Learn how to capture mood in your landscape and wildlife photos
by Russ Burden
Depending on where you live, clouds may dominate your skies for 250-plus days of the year. This is more the norm around coastal areas and is governed by the seasons. I’m lucky to live in Colorado where I have just the opposite: 250 to 300-plus days of sunshine. But from a photographer’s standpoint, the word “lucky” can be deceiving. If my pursuit is wildlife, I’m ecstatic if I’m bestowed crisp bright mornings or afternoons of sun bathing my subject in warm golden light. But from a landscape photographer’s viewpoint, things are different. Where’s the drama in the light? Where’s the mood? Where’s the color? Since cloudy or severe, clear blue sky days are more the norm, I welcome days of fog, mood, haunting skies and drama with open arms. The rarity of these conditions is what allows landscape photographs to stand apart from those that are made under “ordinary” conditions. It’s with this in mind I devote this week’s and next week’s Tips of the Week to photos that resonate with mood.
If the camera was invented for only one of the four seasons, it would have to be autumn. The colors, cooler weather and threat of the long winter ahead inspires countless photographers to get out and photograph the beauty of fall. If you are one of those photographers, here are a few tips and techniques that I use. by Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary
Make It Vivid
Don’t Let The Weather Stop You
Shoot High, Shoot Low
Track The Colors
Autumn Sunsets Rule
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Tabitha Boydell’s magical fairy tale portraits fuse mysterious locations with sumptuous outfits to shape a mythical new world.
Tabitha’s 4-step guide to better creative portraits
– Are you going anywhere nice?
Chat to your model to make them feel more at ease. Sometimes I might be working with a model I’ve never met with before and making them feel more relaxed will lead to more natural photos. You don’t have to get too personal – asking about holidays is always a good one.
– Watch your colours
Think about your styling, even if you’re not shooting with experienced models. Make sure what your subject is wearing goes with the background or location. For family or child portraits, the shots will look a million times better if all the colours work together.
– Get hands on
Have a go at crafting your own props. I’m always making headdresses and embellishing things. There are lots of great tutorials online that will help you do this. I bought a glue gun, which changed my photography as it meant I could make all sorts of fancy headdresses and other fun props.
– Get peer reviewed
Don’t be afraid to ask for other people’s opinions on your work. Constructive critique from your peers is worth its weight in gold, as they will be able to notice and point out what you can’t see yourself. Even if it’s just that stray hair you missed, or a crease in a dress, it will make all the difference to improving your images.
Tabitha Boydell is a fine art and fashion photographer and stylist based in the North West. She works part-time for a travel company while studying for a Masters degree in digital marketing communications. Tabitha lives with her husband, three cats and a huge collection of vintage ballgowns.
Master Your Exposure And Metering Controls!
Exposure and metering – no other pair of photographic tools has the potential to make or break your images like these two! And yet, completely leveraging them to create phenomenal imagery is one aspect of photography that continually eludes many photographers.
So many of us go through our photographic life with an incomplete understanding of things like shutter speed, F/Stop, ISO, metering, exposure modes, etc. Well, not anymore! This book fills completely in the gaps.
In this e-book, we tackle both exposure and metering – to the extreme! Just wait till you dive into the 670 + pages jam-packed with information, illustrations, photos, and examples that directly translate to killer images on your memory card each and every time you head out.
“The book has been a pleasure to write and although you and I may never have crossed paths, it was a privilege sharing this with you. I hope we can meet out there in the field one day. Until then, wishing you the best!”
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Great book for learning about Exposure and Metering when using Nikon DSLR
We all long for the excitement of travelling the world, exploring new places and soaking up new cultures. Imagine making a living from doing just that while taking incredible imagery to document it forever. A great travel image can capture the tastes, smells and the very essence of a place. It’s the cheapest souvenir around, and when done properly, can keep the memories alive for years to come.
Teach Yourself Travel Photography will show you how to turn your holiday snaps into impressive professional standard photos. Discover top tips for sunsets, portraits, wildlife, landscapes and more. Get advice on how to shoot in extreme weather, on safari, and even underwater. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, we’ll tell you how to get the most out of some of the world’s best locations, including London, New York, Delhi, Madagascar, Peru, Shanghai, Morocco and Kenya. This brand new bookazine truly is your indispensable guide to shooting stunning imagery across the globe.
Why not urban-ify your take on the traditional landscape? Focus on the lights and lives of a modern environment. Shooting at night requires you to either boost up the ISO (then deal with any noise-related issues in post-processing) or to shoot longer exposures. If you’re going with the latter, you are going to need a tripod or similar support to help. Personally, I use a lightweight carbon-fibre travel tripod or a Gorillapod for my after-dark shots, but I have seen people improvise, resting cameras on walls and using bean bags to angle the lens. Try to expose for the highlights as you would in any other shot. You might even want to bracket your shots to capture as much detail lurking in the shadows as possible.