Landscape photography


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Landscape photography

  1. 1. Landscape photographyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaLandscape photo of the Snake River by Ansel AdamsLandscape photography is a genre intended to show different spaces within the world, sometimes vast andunending, but other times microscopic. This popular style of photography is practiced by professionals andamateurs alike. Photographs typically capture the presence of nature and are often free of man-madeobstructions. Landscape photographers usually attempt not only to convey the documentary aspect, but also anappreciation of the scenery that is being photographed.Landscape photo of TanzaniaMany landscape photographers show little or no human activity in their photos, striving to attain pure, unsulliedlandscapes[1] that are devoid of human influence, using instead subjects such as strongly defined landforms,weather, and ambient light. Despite this, there is no pure or absolute definition of what makes a landscape inphotography, as such it has become a very broad term, encompassing urban, industrial, macro and naturephotography. A beach full of parasols and sunbathers can be a landscape photo, but so can the view through anelectron microscope, which shows a different type of landscape. Waterfalls, coastlines, seascapes andmountains are especially popular in classic landscape photography. Though many photographs are inspired bytraditional landscape painting, the term in photography broader; most places and things can be photographed asa landscape, a kitchen, a lamp, a wall, or even the human body[2] can be turned into a rolling vista by a skilledphotographer. A crucial element of landscape photography is the light to the scenery. Preferred times are duskor dawn with low angle light which renders the landscape with low contrast and sidelight. This light adds afeeling of depth to the picture and the low contrast usually is beneficial for the picture as there are no harshcontrasts and the very details can be captured. Notable landscape photographers include Ansel Adams, GalenRowell and Edward Weston.
  2. 2. Environmentalism and landscape photographyFrom its beginnings and continuing into the present era, some of the most important and celebrated landscapephotographers have been motivated not only by artistic aims but also by a love of the natural environment, aswell as a desire to see it preserved. For example, Ansel Adams, acknowledged as a pioneer in landscapephotography and one of its greatest practitioners, wrote that "It is horrifying that we have to fight our owngovernment to save the environment."[3]. More recently, Galen Rowell, in an interview with BBC journalistSimon Willis, said, "The reason that I keep writing is that all my most powerful messages about the fates ofwild places that I care about need to have words as well as images."[4]Technical AspectsCameraThe genre often calls for high resolution DSLR, Medium or Large Format cameras[5] to record the very smalldetails of the scenery. For digital cameras, the preferred file format is RAW, as RAW allows to record a widerdynamic range and all information is retained. With RAW, the camera does not process the file in a destructiveway, all information is kept, resulting in significantly high file sizes. One must also understand that in todaysDSLRs, there are subtle, crucial pieces of information to be understood. Since there are several makes ofcameras, the digital photographer is best able to apply their craft if they understand such things as the camerasensors on the market ie; APS-C, APS-H and full frame sensors which, are equivalent to a 35mm film frame. Inorder for a photographer using an APS-C sensor(cropped sensor) to understand the actual focal length in termsof the equivalent of a full frame sensor, a formula of the focal length used x 1.6(APS-C crop factor) which givesthe photographer the actual focal length they are using. an example given would be: a Canon 7D(APS-CSensor) using a Canon EF 17-40mm F4 L series lens USM(Ultra sonic motor) lens and a focal length of 20mmx 1.6 = 32mm focal length if the photographer were using a full frame sensor Camera.LensesUsually wide angle lens (24 mm and 35 mm are especially popular) are used to capture the vast scenery of alandscape. For artistic expression, telephoto lenses are used to compress the scenery and emphasize certainaspects (e.g. rendering the moon very big beyond a mountain ridge). For high quality, the lenses are very oftenprime lenses rather than zoom lenses. Some landscape photographers however prefer medium telephoto lensesand prefer to capture a typical part of a particular scene revealing the detail of the landscape rather than usewide angle lenses that show the vastness of the scene but which lack detail and can be non-specific. Most Lensmanufacturers sell an assortment of ultra-wide angle lenses in the range of 10mm through 24mm which are thebest for landscape photography since they offer such a large field of view.FiltersTo reduce contrast or control exposure, a split neutral density or polarizing filter are used very often. Neutraldensity filters are used to extend exposure and allow to include motion blur (e.g. for waterfalls or waves) in thescenery. UV and skylight type filters can also eliminate the lack of sharpness caused by UV radiation andreduces distant haze. [6] Control of contrast was the major motivator to create the Zone System, often associatedwith Ansel Adams. Today, the Zone System may become obsolete for digital landscape photographers as HDRallows a very good control of contrast by combining several exposures of the scenery to one single picture.
  3. 3. Other EquipmentA tripod and a cable release is very often used for landscape photography as this allows minimal camera shakeand thus very sharp pictures. Tripods are necessary for such photographic work but, remotes are not necessarybut can be used if the photographer so desires. most modern DSLR cameras offer a timer and/or mirror lockupfor the prevention of camera shake during shooting. Canons EOS 5D MarkII for example offers a 2 second and10 second timer which works as a replacement for using a remote. A remote is required for shooting longexposures over a standard 30 second timed exposure. A remote allows for the shutter to remain open as long asthe exposure switch is engaged.Post ProductionDigital Photography has provided landscape photographers with a very useful post production tool.Conventional photographs give pictures revealing the best average of brightness and colour. HDR postproduction work allows the photographer to darken and brighten particular parts of the overall scene ( skiesoften appear brighter in photographs than originally seen) or to tweak colours either to give a more accuraterendition of the scene as seen originally by the photographer or to dramatically enhanse it as in boosting yellowsfor instance to make an autumnal picture look more so. Burning and dodging have always been used in black-and-white photography to make landscapes more artistic but difficult to do in colour before the advent of digitalphotography.Camera SettingsA landscape photographers main purpose is to capture the entire scene of the photograph with acceptable focusfrom foreground to background.The photographer must use a small aperture, in most cases of F22 which, willgive the photographer the focus needed for the foreground to background being in acceptable focus.The lateAnsel Adams was a member of the F64 club, meaning, he utilized an aperture of F64 which is nearly pinhole insize in most, if not all of his photographic work. The settings for the lens should be preset as well example given, a Canon EOS 5D MarkII, using a EF 17-40mm F4 L USM lens, the photographer wouldpreset his aperture to F22 and focus his lens to 3ft or 1meter if 3ft isnt present.This should give thephotographer a perfect shot every time in terms of setting