One area of photography I love is landscapes. Due to a busy work schedule and life getting in the way I very rarely get the chance to take any of my own. Last winter I took a few that I would like to share with you.
In theory, landscape photography is simple. All you do is find a nice scene and take a picture, right?. Well unless you are extremely lucky and you have great light then definitely no. Landscape photography is all about light, you can have the most amazing scene in the world but if you have boring high midday sun then your going to get average, at best images. The other side of the coin is that if you have a mundane scene, with the right light, you will get great shots.
The best time to shoot landscapes is the first and last hours of light in the day. At these times the sun is very low which creates long shadows, as well as dramatic colours in the sky. Due to there not being a lot of light, you can also get away with using long shutter speeds which lets you get the blurry pictures of water that can look fantastic when the rest of the scene is in focus.
Great composition is a must which no one has an excuse for, you will also need a tripod when using long exposures.
So in theory it is simple but the hard part is combining a great looking, well composed scene, with great light. The latter is the hard part, good landscape photographers sometimes re visit a scene countless times for weeks, months and even years for the perfect shot. This is why I admire good landscape photographers.
I am the first to admit I am at best a mediocre landscape photographer but I would like to share with you some pictures I took last winter.
These shots were taken on the hills overlooking Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland. I have driven over the hills into Largs many times and thought about taking pictures and I finally got round to doing it on a cold crispy day early last winter.
Overall I was happy how they turned out, the only thing lacking is some interesting foreground detail but I intend to go back and improve on what I got.
Next is an example of what anyone can capture with a simple point and click camera or mobile phone.
I took these pictures while I was snowboarding in the north of Scotland with the camera on my phone. They are just snaps I took while on the move, but they are a great example of what anyone can do. The only thing they are lacking is great light, as I mentioned above this is what makes or breaks a good landscape.
Lastly this is an example of what you can get with a simple camera phone and good light. This was taken from Dechmont Hill, overlooking Glasgow. I took this before setting up my pro gear and just after taking it some clouds covered the sun and ruined the light. So this was my best shot from the night.
Another shot from the night.
Thanks for reading this blog, I would love to hear your opinions and answer any questions.