As I was putting this blog together, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would run into National Photo Contest winning Photos. But, these photos are absolutely amazing. And so far, I have only seen 3rd place winners? Wait till we get to first place! Oh my! Can’t wait.
Note: This photo does not show anything about a park, but this photo is just so amazing, I had to put this in. As a macro photographer, and flower photographer, the photo is just spectacular, with the bee in the position it is, I find it just breath-taking.
This is just another photo added just because it is just beautiful art work.
Shooting landscapes is one of the most popular genres of photography. Photographs of landscapes typically capture the presence of nature and can inspire you. Outside towns and cities, you are surrounded by beautiful scenery. However, taking a good photo of those epic views is not as easy as you think. Are you making these landscape photography mistakes?
Here are some tips to help you uncover why your landscape photos are not working for you and how you can turn unsatisfying pictures into your best ever images.
Have you ever been on an amazing trip, gazed at a glorious landscape and captured the incredible scenery on camera only to find out your picture doesn’t stand out? There are several reasons why this is happening.
Including too much in the frame is one of the reasons why your photograph is not appealing to you. Perhaps the trees you have included are overwhelming the scene and making the view too broad. If so, eliminate these objects from the frame. Crop inwards slightly and simplify the field of view.
One common mistake some photographers regularly make is to capture a scene with uneven horizon levels. You can become so engrossed in enjoying a breathtaking view that you can overlook this aspect.
Make sure you pay attention to ensuring the horizon line is straight when photographing your next landscape image. Don’t leave it until you get home to find out that your pictures are unbalanced or crooked.
Another mistake people make when photographing landscapes is to start snapping away without giving any thought as to what they are capturing. It is easy to get carried away with an incredible view in front of you. But if you take the time to consider why your photographs are not working for you, your results will improve.
Take a view of the location with just your eyes, think what you would like to capture, and then take your photo. This approach of “seeing the scene” first can help you to take better pictures rather than just picking up your camera and taking a shot without thinking about what you are photographing.
Imagine your dream landscape scene is right in front of you. You’re standing at the top of a magical mountain, alongside a beautiful flowing river, or above some rolling hills in the countryside, for example, and you start photographing the beautiful view.
When you check your images you discover they look dull and uninteresting. So you ask yourself why they are not standing out?
A major factor that can make or break an image of that stunning panorama is light. Without directional sunlight in your shots, the images can look flat and lifeless with few textures and tones. Below is an image where the sun catching the hills adds warmth to the image to make it more interesting.
On your next landscape photography trip, I recommend paying attention to the light and trying to take pictures of more illuminated scenes. I suggest taking a photograph in no light and comparing it with one captured in some light.
Look at the differences and see how the images vary. Ask yourself how do they contrast? Is one better than the other? What makes it stand out?
Once you have found a visually compelling location and have some nice light, give some thought to the composition. Consider what subject matter looks interesting and only include that.
You will not be making the most of a scene if you include unsightly aspects of the surroundings such as telegraph poles or overhead electricity cables. If you have no choice but to capture these elements in your composition, you can always remove them in post-processing.
Below is an example where I have eliminated distracting elements after taking the picture, in the post-production phase.
Editing the photo to remove the unsightly wires enhances the image and helps to focus attention on the church, trees, and the mist.
With this article, I have identified five key landscape photography mistakes as to why your images might not standing out, and to help you take better pictures at your next photography outing. Now it’s time for you to put these tips to the test, so get out there and capture your greatest ever landscapes.
The post 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Outappeared first on Digital Photography School.
When you strive to get your images right in-camera at the moment you take them you’re going to reap many benefits that you might not even realize.
“Just Photoshop it” has become a recurring theme in photography when it comes to fixing image errors. Depending on who you talk to it can seem like Photoshop is a magic pill that will solve all manner of photographic problems. While it’s true that image-editing applications can help deal with a variety of issues, from correcting exposure to removing objects to swapping a cloudy sky for a sunny one, there’s a lot to be said for the philosophy of using as little editing as possible.
This is a tricky subject to tackle because there is so much wiggle room when it comes to defining what the term in-camera really means. To some, it means allowing for no post-production at all, even simple cropping. Others define it as getting things mostly correct at the time you press the shutter button, even though some basic adjustments such as straightening or exposure correction might be needed later.
There are photographers for whom getting it right in-camera means looking out for background obstacles, stray hairs, or wayward arms and legs that might otherwise ruin a good picture.
