Follow Loaded Landscapes - Landscape Photography Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook


Jakub Polomski is a self-taught landscape photographer from Poland. He specializes in mountain photography and aerial photos taken by drone. His portfolio is filled with beautiful photos from locations around the world, with a heavy dose of European landscapes. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jakub about his work, and you can read his responses below. You’ll also see several of his photos showcased throughout the interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.

I live in Cieszyn – a small town in the south of Poland. I am 32 years old. Twelve years ago I saw some pictures in an issue of National Geographic Magazine. They inspired me. I borrowed a camera from my friend and I have started my own adventure with this field of art (never before had I had my own camera, because I hadn’t been interested in photography). I have never had any “formal” training. I also didn’t learn photography in any school. I was uploading my photos onto many photo portals and I was reading feedback to them. These constructive critiques helped me to improve my skills.

What draws you to landscapes and nature?

I especially love mountains. When I am trekking in the mountains I feel great respect for nature. By taking pictures of the mountains I want to show how great they are, and how small human is in comparison to them. This is some kind of giving honor to the greatness of nature.

What advice do you have for photographers who want to get started with drone photography?

Photographing by drone in my opinion is more difficult. Mainly because you have unlimited in no way composition capabilities. The second difficult thing is that you have to focus not only on photographing, but also, and primarily on piloting drone safely, so stay focused.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another photographer?

Once I got this chart from someone. That was the best advice for me without saying a word when I realized it to be so true about photography. I was then just after “the HDR hole”.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work as a traveling landscape photographer?

I think the biggest challenge in landscape photography is weather conditions. In most cases you cannot predict the weather, especially in the mountains or in locations like Patagonia, which is known for extreme conditions. It’s far different from taking pictures for example in a studio. Another issue is that when photographing landscapes you cannot take all the things you own. You have to prepare your backpack optimally because every kilogram matters if you go on your feet.

What locations do you plan to visit in 2018?

I would like to visit Iceland, and Argentina again. For sure I want to travel to Montenegro this year.

Do you have a dream location that you have not been to yet?

After visiting Patagonia and Iceland I don’t dream about more locations. These are my favorite connected with great memories.

What are some common mistakes that you see new photographers making?

They have no patience in taking pictures and making their pictures better. They want everything to happen immediately. Besides they rely too much on social media hunting for likes and making thousands of photos just to get more and more likes.

Aside from photography, what hobbies do you have, or what do you like to do for fun?

I am very interested in cinematography, not only watching but also making movies. I like snowboarding and winter sports.

Connect with Jakub

If you’d like to see more of Jakub’s work or get in touch with him, please use the links below:

All photos used in this post are © Jakub Polomski, used with permission.

The post Interview with Landscape Photographer Jakub Polomski appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Photo by Pok_Rie on Pixabay / CC0

Shutter speed is a very important setting, but it is one that is curiously often overlooked. We tend to set our speed to whatever is recommended for our personal requirements – 1/125 for studio photography, for example, or 1/1000+ for action shots. However, by using it in a creative way, you can actually produce photographs that have a lot more interest about them. Here are some tips for getting started.

1. Freeze and Flow

Photo by Free Photos / CC0

The lower you drop your shutter speed, the more blur will creep in around any movement. This is something you already know from trying it out when you learned how it worked. But there’s a very specific way you can use this to your advantage.

When you find the exact right spot, you can produce some very interesting effects where part of the action is frozen and part of it is blurred. Take, for example, a bird resting on a pond. When that bird flaps its wings to dislodge dirt or loose feathers, or in a display of strength, you may notice something peculiar: while the wings move fast, the body and head stay in more or less the same place. This means that if you dropped your shutter speed down to something like 1/200, you might be able to get an image in which the bird’s body is frozen and its wings show up as a blur of movement.

This half-frozen, half-flowing look can be really dramatic, and will add movement to the image whilst still allowing the subject to appear in detail. It doesn’t just apply to a bird flapping its wings, of course. You could experiment with a horse racing down a track, a model spinning around in a voluminous dress, a car with wheels spinning fast, or take it macro and look at how insects stay still while cleaning their wings.

2. Track Your Subject

Photo by Don McCullough / CC BY 2.0

You can also use shutter speed to your advantage while following a moving object. Like a car driving across a racetrack, a horse racing, and so on, this is most often applicable at sporting events and with wildlife photography. You want to get an image of the object that is moving, and there are lots of ways to do this. If you line up a shot, wait for your subject to appear, and then press the trigger, you will most likely find you have an image which contains a static background and your subject in motion blur.

Track the subject with a panning shot, however, and you can get an altogether different effect, in which the subject appears to be frozen still. This is an interesting starting point, but you can go even further if you want to be creative with it.

By bringing the shutter speed up or down in gradual increments, you can capture something different every time. You can vary it to get the results that you want:

  • A still subject with a frozen background
  • A still subject with a motion blurred background
  • A partially still and partially blurred subject against a motion blurred background
  • A motion blurred subject and background

Depending on what you are photographing and where, different variations may be more or less appropriate. You can always shoot what most photographers do, but after that, consider trying something that you haven’t seen before. That’s what creative shooting is all about!

3. Capture a Story

Photo by Seaq68 / CC0

Even when you are photographing a location or subject which doesn’t have a lot of movement at all, you can use shutter speed to really tell a story. The lower bounds of shutter speed often make something a lot more interesting, and if you have a sturdy tripod or a flat surface to stabilise your camera, you can be as creative as you like.

