Telephoto Lenses to Compress a Scene

It had been a longtime goal to shoot the fields of sunflowers in Tuscany. But trips there in June were too early, and trips in August were too late. Then, one summer, on a drive to Cortona a field of perfect sunflowers appeared, at a time when all the others were far past prime. ApparentlyContinue reading “Telephoto Lenses to Compress a Scene”

The Search for the Perfect Olive

Its always useful to have one or more photographic searches going on as you shoot. For a landscape photographer this is often in the form of the perfect light or the perfect clouds for a given shot. In the case of the image below, it was the search for the perfect olive tree. Olive treesContinue reading “The Search for the Perfect Olive”

Serendipity in Photography

No matter how well planned your shoot, no matter how well organized your equipment, the moment comes when the unexpected presents itself. It may come in the form of unexpected weather, conditions far hotter or cooler then anticipated, or photo subjects that were not planned. In landscape photography a large number of the better photosContinue reading “Serendipity in Photography”

Enriching Sunset Photography with Clouds

The shots below are both taken from the same vantage point, several months apart.  The first is a typical sunset shot, which gains most of its interest from the Cypress trees silhouetted in the foreground. A few wisps of cloud help add a bit of character to the sky. Satisfying, but very simple. The secondContinue reading “Enriching Sunset Photography with Clouds”

Relating Organic and Geometric Forms

Vineyards offer an excellent opportunity to think abstractly about the organic forms of the landscape, and the geometric forms of the vine rows layered on top of that landscape. The patterns that result from this contract can produce very satisfying photographs. The first image below uses the organic landscape forms as big, powerful curves atContinue reading “Relating Organic and Geometric Forms”

Local Color as an Emotional Key

Color is something the human eye reads in many ways. One of those ways is as memory colors, the color of our childhood holidays, of the sky in our favorite location, or other emotionally linked memories. When a color stands out, consider its memory color value to your audience. Anyone who has experienced the vividContinue reading “Local Color as an Emotional Key”

Heroic Shots of Small Subjects

Sometimes the hero shot is the right answer, even when it does not seem to be the likely question. In this instance, a clean, simple image, without background elements, (as tempting as ocean backgrounds can be) produces a more focussed image, with a clearer composition. The low angle of the shot, taken crouched and kneeling,Continue reading “Heroic Shots of Small Subjects”

Utilizing Unique Backgrounds

We shoot many of the same subjects time after time. So it can be important to keep an eye out for instances where the background creates a unique settings or contrast to the subject. Sometimes a black backdrop is available, from the right angle. In others a distant backdrop unfocussed with a shallow depth ofContinue reading “Utilizing Unique Backgrounds”

Vertical One Point Perspective

One point perspective is a powerful tool, creating tunnel-like symmetry and focus on whatever is at, or in front of, the vanishing point. But we nearly always use one point as a horizontal tool, looking down a corridor, tunnel, or street. There is a second orientation which can be utilized for one point perspectives, oneContinue reading “Vertical One Point Perspective”

Turning Your Back on the Sunset

We are accustomed to shooting with our backs to the sun. But at sunrise and sunset, we tend to do just the opposite, and shoot images of the colors in the sky.  With the right landscape, that can produce some very satisfying images. Here’s an example of such a shot, from Tuscany in the Wintertime.Continue reading “Turning Your Back on the Sunset”