The Art of Landscape Photography

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  • First published 2014 byAmmonite PressAn imprint of AE Publications Ltd166 High Street, Lewes,East Sussex, BN7 1XU, UK

    Text and photographs Mark Bauer and Ross Hoddinott, 2014Copyright in the Work AE Publications Ltd, 2014

    All rights reserved

    The rights of Mark Bauer and Ross Hoddinott to be identified as the authors of this work have been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, sections 77 and 78.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner.

    This book is sold subject to the condition that all designs are copyright and are not for commercial reproduction without the permission of the designer and copyright owner.

    Whilst every effort has been made to obtain permission from the copyright holders for all material used in this book, the publishers will be pleased to hear from anyone who has not been appropriately acknowledged and to make the correction in future reprints.

    The publishers and author can accept no legal responsibility for any consequences arising from the application of information, advice or instructions given in this publication.

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

    Publisher Jonathan BaileyProduction Manager Jim BulleyManaging Editor Richard WilesSenior Project Editor Dominique PageEditor Chris GatcumManaging Art Editor Gilda PacittiDesigner Simon GogginCover Designer Robin Shields

    Set in FrutigerColour origination by GMC Reprographics

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  • Introduction 8

    CHAPTER ONE > EQUIPMENT 10Camera formats 12Lenses 16Camera supports 21Filters 24Other essentials 30

    CHAPTER TWO > SHOOTING TECHNIQUE 32Exposure 34Depth of fi eld 38Hyperfocal distance 42Diffraction 46Colour theory 48

    CHAPTER THREE > BALANCE 52Visual balance 54Placing the main subject 56The rule of thirds 58The Golden Section 60Alternative methods for organizing the frame 64Symmetry 66The rule of odds 68Camera orientation 70

    CHAPTER FOUR > DEPTH AND PERSPECTIVE 72Linear perspective 74The vanishing point 76Foreground interest 78Tilt and shift 82Light in defi ning depth 86Visual separation 88Other tips and tricks 90

    CHAPTER FIVE > THE GEOMETRY OF COMPOSITION 92Lines 94Corners and pointers 98Shapes 100Layers and planes 102Movement and fl ow 104Motion 106

    CHAPTER SIX > LIGHT 108Direction of light 110Quality of light 112Seasons 114Shooting in poor light 116Low-light photography 118Thinking in black and white 122Silhouettes 124Spot lighting 126


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  • CHAPTER SEVEN > TYPES OF LANDSCAPE 128Coastal cliff tops 130Shoreline 132Hills and mountains 134Woodland interiors 136Rivers, streams and waterfalls 138Lakes and refl ections 140The miniature landscape 142

    CHAPTER EIGHT > PROCESSING 144Software 146Cropping 148Creative sharpening 150Local enhancements 152Focus stacking 154Panoramic stitching 156Exposure blending 158Converting to black and white 160

    CHAPTER NINE > DEVELOPING A PERSONAL STYLE 162Traditional composition 164Minimalism 166Impressionism 168Abstract 170Defi ning your style 172Analyzing the authors personal style: Mark Bauer 176Analyzing the authors personal style: Ross Hoddinott 178

    Technical details 180Useful websites and downloads 185Glossary 186About the authors 188Index 189

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    Since its inception, there has been debate about whether or not

    photography qualifi es as art. It is a debate that continues to this

    day. Those who reject its status as art do so on the basis that it is

    representational and relies on technology. However, if we accept

    the above dictionary defi nition, it clearly meets many of the

    criteria: it is a visual medium through which people express their

    creativity; there is skill involved in the process of its creation; viewers

    appreciate its beauty, and done well, it is capable of evoking

    powerful emotional responses.

    Skill is involved on two levels: in controlling the equipment

    necessary to make photographs and in creating powerful

    compositions. In our fi rst book on landscape photography,

    The Landscape Photography Workshop, we took an overview of the

    topic, covering everything from choosing equipment, the specifi c

    techniques you need to master in order to create a technically sound

    landscape photograph, and the basics of composition, through to

    producing a digital print. In this book we assume a basic familiarity

    with the technical elements and focus much more deeply on

    aesthetics on the art of landscape photography. This is not to say

    that we are ignoring equipment and technique, but it is discussed

    mostly with regard to how it impacts upon composition.

    Of course, teaching and learning the technical aspects of

    photography is relatively straightforward compared to teaching

    and learning the creative side. Creativity is intensely personal,

    and because it depends on what the individual wishes to express,

    arguably it cannot be taught. That said, art has been practised and

    analysed for centuries, so there are many widely accepted theories

    on which elements work in a composition, which dont, and what

    innately appeals to the human sense of beauty. In this book we will

    examine the theory and practice of these principles, using our own

    images to illustrate the points.

    However, simply following established compositional guidelines

    isnt enough to guarantee good results. Done without consideration

    it can produce images that are predictable, sterile and (ironically)

    lacking in creativity. Once you have understood the theories of

    composition you should be able to use them as a framework

    for your own creative expression, so that composition ultimately

    becomes an unconscious, instinctive, but considered process.

    To be truly creative, an artist needs to establish a recognisable

    personal style. This can be a long and challenging process, and while

    no one else can do it for you, we have tried to give some pointers to

    help you on your way. Establishing a personal style is not the end of

    the journey, however, as your photography and style should evolve

    and change over time.

    We hope that this book will provide the inspiration for you to

    begin your creative journey.

    Mark Bauer and Ross Hoddinott

    INTRODUCTIONART/a:t/ (Noun)The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual

    form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their

    beauty or emotional power.

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  • MISTY RIVERAn understanding of balance, harmony and what appeals to peoples aesthetic sense will help you to create images that evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

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  • While the art of composition might be a creative one, a

    photographer still requires the appropriate hardware to

    capture an image that truly encapsulates their skill and

    vision. Your choice of camera, the type of lens you use

    and the focal length will greatly influence the look and

    feel of the final photograph. A good tripod is essential

    for supporting your set-up and you also need to invest in

    the right type of tripod head one that will allow you to

    make precise adjustments to fine-tune your composition.

    Even in the digital age, a handful of in-camera filters

    remain essential for both corrective and creative purposes

    and there are other useful camera accessories that will aid

    you while out in the field.

    Therefore, before we progress to the more creative, artistic

    and theoretical side of photography we shall first address

    the practical considerations: the camera equipment you

    need to become a landscape photographer.


    TECHNICAL ACCURACYAlthough photography is a creative art, dont neglect the technical and practical side of taking photos. When I took this particular image, the light and conditions were truly magical. However, had I not selected the right focal length, fi ltration and support, I could have easily wasted the opportunity.

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    CAMERA FORMATSThere are several camera formats available to photographers. Simply

    speaking, the camera format is based on the size of the sensor

    the light sensitive chip that is at the hub of a camera. Not only

    will the size of the sensor affe