Once you drop through all of the different shutter speeds to the very last one, you’ll find yourself at ‘B’ or ‘bulb’ depending on your camera model. This mode allows you to control the opening and closing of the shutter, so you dictate how long it stays open for. This can lead to some very interesting results indeed.

For example, one popular way to use this mode is to point your camera at the sky and leave it there for a few hours during the night. You’ll see stripes across the sky as the points of light provided by stars move from one side of the frame to the other. You could achieve something similar by pointing your camera at the front of a shop, down a busy street, across a motorway, or even somewhere a little quieter. Babbling brooks and streams can turn into rivers of light when photographed at a slow shutter speed, creating a very interesting effect that you have probably seen before.

When using low shutter speed like this, it’s usually best to do it at night. This is because there is a lot less light on offer, so your image is less likely to become overexposed. A bit of experimentation is likely to be needed so that you can work out the right shutter speed, ISO, and f-stop to shoot with for the best results. In fact, experimentation can even lead to something more creative than you thought – mistakes can show us ideas that we had never thought of.

When trying to put together a more creative photograph, consider using shutter speed as a way to make a difference. This can really add something fascinating to your portfolio, and may turn out better than you imagined.

Photo license links: CC0, CC BY 2.0

The post 3 Ways to Use Shutter Speed Creatively appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Big sky! Big drama! Big photographs!

All too often the sky is seen as almost an afterthought in our photos. This is unfortunate, though, because the sky has so much to offer!

From deep, moody skies filled with dark storm clouds, to light, sunny images filled with a blue backdrop and white fluffy clouds, there’s no shortage of opportunities to capture amazing sky images –each one completely unique.

Far from simply being a background element, when captured effectively, the sky can prove to be a key feature in your landscape images, serving as a main point of interest and even taking center stage in your photos.

If you’d like to take your landscape images up a notch, being able to capture the sky is sure to help. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few tips for creating amazing sky images.

Timing Is Everything

When it comes to capturing breathtaking images of the sky, timing is everything. Skies are relatively unpredictable, and are always subject to change. If you’re looking to capture spectacular images, you’ll want to pay close attention to the weather and time of day, and plan your shoot accordingly. The sky changes drastically from minute to minute, so be sure you’re on-location and ready early. Golden hour –that time of day early in the morning and evening can present a beautiful time for sky images. Blue hour –during twilight, is another time of day that’s great for capturing skies. Of course, sunrise and sunsets are also ideal. Often, the dramatic light and fast-moving clouds that can be found at the end of the day make this a great opportunity for sky photography.

Watch the Horizon

You’ll also want to pay attention to where you place the horizon and consider how it impacts the rest of your image. Having the horizon line dead center is generally considered to be a bad idea, and could result in the image looking like it’s being cut in half. Instead, look to move the horizon line lower to include more of the sky in your image.

Consider the Composition

Don’t forget that while the sky may be your main focal point, there are other elements that play a big role in the composition as well. In most cases, you’ll want to include some land in your sky shots, to help set the stage, add some context, and make for a more visually interesting image.

Consider an ND filter

When it comes to shooting the sky, it’s a good idea to bring your neutral density (ND) filter. An ND filter acts as sunglasses for your lens, helping to filter out some of the light and allowing you to create long exposures; perfect if you’re hoping to capture soft, streaky clouds in the sky. You’ll also want to consider a Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filter, which will allow you to capture images where the foreground and sky require different exposures. A GND filter is especially invaluable if you’re shooting sunsets or sunrises.

Bring a Polarizer

Speaking of filters, you’ll also want to bring a polarizer if you have one. Polarizers help to cut through glare, as well as the haze in the sky, allowing you to capture skies that are more vibrant, with deeper colors. They can also help to draw the clouds out from the background, helping them to appear more prominent. Because polarizing filters reduce the light, you’ll need to use a tripod on darker days, when slower shutter speeds are required.

→ Related reading: An Intro to Filters for the Landscape Photographer

Bring a Tripod

Don’t forget your tripod! When you’re working with longer exposures, you’ll want to use the tripod to prevent blur caused by camera shake, so be sure to bring your tripod with you.

Experiment With a Long Exposure

Using a longer shutter speed will allow you to capture soft, streaky clouds that convey the feeling of motion. Your ideal shutter speed will depend upon the time of day and weather, but you could start by using a shutter speed of 1 or 2 minutes and adjusting it from there. Just remember to use your ND filter and tripod.

→ Related reading: Guide to Long Exposure Landscape Photography

Consider a Wide Angle Lens

While not crucial, using a wide-angle lens can make for some spectacular sky images. Wide angles are ideal for capturing wide, sweeping landscapes or for situations where you want to compose an image that features plenty of interesting foreground. Just take care when using a polarizer with a wide-angle lens; it could result in a gradient effect near the edges of the image; it’s most obvious with blue skies.

Clouds Are Your Friend

While the clouds can look threatening, they can result in some spectacular sky images. The type of clouds that are found just before, or during a storm can present a great chance for some dramatic images. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could also look for opportunities to capture a vibrant blue sky filled with soft, fluffy clouds. Different types of weather can convey different moods, so be sure to keep that in mind when composing your images.

