Over the last couple of weeks participants in Your Camera, Your World have been learning about how to photograph Landscapes. Built into that was also Nature photography.
So for their assignment they had to photograph a landscape and then a natural element within that landscape as well.
They learned about how to begin with a broad idea and then how to narrow their focus down.
All too often I see amateur photographers eagerly pulling out their camera from the box and just expecting to get great images.
They don’t realise that they must first learn the basic technicals before they can even begin to think about taking pictures they can be proud of.
They switch to auto, hope for the best, become discouraged by their (unsurprisingly) average results, never crack the creative code, give up and sell their camera on eBay. Such a shame.
Malcolm has just completed the Landscape and Nature assignment, I really felt so proud when I saw the message that came with them:
‘The seagrass image is nothing special or original, but it does have a nice bright ‘feel’ about it and captures that gorgeous crisp early morning light, which you picked up on. Thankyou. I have been really trying to pick up on your approach whereby you are getting to the heart and purpose of an image: what is this photo actually about? And this is related to that expression you have used – the ‘hero’.
Interestingly, my seascape image of the lights reflecting was taken after I had been facing out to sea with a more traditional rock pools scene with the sun setting type group of images. I had actually packed up and was wading back on to shore when I noticed that scene! Anyway, when I was framing, it was the soft colour and form in the sky that was my ‘hero’. So by concentrating on what I was trying to convey through the photo (in this case, the subtle beauty of the clouds), I got a more interesting image than the seascape that I had earlier seen. (f/stop 9.0 by the way, but a 30 second exposure on the tripod of course).
So I suppose I learnt a valuable lesson about looking around and shooting beyond the sun fading. I have been shooting in manual mode and using the histogram to do a test shot: it’s a revelation! Once the ‘technicals’ are sorted, it really frees up the eye to concentrate on subject. Auto mode: you’re dumped!!’
“Auto mode, you’re dumped”!!?? Wahoooooo!! Love that action, well done Malcolm!
Here are his images – really beautiful I believe, the element of light is very present in both and you can tell he’s taken his time to get them both ‘just right’. Love it!
Now they are learning about how to photograph children. Another day, another challenge and I will be very excited to see what they all produce over the next two weeks.