Posts tagged “Landscape photography

Dynamic Range (Three Photographs)

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One thing that is very hard to correct for and makes most of our photos interpretations and not absolutely accurate, is the fact that camera sensors cannot capture the full dynamic range of light our eyes can see. Color negative film has the widest range and digital sensors the least. Both are far from what our eyes and brains can interpret. HDR software (high dynamic range) has come some way in helping get a naturally larger range of light, but is somewhat stymied by the narrow color space of the web and print photography (that is the range of colors as well as light that can be seen in a print). Melding photos taken with different exposures of the same scene may help, but are also interpretations of the original scene. Camera makers’ attempts to deal with this with specialized dynamic range settings have not been ideal (they arbitrarily open shadows and darken highlights). The aim, whether you work in color or in B&W, is to make sure that the shadows and/or highlights of interest are properly represented, recognizing that sometimes compromise has to be made between them. Just because the sky is blown out does not in my view make it a bad shot.



Focused Detail (Three Photographs)

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An entirely out of focus photograph that has impact and makes a statement is not unknown. From everything being tact sharp to nothing in focus is quite a distance. We use selective focus in most cases to draw attention to a subject or part of a subject. I believe there is a third element to consider, selective focus as in the scenes here can be either chaotic, or make the photo interesting,. In saying that I think focus also has a certain emotional angle to it, with things sharp and clear our understanding is also clearer. So when things are in and out of focus, it may be disorienting, leaving an unsettling feeling.



Landscape Still Life (Three Photographs)

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One of the things I like to shoot is small things in the natural landscape, leaves, branches, etc. that fell and came together in interesting patterns. Color or black and white makes no difference, I like these natural compositions and I guess that is all that matters. Some people call these still lifes, others mini landscapes, and still others intimate landscapes.





That Question (Three Photographs)

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This is not one of those rants about the forest and the trees. It’s about that question at every party and encounter when someone asks you what you do and you say photography. Their next question is what do you shoot? If you say nature photography then maybe they ask another more detailed question. The person that stops after the first question really doesn’t deserve a business card or the URL to your website. If they stop after the second question, it’s a good bet they have no idea what goes into photography, the cost in time, equipment and effort. Feel free to give them a URL, if they continue and ask if you do landscapes, birds or insects, give them your card. Some people seem to have little appreciation for the effort or love that goes into photography. These photos were taken with the Fuji XT-2.



Through A Window (Two Photographs)

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I was once told that photography is like looking through a small window. There are different ways to interpret this. “Cameras give us tunnel vision and we miss the larger picture”, is perhaps not the kindest interpretation. Another might be an analogy with framing. Certainly many photographers are accused of being obsessed by viewing things though a camera lens, even when not holding a camera. I recall years ago cinematographers and photographers had a gizmo they held to their eye to frame what they saw with different lenses and apertures. It saved them from spending money on film and allowed some experimentation. Some just created a square with four fingers to visualize what they wanted in the frame. I still think the two interpretations apply. It’s part of the photographic eye. I plead guilty as charged, I would prefer not to get overwhelmed by what I see but see it in manageable digestible details.


Intimate Landscape (Four Photographs)

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If asked about the learning curve in photography, I would say that after you master the technology, the “rules” and the software to create photographs, the next step would be to explore. While the technology, “rules” and software can be daunting and a constant learning curve, figuring out what you want to shoot and how to present your work is just as big a step. A number of photographers told me early on to look at the work of others, photographers, painters, designers, not just to get ideas, but also to learn how they find their niche, their style, their areas of expertise. I like nature, street and landscape photography. I would like to do more portraits, visit a farm for a few days; the list of areas I want to explore is long. We all start by saying we want to photograph one thing, birds, concerts etc. When you look into the work of the pros that do those sorts of thing you will find their work extends well beyond what they are known for and this helps learn new approaches and skills. The photos in this post are windows into larger things, a definition of intimate landscape.intimate-landscape




Nothing is Perfect (Three Photographs)

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Taken with my Fuji XT-2 with the 18mm F2, these may end up as a triptych. Every camera is subject to criticism, it’s not always a matter of taste. Sometimes it’s the little things that seem like flaws, or things that change the way things get done, or the ergonomics of the camera. You either adapt to change, or you reject it. I’ve run into issues with cameras and lenses I have researched thoroughly, I have to decide if I can live them or not. The Fuji is staying in my arsenal. I have heard criticism of how some software programs sharpen the files and I am pleased to say, I am not having that problem. I am sure if I printed a poster of one of these shots I would see flaws and have to go back to the drawing board (as I would with some of Nikon files) and I will cross that path when I need to. The point is it pays to read up on the kind of issues you may face and take a reasonable approach as to whether you think they will affect you. My only issue with the Fuji camera is that it has a tendency to under expose which can be fixed with exposure compensation.