Make Adjustments in Post Processing

When it comes to sky images, often, your photos can benefit from a touch of post-processing. If you shoot in RAW, you’ll have an easier time editing things later on. Since RAW captures a greater range of tones, you’ll be able to adjust the white balance, tweak the color saturation, and improve the highlights and shadows. Often, all it takes is a few simple adjustments to help make your images truly fantastic. [Our Landscape Legend Lightroom Presets package includes many presets for working with the sky, including graduated filter presets.]

Incorporating the sky into your images can make for some spectacular results. It won’t happen the first time, but soon you’ll become adept at recognizing what works, and what doesn’t, and will be able to create your own masterpieces. So go out there and get shooting. The sky is the limit!

Photo license link: CC0

The post Big Sky Landscape Photography Tips appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Photo by Stux

Moonrise and moonset photography can produce some rather beautiful, impactful images, but it’s not without its challenges. Unlike a typical day out to shoot street or landscapes, capturing a nice moonrise photo requires some extra preparation.

In this short guide, we’ll cover everything from planning and preparation to equipment and how-to-shoot tips. Hopefully, you’ll learn how to photograph a moonrise worthy of a magazine cover. Or, at the very least, a nice wallpaper background for your computer.

For general moon photography, take a look at our Practical Guide to Photographing the Moon.

These are the bare-bone requirements for moonrise photography:

  • Camera with a large zoom
  • Tripod
  • Moonrise time and direction information
  • Good location and timing
Planning for the Moonrise Photo

Screenshot from MoonCal website

As you can imagine, the obvious difficulty lies in the fact that moonrise only lasts a short time, so no time to fiddle around with settings, trying to hit the perfect exposure, metering and focus. Therefore we must know beforehand exactly when and where on the horizon is the moon going to rise. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites online that’ll allow you to access this info in real-time.


These are some of the best tools for tracking a moonrise.

  • SunriseSunsetMap – Check moonrise and moonset time for any given time and location, simply by clicking the map.
  • MoonCalc – Shows you position of the moon, its altitude and lots of other info, all relative to your specific position.


If you’d rather use an App, these should all useful for moonrise photography

  •  LunaSolCal app for Android and iOS.
  •  MoonCalc org – An Android version of the same online tool we mentioned above. Unfortunately it is not available for iOS devices.

Once you’ve picked the date and time, and made sure weather won’t cause any problems, it’s time to look for a good location. The higher the terrain, the sooner you’ll see the moonrise because there are less obstacles on the horizon. Its best you come to position at least an hour before moonrise and scout the location, or better yet, a day before.

Ganapathy Kumar

Camera and Gear

Obviously, you’re going to need a lot of zoom and that means a telephoto lens, either a dedicated one for interchangeable lens cameras (DSLR, Mirrorless), or a as part of a point-and-shoot system.

If you want to keep things compact but powerful, consider the Nikon Coolpix P900 which boasts a super-telephoto lens with 83x optical zoom. When translated to 35mm full-frame format, that’s an equivalent of 24 – 2000mm focal length.

The P900 bridge system can get you very close to the moon, optically, but that doesn’t change the limitations of the relatively small 1/2. 3” sensor that lies inside. At its smallest, the F/6.3 aperture of its lens won’t let a lot of light in, which means you’ll either need to increase ISO (introducing noise) or lower the shutter speed (potentially introducing blur). The same goes for most consumer-grade point-and-shoot cameras.

So, if you really want those butter clean photos, consider a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with an APS-C or Full-Frame (FF) sensor. These sensors are considerably larger than those found on consumer P&S cameras and generally produce (much) better quality photos. BThat’s not to say a Micro-Four-Thirds camera won’t make a fine photo.

Best Beginner ILC Cameras and Lens for photographing a Moonrise

For a beginner looking to buy a first-time DSLR, be it to learn how to photograph a moonrise or for other types of photography, the entry-level Nikon D3300 and Canon EOS 700D are both excellent options. If you’d like a more compact budget solution, consider the Mirrorless Sony A6000. It is widely considered as best value APS-C camera for beginner and amateur photographers.

Best budget lenses for photographing the moonrise:

Note that the above lenses are designed for APS-C cameras only. The Tamron 18-400 offers the highest focal range (largest zoom) and is available for both Canon and Nikon mounts, but its optical qualities are lesser than those of original Canon and Nikon lenses.

Tips for Taking the Best Moonrise Photo

Photo by Nidan

Choose Your Moonrise

A nice twist with moonrise photography is that a moonrise is always different. The Moon will rise at different points on the horizon depending on the time of the year. Much the same way, moon will be in different phases depending on the time of the lunar month.  A full moon is a popular choice for photographing. Otherwise, consider taking a shot at either of the moon’s quarter phases, that’s when you can still see most of the moon, but there’s also that beautiful gradient when its transitioning from highlights into shadows, dramatically bringing out the details in its crater-y landscape

Include a Subject

I would say the Moon alone is a worthy subject, but there are already so many moonrise and moonset photos out there with the moon by itself. If you have a 600mm lens, maybe you’d like to isolate the moon to capture moonrise with maximum detail, and that’s fine. Otherwise, why not add some depth to the photo by including foreground as well? The subject can be anything, a portrait of a person, silhouette, building, or a mountain. It doesn’t matter as long as you add context to the moonrise by capturing it from your own unique perspective. So, before you pick a location, think about what’s going to be in between you and the moonrise background.

