not to and let the B&W’s speak for themselves.