Landscape Photography “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.” - Ansel Adams
What is Landscape Photography? • Landscape photography is a genre intended to show different spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic • Three styles of landscape photography are recognized - representational, impressionistic and abstract
What is the subject? • A landscape is a section or portion of scenery as seen from a single viewpoint. Scenery is the subject of a landscape image. Typically, people and animals are not shown in a landscape, unless they are relatively small in the image and have been included in the composition to show scale. • If natural scenery dominates an image, it can probably be accurately termed a landscape, even though there may be a farmhouse in the distance, a city skyline on the horizon or a road or path in the foreground.
Representational • Representational landscape photography is straightforward: The mountains. The beach. The horizon. As it appears in real life. The goal of representational photography is to present the landscape as realistically as possible. • But that doesn't mean that this is a simple type of photograph to make. The weather, the quality of the light, the foliage (or lack of it), the time of day — these are all important factors in creating high quality representational landscape photography.
Impressionistic • Impressionistic landscape photography is aimed more at creating an impression of the scene in the viewer's mind than in conveying the actual scene exactly as it appeared. • Example: A field of flowers may be framed specifically to create an impression of a valley filled with nothing but flowers, or the rapids in a mountain stream may be emphasized to give the impression of a dangerous and raging stream. The impressionistic landscape photograph doesn't set out to deceive, but to emphasize some particular aspect or create an emotional reaction.
Abstract • Abstract landscape photography emphasizes shape, form, contrast, and color, and the particular scene may not even be recognizable. • One part of a landscape may be combined with another to juxtapose beauty and danger, or red and blue, or water and desert. Abstract landscapes aren't really intended to depict a particular scene at all, but to create a piece of art that is only loosely based on a real scene in the real world.
Urban Landscape and Cityscapes • Some photographers consider "urban landscapes" or cityscapes to be part of landscape photography. Photographs of luxury Fifth Avenue buildings, inner city slums, pedestrian-filled sidewalks — these are part of the "urban landscape," and as such may be considered another style of landscape photography.
QUICK HINTS for effective landscape photography • A foreground object will help to frame the scene and add a look of three-dimensionality. • Frame the scene so that it contains a center of interest - an object that draws the viewer's eye into the picture. • Placing the center of interest off-center, in accordance with the Rule of Thirds, will create a harmonious composition. • Placing the horizon a third of the way down from the top or bottom of the frame is usually much better than having it in the middle of the scene. • Use a tripod to ensure sharpness, especially in low-light conditions. • The quality of lighting is perhaps the most influential attribute of a successful landscape. Waiting for interesting lighting that is moody, dramatic or diffused usually pays off in a memorable photograph. • Watch for unsightly or unnatural elements such as overhead wires, hydrants, poles and garbage cans, especially in the foreground. If you cannot easily move them, reposition yourself to a camera angle that eliminates them from the frame.
Famous Landscape Photographers • Ansel Adams • Timothy O’ Sullivan • Galen Rowell • Art Wolfe • David Muench • Michael Frye • John Clement (local)
Frame the scene so that it contains a center of interest - an object that draws the viewer's eye into the picture. Placing the center of interest off-center, in accordance with the Rule of Thirds, will create a harmonious composition.
Placing the horizon a third of the way down from the top or bottom of the frame is usually much better than having it in the middle of the scene.
A foreground object will help to frame the scene and add a look of three-dimensionality.
Today • Look up the following Landscape photographers online & save your favorites: • Ansel Adams (traditional) • Michael Frye (non traditional) • David Muench ( combination of both) • Galen Rowell (traditional) • John Clement (traditional) • Then: work on your “find my style” photos.