Photo by Becca H

Lower Shutter Speed

Lowering shutter speed allows the camera to collect more light without increasing ISO. This is because as the moon stars to rise and the sun is setting, it can be very dark. After some 30 – 60min the moon will become brighter, and that’s when you might want to increase shutter speed.

Use Manual Focus

You need to be quick so if you’re not confident in your AF system, your best bet is manual focus. If you own a DSLR its likely your camera support the focus assist magnification tool in Live View mode. Use it to fine-tune focus, leaving the moon nice and sharp.

Shoot in RAW format

The RAW image format in uncompressed which makes it perfect for image post-processing. Using software such as Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw you can drastically increase image sharpness and reduce noise compared to default camera JPEGs, not to mention easily correct any potential lens aberration and geometric distortion.

Use small aperture

Aperture of F/9 – F/12 should keep everything sharp and in focus. But narrowing the aperture will let less through to the sensor, forcing the camera to compensate either by increasing ISO or lowering shutter speed. If your photos are coming out either blurry or too noisy, try opening up your aperture to a lower F value.

Use a Tripod

This is a no brainier but it has to be said. Using a tripod will drastically decrease chances of motion blur.

The post How to Photograph a Moonrise appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Paria Badlands

Eric Bennett is a landscape photographer and filmmaker based in Utah. His portfolio is filled with beautiful images from around the world (Eric has been to more than 30 countries).

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Eric about himself and his work. You’ll see his responses, as well as a sampling of his photos, below.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.

I’ll try to keep this short. Throughout my life I have had both very supportive parents and access to cameras. I traveled to Europe, Hawaii, and around the US with my parents when I was younger and I always had a cheap film camera or disposable cameras to take pictures with. Later on, my parents gave me a professional mini DV video camera, a Sony VX1000, so I could film my friends that I skateboarded with. Filming skateboarding became a profitable career for me from the age of 16 and I stuck with it for a few years. When I was 20 I moved to South America and lived there for 2 years to get a change of scenery and try to learn some more about myself and the world around me. After living in Panama, I had a desire to travel all over the world and see the natural beauty that still remains. I purchased a DSLR to film the places I traveled to so I could share my experiences with others, and since I was using a DSLR as my video recording device, I began to mess around with photography again. After a couple of years, photography became more interesting than videography so I began to dedicate myself more to that. Now I have been a full time landscape photographer for the past 3 years and I still do some personal and paid video work from time to time.

What draws you to landscapes rather than other types of photography or subjects?

I didn’t get into landscape photography because of a love for photography, rather photography came from my love for landscapes. I love hiking, camping, and exploring the wilderness and I think our natural world is vital for human beings’ physical well being as well as our mental and emotional health. I would hate to see a world without nature, not that one could ever exist. Overtime I feel our species is becoming more and more disconnected from the real world as we spend more of our time in the cyberworld of internet and electronics. The people that still spend time in nature are few and the way our wilderness keeps disappearing overtime shows that. I hope that through photography I can move people to fall in love with our natural planet and give them a desire to protect it and preserve it.

How would you describe your photographic style?

I wouldn’t ever say that I try to achieve any kind of a style so I’m not sure I am aware of my own style if I have one. I always try to step out of my own creative box and attempt new things. I never try to go for the same “look” or create a formula for my images. I always just do whatever I am moved to do while shooting in the field and processing. I enjoy seeing variety in my own portfolio instead of just trying to shoot the same subjects, lighting, and compositions all of the time. I guess if I had to say there is any “look” or “style” that I try for, it would be to never go too crazy with anything. I believe that less is more, and I always try to just bring out the natural beauty that is already there without giving it a complete face lift.

Torre River

Do you have any formal photography training?

I took a photography class in high school. Other than that I never went to college and I have never paid anyone to teach me. However I have learned a great deal from some of the guys I shoot with like David Thompson, Alex Noriega, and Mark Handy to name a few. Those guys have become mentors for me and a great deal of what I know has been shared with me by them.


What gear do you use for filmmaking?

I chose to make the switch to Sony cameras once they started releasing their mirrorless systems, partially because of the awesome photo image quality but mainly for their video capability. Nikon cameras are awesome but they don’t have the kind of quality and options as Sony for filmmaking. I see the Sony cameras as a multipurpose type of tool. I shoot video mainly with my a7s and then backup or extra angles with my a7r. I use Canon lenses with a metabones adapter. The 24-105 f/4L is my favorite for video because I can have such a wide range in focal length without having to constantly swap out lenses. I also love using my DJI Phantom 4 PRO for unique angles that show lots of motion and different perspectives. I use RODE shotgun and lav mics for audio, and I edit everything with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another photographer?

David Thompson always tells me that family comes first. A lot of times I find myself planning all of these trips and trying to fill my time up with photography, which is cool, but then I hear his voice in my head that helps me take a step back and work harder to balance it all. I could live without photography, but not without my family. I think it also helps your photography when you make yourself take breaks and do things completely unrelated to photography so you can always be coming back to it with a fresh and clear mind. I also think great photography comes from being a great person and my family definitely helps me be better in every way.

Standstone Squid

Many of the photos in your portfolio showcase the fine details of a landscape. What advice do you have for effectively taking these types of photos?

