Photographing Mono landscapes

mono-landscapes2From monumental to minimal, follow our guide to enhance your black-and-white scenes.
Just the mention of monochrome
landscapes is enough to invoke dramatic
images of cloudy skies, imposing
mountain vistas and dreamy minimalist
seas. You don’t even have to wait for the
perfect weather to get a winning mono shot,
however achieving striking results do require
much more than converting overcast and dull
scenes to black and white. Start visualising
in monochrome, looking for lines, shapes,
textures and patterns, and you’ll be well on
your way to success.
In this feature we’ll offer up the best
shooting tips to guarantee images that are
monochrome without being monotonous. In
the absence of colour, the genre often relies on
creative exposure techniques to create impact,
and we’ve got plenty for you to try. Follow the
hands-on tutorials and discover how to shoot
long and double exposures, as well as using
your creative license with camera dragging.
Once you’ve escaped the bad weather, we’ve
also got you covered with editing techniques
inspired by the traditional darkroom processes.
Steeped in history though it may be, the
black-and-white genre couldn’t be any more
contemporary, and quite definitely forms an
artistic niche in its own right. Follow our guide
over the next few pages to truly take your
monochrome landscapes to the next level.
mono-landscapes3pngShooting in monochrome is a true test of your
composition skills, simply because there’s
no colour to distract the viewer’s eye from a
weak frame. When the scene before you is
pared down to shades of grey, the aesthetic
will naturally become more about tone, form
and texture. Composition is a subjective choice
however, and the traditional guidelines that
apply to landscapes also apply to a uni-colour
palette. For example, using the rule of thirds,
symmetry, and strong diagonal lines can all
add interest to your view.
Seek separation between elements in the
frame to create the most dynamic outcomes;
different aspects are easy to see in colour, but
often when converted to black and white many
of the tones blend together. Always include a
strong foreground interest and look for solid
shapes in the landscape, such as walls, rocks
or trees that might provide a leading line in.
The eye can pick out strong, distinctive shapes
more easily, even when the tones are similar.
Balance is something you might have heard
successful monochrome photographers referring to,
and this is about the relationship
between different elements within the frame.
Look at your scene, and consider what the
most important or visually interesting features
are. What should you include and what should
you avoid? What should be given more space
in the frame? Experiment with different crops
and zoom in, literally or by moving yourself,
onto particular areas. Change your perspective
by shooting from low and high viewpoints, and
capture the same scene with various lenses to
see how this shifts the emphasis.
mono-landscapes4Composition and exposure are intrinsically
linked in monochrome photography, and you’ll
need to train yourself to see in black and white
as you compose. If your camera has the option,
switch to its dedicated Monochrome mode and
shoot in RAW. This way you’ll be able to see the
results on the LCD screen, but the camera will
still record the full colour information should
you change your mind in post-processing.
Pay particular attention to the placement of
shadows and highlights, which will become a
feature of your shot.

4K-equipped bridge camera made for speed

lumix-from-sidePanasonic builds on its super zoom range with new FZ330
We’re often hearing reports that
the compact camera market is in
decline, but bridge cameras are still
proving popular, and Panasonic seems to
be securing a significant portion of
the custom. The latest addition
to the company’s Lumix range
is the FZ330, a 12-megapixel
model that sports a Leica DC
Vario-Elmarit 25-600mm f2.8
lens. Looking to build on the
successes of the FZ200 the
latest release also features
upgrades such as the 4K photo
mode seen in the G7 and GX8.
This latest iteration is 100g heavier
than before, with dimensions that have also
expanded, however you’ll still find a deep grip
for comfortable handling. An improved live
viewfinder should aid image composition, and
 in a first for a Panasonic bridge camera, the
three-inch rear screen is touch sensitive.
lumix-FZ330-1Despite obvious improvements outside, the
company seems excited about the internal
upgrades, boasting a new processing
engine that extends the native
maximum ISO to 6400. Faster
response times are also
celebrated, and the FZ330
has an autofocus speed of up
to 0.09 seconds, and burst
shooting speed of 6fps.
The 4K capability should
enable the capture of fleeting
moments, with the ability to
extract eight-megapixel stills in camera.
4K is arguably the FZ330’s biggest
selling point, and there are three modes on
offer: 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst (Start/
Stop) and 4K Pre-burst.
On paper, the FZ330 isn’t a huge upgrade
from it’s predecessor, but it could prove to
be much more usable, sporting a better
view finder and screen, faster response times
and a weather-resistant build. The huge focal
range, equivalent to 25-600mm combined
with a maximum aperture of f2.8 suggest it to
be a strong all-rounder, and it’s an attractive
prospect for first-time bridge users. The FZ330
is available now for £500 (approx $776).