I don’t like to get caught up in the minutia of what in-camera means. But I will say that if you can strive to have more aspects of a picture correct at the time you make the image, the end result will be that much better.
This holds true for most types of photography save for the outlier examples like extreme focus stacking in macro photography or the types of artistic creations and collages that require post-processing.
There’s an old bit of wisdom you might have heard that goes like this:
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
It applies to many areas of life and the same holds true for photography as well. If you can take a few seconds to fix problematic areas at the time you take a picture it will save you untold minutes or even hours back at your computer. This took me a while to learn when I first got started with portrait photography. But the more I operate by this philosophy the more efficient my workflow becomes.
Years ago the only things I knew to look for when taking pictures of clients were things like smiling faces and good posing. As such, I often found myself banging my head against my keyboard while going through my Lightroom catalog afterwards because of unwanted distractions in my photos.
Automobiles, pedestrians, trash cans, litter, animals, street lights, and a host of other imperfections can all be fixed in Photoshop but it’s so much easier to just make sure they don’t even show up in your photos in the first place.
This works for other things too like stray hairs, bits of dirt and debris that can get blown around and land on clients, or unwieldy shirts that like to get un-tucked. These problems can all be solved to some degree or another using computer software but it’s never going to be as fast or simple as just dealing with them when they occur.
The trick to doing this is to be looking out for such things at the time of the photo shoot. That is what took me so long to really learn, and to be honest I’m still learning even now! There are so many things to look out for when taking pictures. That background flotsamor bits of rubbish on the ground might be the last thing on your mind, but they can easily ruin a photo or at the very least cause you to spend much more time eliminating them afterwards than you would like.
My best advice to you in this regard is to simply train yourself to be aware. Look at your surroundings in addition to your subjects, and work on seeing background elements and other distractions that might normally escape your eye.
When you see things, take corrective action and even let your clients in on what’s going on. I have paused many photo sessions to say things like, “Oh no, there’s a street sign in the way behind you. Let’s all take a few steps this way…” and every time it has been appreciated by the people who are paying me to do a good job. It sends a message that you know what you are doing and care enough to get the shots right.
A more extreme version of this, but one that’s just as important, is to take note of problematic points that cannot be altered in Photoshop and deal with them at the time of the photo session.
Issues like sign posts sticking out of heads, heads turned in the wrong direction, hands in awkward places, or having people with complementary outfits in close proximity to one another can easily ruin an otherwise outstanding photo session and are all but impossible to fix in post-production. The more you look for these problems and fix them on the spot, the better your photography will be.
Years ago with early digital cameras, it was crucial to get the exposure just right at the time you took a photo. But today’s digital cameras have such incredible dynamic rangethat you can clean up a great deal of exposure issues in post-production. However, this should be used as a last resort and not relied on as a general rule, almost like a safety net below a trapeze artist.
When shooting in RAW you can lower highlights, raise shadows, and adjust color all day long to get just the right look you are aiming for. This is a huge benefit if you are doing work for clients. It’s even useful if you just want to squeeze the most out of your shots as a casual photographer. This type of exposure correction has saved my bacon more times than I can count when doing work for clients.
Despite the flexibility of the RAW format and the editing possibilities offered by many photography applications such as Lightroom, Photoshop, and Luminar – you will find that it’s best to mitigate potential exposure and lighting issues at the time you take the photo instead of on your computer.
It’s not that you can’t fix exposure issues in post-production later, but that if simple exposure adjustments can make them disappear before you even take a picture then why would you want to spend time fixing it later?
The more time I spend as a photographer the more valuable I realize my time really is. Even if you are a working professional who makes 100% of your income from photography, the less time you have to spend editing your images to fix exposure issues means more time doing other things that would help you hone your craft or grow your business. Or time you can spend with your family!
Even though you can fix a host of photographic issues ex post facto there’s no substitute for doing what you can to get it right in-camera and make sure those issues never even happen in the first place. Aside from saving yourself untold hours of time fiddling with sliders and layers on your computer, you will also be growing your skills as a photographer.
It will take some practice as you learn to reduce unwanted distractions and get accurate exposure settings when you press the shutter button. But you will reap rewards in terms of knowledge, confidence, and sheer experience. In the end, the result will be better photos taken by a better photographer, and that’s the kind of benefit you just can’t get by moving sliders around in Lightroom.