I assume you are referring to the more intimate scenes of my portfolio. All of these scenes are unplanned and usually very, very spontaneous. I used to always plan, scout, and visualize my compositions ahead of time and that I would try to go out and shoot and this would make me tunnel visioned and cause me to pass up all of these other awesome things. Too much previsualization or being too attached to our expectations can really blind us to other things along the way that can actually end up being a lot more meaningful. I think if you want to find these kinds of scenes you just always need to have your eyes and heart open and be connected with the landscape around you. Always be looking around, up, down, to the side, and explore a bit more.

Blue Soul

Do you have a dream location that you have not been to yet?

Honestly I think I checked off all of the specific places I felt I needed to see before I died a long time ago. Now everything just feels like a bonus. Like I said in my previous answer, I am more into just wandering around in the wilderness and seeing what happens rather than have a specific photo mission in mind when I travel, so I don’t really have any specific places I hope to see. However, I would love to see as much of the world as possible before this life is over so I am always trying to get out as often as I can.

As someone who has been in photography for a while, how do you challenge yourself or make sure that you continue to improve?

I never get too attached to my own work. I have some images that I love, but not because I took them. I always try to see my work objectively, as if it was anyone else’s, and not get married to it. I am very honest with myself and very harsh when I critique my own work, so I am always seeing plenty of mistakes and things I can do better the next time I go out. I look at a lot of other guys’ work as well that I feel is just so much more artistically minded than my own and I see a lot of ways that I can grow from that.

Indian Basin Lake

Aside from photography, what hobbies do you have, or what do you like to do for fun?

If the weather is nice I will go out and skateboard a bit. I am always out hiking regardless if the conditions are “good” for photography or not, and here in Utah we have tons of trails really close to the house that are really great to escape the noise and busyness of civilization. I am a pretty avid reader so I am fine with relaxing for a few hours and reading a book, I am always trying to learn about everything I can. I like to read about philosophy, science, art, and biographies. I also enjoy writing a lot and sometimes I feel I can express myself better that way than through photography.

Titcomb Flower Stream

Connect with Eric

If you’d like to see more of Eric’s work or get in touch with him, please use the links below.

All photos in this post are © Eric Bennett, used with permission.

The post Interview with Photographer and Filmmaker Eric Bennett appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Photo by cocoparisienne / CC0

Monochrome is something universally appreciated but sometimes it’s not used to its full advantage. Black and white filters are often applied to photographs that actually look better in color. Just because something looks “artsy” does not make it universally appealing (looking at you, high dynamic range photography). So how can we get the most out of monochrome, especially in nature photography?

Monochrome Emphasizes Textures over Color

The colors of an image are often as much a consideration as the subject matter. Nature photography, with the bright feathers and intense petals of the subjects, is especially fond of rich, saturated color. So why would we ever want to remove those colors from our imagery? Because they can actually distract from other aspects of an image.

When the colors are removed, what are we left with? The form, texture, and details of the subject. The parts of an image rich in these help monochrome photos really shine. Take a look at the photo below and try and imagine the color version. The bright sunlit sky and the color of the water would normally soak up far more of the attention of the viewer. In this monochrome image, the textures of the clouds, water’s surface, and beach sand all have just as much impact as the silhouettes of the beachgoers. 

Photo by loveombra / CC0

Consider the Form of a Possible Subject

Textures and details absolutely jump out at us in black and white, but so does the form. The form includes the shape and posture of your subject. And putting more emphasis on form can change the flavor of an image entirely. One of the best ways to highlight form is by using silhouettes. A good silhouette removes most or all details of a subject except for the overall form. It lets us fill in details with our imaginations; in this case, less is definitely more!

We usually think of silhouettes as color photos shot in combination with a bright light source like the sun. But they can also be created easily by shooting in monochrome and either using a strong backlight or upping the contrast of the image. This tree would still be fairly interesting as a color photo. But creating a monochrome silhouette causes its twisting form to stand out as the subject. And this way the colors of the sky and tree and textures of the bark don’t take attention away from the form, either.

Photo by katz / CC0

Monochrome Makes Good Use of Contrast

Color and lighting contrasts are an important part of the interplay in monochrome images. Images where the colors don’t have much contrast usually end up looking rather bland as monochrome photos. So even though removing colors can give punch to textures, detail, and form, it’s also good to think about how the grey tones will turn out.

If the colors aren’t quite so vivid then consider the lighting. This means we need to look at tonal contrast which is the variation in brightness from one part of the image to another. Thanks to tonal contrast, bright mid-day lighting over a dark subject will give the resulting monochrome image a contrast boost.

Photo by sandid / CC0

Contrasts in texture and form are also good ways to get more out of your images. Notice how both are displayed in the image below. The smooth or ribbed textures of the seashells contrast well with the tattered, chaotic nature of the dead leaf. The long length and jagged edges of the leaf in turn starkly contrast with the squat, rounded seashells. The colors of the seashells give us a nice palette of grey tones to view. Even the translucence of the leaf is in contrast to the solid nature of the seashells. Contrast is everything in this image. 

Photo by MichaelVines / CC0

Portraits in Monochrome

Monochrome is a fantastic format for portraits, human or animal. Form, texture, and details all come together in a beautiful way. And the grey tones give the image a classic feel that’s much harder to replicate in color. Animal fur, scales, feathers, and skins often have even more detail than human skin does. Monochrome on its own brings it out but sometimes a little contrast boost with bright lighting or Lightroom helps draw attention to these details further.