How to photograph autumn landscapes

landscape-photo

Autumn is just around the corner, and that means spectacular colours, wonderful light and a wealth of opportunities for inspiring landscape photography to look forward to. Graham Dunn shows you how to capture this wondrous season in all its splendour
Whether you consider autumn to begin on 1 September, as defined by meteorologists, follow the astronomical dates of the equinoxes or take your cue from changes in plant and animal behaviour, the period between summer and winter is widely considered to be the most photogenic season. It was once aptly described by American author Jim Bishop, who said, ‘Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all other seasons’. As summer comes to an end, the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, and the landscape is transformed by a short-lived display of colour – such vibrant scenes can leave you transfixed. The UK, while perhaps not comparable with the likes of New England, offers a feast of autumnal opportunities for those willing to venture out. Stormy skies, frost and mist all add to the drama of the season, but capturing the essence of autumn meaningfully in a single frame can prove tricky and at times frustrating. In the following sections of this feature
I hope to guide you through.
EQUIPMENT
It is often said that equipment is not everything – an adage that is certainly true for most areas of photography. There are, however, a few items worthy of a mention, as they are likely to be of assistance during any autumnal escapade.
Tripod
Practically all of my landscape work is captured with the aid of a sturdy and carefully positioned tripod. To avoid sacrificing image quality and depth of field, my ISO and aperture settings often demand a shutter speed that would test even the steadiest of hands. Add into the mix the low light levels that occur in many cool scenes, such as those in woodland, and you are left with little option but to ensure your camera is firmly supported.
Lenses
Autumn lends itself to wide variety of photographic opportunities. Big views with splashes of colour within the surrounding landscape are most easily captured from elevated viewpoints and with a wide angle lens – panoramic stitches can work particularly well here. For added impact , consider using a telephoto lens to isolate details within
a wider vista – when used carefully, striking results can be achieved. And, finally, don’t forget to get in close. A macro lens is invaluable when looking at the amazing details on offer at this time of year.

 

Filters
long-landscape-driveway-photoA number of different filters can be used to enhance autumnal scenes. Neutral density filters can allow the creative use of long exposures, for example, when blurring flowing water or allowing leaves and branches to sway in the breeze. ND grad filters permit a balancing of the exposure, especially for big views, and help to retain highlight detail in the sky. Perhaps most importantly, though, is the polarising filter. I will attempt to explain why. Sunlight is largely unpolarised, meaning the waves of light are all vibrating at different angles to the direction, or axis, of light. When this light is reflect ed from nonmetallic surfaces, such as leaves, it becomes more ordered or ‘polarised’ – the waves line up and vibrate at the same angle to the axis of light. A polarising filter is used to reduce the transmission of this light through a camera lens, effectively reducing the glare from reflective surfaces. The end result is a deepening of the saturation of colours, giving autumn leaves even more impact within the frame

PRO TIP
Take your time and always be willing to use the
kit you have to the best of your abilities. The few
seconds of hassle experienced when changing
over lenses will be more than compensated for by
the variety in your imagery.

Starting a Home Business In Photography

Starting a Home Business In Photography

A home photography business doesn’t necessarily require formal photography training. What it does require is a passion for photographic art, an artistic flair, the technical skills to operate the equipment and the ability to market the business.

Someone who is still in high school or college can start out preparing for a home photography business by taking photos for the yearbook or the student newspaper. A basic photography course would be very helpful as well. Nowadays it’s good to know how to operate both a 33 mm and a digital camera. Local community colleges often have very reasonably priced community education courses, many that involve just one class in the evening or on the weekend. Colleges that offer Lifelong Learning Centers for folks 50+ have courses as well, and some of these are taught by very experienced re

ired home photography business professionals and little or no cost.

There are many types of photography and the home photography business entrepreneur may want to specialize, perhaps in photography for news organizations such as the local daily or weekly paper, in advertising photography for local magazines and local firms that need to market their products. One of the most common forms of home photography business is for events and celebrations such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, and other events. These can be especially lucrative as repeat business and excellent multiple referrals.

Travel photographers have exciting home photography business lives, although it takes a lot of skill and a lot of travel expense and practice photography before that first paid vacation is finely paid for.

Some folks create a home photography business working as photojournalists or specializing in medical or science photographers. While quite lucrative, these almost require a four year degree with extensive photography and communication training. A college photography internship is a wonderful foot in the door for a home photography business as well.

A portfolio is a must for building clientele for a home photography business. This means taking lots and lots of unpaid photo shots to show off exceptional talent to potential clients.

Helpful ways to learn the ins and outs of home photography and a home photography business are by working as an assistant to a photographer, by joining associations and organizations of fellow photographers and by attending seminars and workshops on home business and photography.

There are also much cheaper ways to learn them directly from your home by downloading eCourses from the web.

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