On Tuesday the 29th of June in the photography class I covered my thoughts on landscape photography and how natural light effects your images and what to watch for. I put together a hand out sheet with what I felt to be some key points in reference to these issues which you will find the highlights of below. We also went through a slide show of some of my images and talked about the good and bad points of the slides. We discussed HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography and how to shoot to give yourself files to convert to HDR image.
What makes a good photo?
1) Is the image in focus? - We all know that the image needs to be in focus, and if it is not, then forget that image no matter how much you like it. There are occasions when part of the image is not to be in focus to create a special effect and that is an exception to the focus rule.
2) Was the exposure correct? - Check the histogram and if the subject pushed the capabilities of the camera too far you might be able to make some adjustments while post-processing to improve the file.
3) Is it clear what the subject is? In a landscape photo the entire image could be the subject.
4) Should the image be cropped? - I would encourage you to leave some image outside of the main subject area to allow for several cropping options. As you become more confident in your abilities to see exactly what you want to capture thru the viewfinder, you can tighten up around the subject.
5) Were the leading lines, shapes or textures that existed taken advantage of? I think if the entire image is the subject try to be even more conscious of taking advantage of the leading lines, shapes and textures.
Light - Four things to consider about light....
Quality, Color, Direction & Quantity.
1) With all the details we have to consider when making a photograph we may forget the light. Light is the primary component of a good photo. Learn to recognize whether the available light is magical or ordinary, and as a landscape photographer you want magical light!
2)The color of the light is constantly changing. The sun's changing angle, air impurities, cloud cover. All of these things change the color of the light. As the color of light changes the mood of the photo will change.
3) Light direction.
a) Front lighting on the subject (sun at your back) is safe and easy to use. This probably won't make you go WOW.... too often when you look at the final photo.
b)Side lighting and back lighting creates texture and increases the WOW ... factor.
4) Very low quantities of light creates a mood in a photo. If you get up early to go shoot and there is a heavy fog, consider a cemetery, pond/lake or the riverwalk in Council Grove for a location to shoot. This might be a good time to maybe shoot a water reflective photo.
I don't believe that you as a photographer need to follow all the rules that you have maybe read about what it takes to makes a good photo. Be an artist and use the camera as your brush.... be creative and do what you like, make the photo reflect you and your thoughts and visions. If you like a new twist to photography or you have strong beliefs about how a photo should look go for it. I know there will be others who will appreciate what you have done!