Photo by IanZA / CC0

Overall, monochrome is a very flexible style of photography. Nature photographers sometimes prefer to emphasize color and the subject over all else. But monochrome takes away the color aspect and gives you a greater appreciation for form, texture, detail, and contrast. And even mundane subjects like birds in the park can become much more interesting if the above principles are kept in mind while shooting.  Monochrome is considered timeless for very good reason. So take some time to look past bright colors and see what monochrome can do for your portfolio!

Photo by StockSnap / CC0

Photo license link: CC0

The post Monochrome in Nature Photography appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Photo by PicJumbo / CC0

Landscape photography can follow two different fields of thought. In one, the beauty of the image comes from the landscape, and there is no need to exaggerate or change that. In other words, each photographer visiting the same scene can capture the same image. In another field of thought, the photographer should leave his or her mark on the scene, capturing it in a new and unique way that has never been seen before. Here’s what to do if you want to be more creative and stand out from the crowd.

1. Change Your Settings

Photo by EvgeniT / CC0

What is the simplest way to change the way you shoot a landscape? Change your settings.

Imagine how it would look if you used a slow shutter speed and allowed clouds, or water, or plants blown by the wind to create a motion blur effect. Consider underexposing the scene a little to create a spooky feeling, or even overexposing a little to allow saturated sunlight to bring a new atmosphere. There are lots of ways you can play around with your settings in order to get a different view of the same landscape.

Try to do the opposite of the obvious. If you know that most people would normally slow down their shutter speed to capture a river flowing in an ethereal way, consider going in the opposite direction. What if you push your shutter speed up as high as you can possibly manage, to capture the water in breathtakingly clear detail? When you do the same as everyone else, you aren’t using your creativity to the fullest extent.

2. Change the Time You Shoot

Photo by harshvardhanart / CC0

Another way to bring a creative eye to a landscape is to change the time of day at which you visit. A landscape will look one way at dawn, another way at the height of the sun, another way at twilight, and another way again in the night.

Think about creative ways in which you can capture the scene. You can use the last glimmering light from a setting sun to capture stripes of illumination across a snowy field, for example, making it look like something completely unexpected.

You can visit a popular tourist attraction, like Stonehenge, right at the beginning of the day when no one else has arrived yet. Or you could capture a time of day when the wildlife of the area are awake and active, and populating the scene instead of the humans who might come later.

The timing isn’t just down to the hour of the day, either. How about visiting in a different season, if you can make it a longer-term project? Your creative eye might sense that autumnal reds and yellows will suit your photograph much better than summery greens.

3. Change Your Perspective

Photo by invisiblepower / CC0

Perspective has a lot to do with creativity when it comes to landscapes. When you think about the archetypal landscape shot, you know that it is taken looking head-on at the scene. The camera is either held to the eye or placed on a tripod somewhere above waist height, and the image is captured as if we were looking at the scene naturally.

So, change your perspective if you want to find a creative new angle. Lay down on the ground and shoot at a diagonally upwards angle. Find something to climb, get as high as you can, and then shoot downwards. Go to the other side of the monument or focal point and photograph it from behind.

A key factor for shooting a landscape creatively, especially one that is photographed often, is this: watch where everyone else is standing, and then go stand somewhere different.

You can also change perspective by changing the lens that you use. From a wide angle, to a fish eye, to a macro lens, there are plenty of ways to change the way that you see things. If you can’t see something creative in the landscape that faces you, then you might need to change the way that you are looking. Another way to get a different perspective is to use a drone.

Related reading: Intro to Drone Landscape Photography

4. Change Reality

Image by 4144132 / CC0

Of course, there’s a way to ‘cheat’ your way into a more creative landscape: to invent your own. This actually requires quite a bit of skill, but practice makes perfect. Try shooting multiple locations and then merging them together into one photograph.

For example, you might find some sheep grazing on a picturesque, rolling countryside area for your foreground; looming hills and mountains for your mid-ground; and a moody sky for your background that brings it all together. No one else needs to know that all three parts of the image came from different places if you don’t want them to. You can even let your creativity go wild and bring in new animals, people, and mystical figures from other sources. Photomanipulation is a real art form, and while it may not fully represent reality, it certainly brings a more creative view of it.

Even purists, who want to capture only natural landscapes as they are, can consider this as a fun exercise to try every now and then. It might just refresh your point of view and give you a new creative jumping-off point. You may even begin a quest to try to find a similar location which exists in real life!

There are lots of ways to become more creative in your landscape photography, but above all, what you have to do is change the way you take the pictures. If you always stay the same, you will only get the same results.

The post 4 Steps To More Creative Landscape Photography appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Edan Raw is a landscape photographer from the Sunshine Coast of Australia. His portfolio includes a lot or panroamas and beautiful seascapes. I recently had the opportunity to interview Edan about his work, and you can see his responses below. You’ll also see many of his photos showcased throughout the interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.

My introduction to photography was when I was working away doing whats called fly in fly out, FIFO for short, mining construction. One of my work mates was a pretty keen photographer and I was pretty amazed with the creative in camera sort of stuff he was doing with his DSLR, so I lashed out and bought one myself. That was a Canon 500D, nothing special these days but it was enough to get me started.

How would you describe your photographic style?

I love my panoramas! Every scene I look at I first think “will this work as a pano?” haha. I like to think that I have developed my own style along the way, as much as possible these days anyway. I try my best to keep things as natural as possible and try to keep I guess what you would call a traditional landscape photography style. I’m not a big fan off bringing out to many shadows. I love contrast.

What draws you to landscapes rather than other types of photography or subjects?

I think where I grew up and also my parents influence have a lot to do with it. I grew up in a place called Forest Glen and as the name suggests its a pretty densely forested area so I spent most of my child hood climbing trees and getting bitten by jumping ants. My parents always encouraged me to get outdoors and instilled a deep appreciation for the natural world from as early as I can remember. So I have always loved the outdoors and that has turned into a passion for landscape photography.

Where do you find inspiration?

My original inspiration for going down the path of landscape photography was Australian panoramic photography master Ken Duncan. I just love his eye and what he captures on a panoramic film camera. So basically I just really study the compositions of peoples work I admire, people like Christian Fletcher, a lot of Australian photographers really, because that’s where I mostly want to shoot. Other than that nature itself. What is more inspirational than being by your self somewhere off the beaten path watching a beautiful sunrise unfold in front of you?

What is one important lesson that you have learned through your own photography?

I would have to say perseverance and I guess patience comes with that. I have got so many photos bouncing around in my head that I am waiting to nail but the heavens haven’t quite aligned just yet. Also to take a leap and back yourself and put your self out there and open yourself up to criticisms and judgment from others, self doubt, all the questions and doubts that you have running around your mind when stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

What software do you use for post processing?

My editing skills are pretty abysmal I’m afraid. I think that side of things has been a little slower for me as I am not very tech minded so its been a steep learning curve. I feel I am just getting to that stage almost 3 years on where I can edit my photos to accurately recreate the scene before me. I use Lightroom and Photoshop and that’s it.

What is your typical process for planning and scouting?

The majority of what I consider my best work has been scouted beforehand and even shot half a dozen times before capturing what I want. On the other hand, my most popular image was a stroke of luck. I usually carry my camera around with me in the car with my go to 24-70mm. I am actually loaning a mates Fuji G617 with the fixed 105mm at the moment and trying to get my head around that beast. I’ve never shot a roll of film in my life so that will be interesting. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to see a composition, scout it, wait for the stars to align, and then capturing that scene in time and turning it into a piece of art.

Can you tell us about a few of your favorite locations to photograph in your local area?

I love the Glass House Mountains and All the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Such an incredible area with so many little hidden gems, I have only just scratched the surface. The Sunshine Coast is also blessed with golden beaches and beautiful subtropical forests with waterfalls around every corner so its not to hard to get motivated to get out and shoot.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work as a landscape photographer?

I think in this day and age with every second person owning a DSLR it is getting harder and harder to capture unique compositions and perspectives. So that’s what I really challenge myself to do most. To turn my back on the obvious photo and try and find something unique. Other than that just trying to get my work out there and recognised.

Aside from photography, what hobbies do you have, or what do you like to do for fun?

Surfing, hanging at the beach. I have an interest in nutrition and alternate medicine so I’m always reading articles on that sort or thing. Boxing and calisthenics style stuff for a bit of exercise. Pretty busy at the moment with learning how to build websites so that is kind of a hobby/business that is keeping me busy.

Connect with Edan

If you’d like to get in touch with Edan or see more of his work, please use the links below:

All photos in this post are © Edan Raw, used with permission.

The post Interview with Landscape Photographer Edan Raw appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

​Are you interested in improving your own landscape and nature photography? We publish plenty of tips and tutorials that can help with all aspects your landscape photography. Here is a collection of 50 articles that you won't want to miss.

Photo by Tom Eversley / CC0
15 Steps to an Amazing Landscape Photo

Photo by Lenny K Photography / CC BY 2.0
Where to Focus in a Landscape Photo

Photo by Joel Olives / CC BY 2.0
​Guide to Long Exposure Landscape Photography

Photo by Nigel Howe / CC BY 2.0
​Guide To Shooting Panoramics

Photo by Steve Jurvetson / CC BY 2.0
​How to Use Foreground Elements in Compositions

Photo by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0
1​​0 Tips for Fabulous Waterfall Photography

Photo by Arches National Park / Public Domain
How Perspective Impacts Landscape Photography

Photo by John McSporran / CC BY 2.0
​Winter Landscape Photography Tips

Photo by Matthias Ripp / CC BY 2.0
10 Tips for Beautiful Fall Photos

Photo by Tony Di Messi / CC BY 2.0
Tips for Better Sunset Photography

Photo by James Whitesmith / CC BY-ND 2.0
​Guide to Blue Hour Photography

Photo by Kodyak Tisch / CC BY 2.0
​How to Anticipate Great Sunsets

Photo by Anita Ritenour / CC BY 2.0
​Using Reflections in Landscape Photography

​Photo by ™ Pacheco / CC BY-ND 2.0
Essential Seascape Photography Tips

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Photo by Jonas Svidras / CC0

If you’re a beginner photographer you might be wondering what’s the best aperture to use when you shoot, say a portrait, or a landscape.

Well, as with all camera settings, choosing the aperture settings largely depends on what you’re shooting and what you want to achieve.

You’ve seen portrait photos with sharp subjects with completely blurred, out-of-focus background and you’re wondering how you yourself could achieve this effect and make the subject pop. Or you might be interested in landscape and nightscape photography where you need everything up to infinity to be sharp and in focus.

Changing aperture settings will affect your photos in two main ways:

  • Larger aperture means more light will come through the lens and into the sensor while a small aperture only lets through a narrow stream of light.
  • Large aperture will create a shallow depth of field (blurred background) while small aperture will create a deep depth of field (everything in focus)

Remember: Larger aperture is marked by a smaller F number. So, an aperture of F/2.0 is larger than F/16. This is because the F value is actually a fraction: 1/16 is smaller than 1/2. Lens with a large aperture is also referred to as fast lens, as it allows for shorter exposure time (faster shutter speed).

Photo by Anes Mulalic

Lens and Aperture

Aperture is all about the lens. It has very little to do with your camera. Prime lenses (lens with fixed focal length, non-zooms) have a fixed aperture (e.g. F/4), while zoom lenses can either have fixed aperture or variable aperture range (e.g. F/4 – F/5.6) that changes as you increase focal length (zoom in).

Professional and more expensive lenses are usually fast lenses, meaning they have a large maximum aperture (e.g. F/1.4) which allows them to capture bright images without forcing high ISO or slow shutter speed.

Budget lenses are usually slow zoom lenses (e.g. F/3.5 – F/5.6). Fully zoomed in, the F/5.6 aperture is rather slow and will force you to either bump up ISO to high levels; introducing noise in the process, or to reduce shutter speed; increasing potential for blurry photos.

Note that above examples refer to shooting in challenging lighting conditions, i.e. poorly lit indoors or night photography, hand-held and without flash. Shooting in daylight, with flash or with camera mounted on a tripod, consumer lens can produce very impressive results as well.

To conclude, these are the scenarios where you’ll need a fast, large-aperture lens:

  • Low light photography
  • Action, sports or wildlife photography where you need fast shutter speed
  • Portrait photography when you want to isolate the subject with a blurred background

And these are the scenarios where a slow lens will do just fine:

  • Landscape photography
  • General daylight photography
  • When the camera is mounted on a tripod

Depth of Field difference between different aperture settings. Photo by Igor Letilovic

How to Adjust Aperture

Some lenses have a physical ring for adjusting aperture size, some rely on camera settings to change aperture, while others allow both.

If your lens has fixed maximum aperture of F/4, that means you cannot increase it any further, but you can still “stop-down” a lens by increasing the F value via camera settings. Lenses will usually have minimum aperture, e.g. F/22.

Next, we’ll review reasons why you might want to sometimes use a smaller aperture.

Lens Aberrations and Diffraction

These are many types of lens aberrations, such as vignetting, astigmatism, color fringing, coma, to name a few. These are all imperfections in the lens itself. Taking each of these into detail is beyond the scope of this article.

What you need to know is that aberrations cause degradation of image quality, namely sharpness, and mostly around corners of the image and at large apertures.

Aberration mainly affects image corners because corners of the lens are more challenging to produce by lens manufacturers and are more prone to imperfections such as different aberrations.

Using smaller aperture literally blocks the light coming in through corners of the lens, allowing only light coming through the centre of the lens to reach the sensor. This centre light will disperse around the glass, meaning corners will still be visible, but you’ll significantly reduce aberrations.

That means that an image will likely be sharper at F/5.6 than it would be at F/1.8, for example.

Now, you might think stopping down the lens down to F/22 will produce sharpest results, but you would be wrong. Narrowing aperture too much will produce another unwanted effect, which is known as diffraction. Diffraction, in turn, causes blurring of details – reducing sharpness.

Now we know using smaller aperture will reduce lens aberrations (increasing sharpness) but at the same time will introduce diffraction (reducing sharpness). So, what do we do?

Well, the trick is to know when diffraction first appears (at what aperture). On smaller sensors (Micro Four-Thirds, APS-C) it will manifest sooner than it will on full-frame sensor.

For full-frame sensors, aperture of F/8 and F/16 will likely show diffraction, but not necessarily too much to bother you if you really need that depth of field. F/22 on the other hand is something I would recommend avoiding.

For APS-C, divide the aperture with 1.5 and you’ll get the smallest aperture you can use without causing too much diffraction. For Micro-Four-Thirds sensors, do the same but divide with the number 2 instead. This means that F/11 on a M 3/4 camera will have the same diffraction effect as it would appear at F/22 on a full-frame camera.

Noticeable difference in lens aberrations between different aperture settings. Photo by Igor Letilovic

Notice the difference in vignetting and sharpness around corners.


Taking both aberrations and diffraction into consideration, we conclude that sharpest results will come in between F/5.6 – F/11. Again, these are only general guidelines and you shouldn’t be afraid either to completely open your lens aperture or to narrow it down.

Manipulating aperture can allow for some other rather interesting effects as well. For example, if you’re shooting a waterfall and you want that silky-smooth water effect, you would need to use slow shutter speed. Knowing that this will likely overexpose the image, you can counteract the overexposure by narrowing aperture size.

Another popular effect are sunbursts, those elaborate sunbeams you see in landscape and city photographs. You can achieve this effect by using a small aperture such as F/16.

Of course, the most important thing for a photographer is a sufficiently exposed photo with as little noise as possible. That’s where large apertures play a huge role.

This article is intended to help you understand aperture, how it affects your photos and ultimately, help you answer the question “What aperture should I use?” With that said, don’t stray away from experimenting with aperture. Happy shooting!

The post What Aperture Setting Should I Use? appeared first on Loaded Landscapes.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview