The way I see it, sand dunes are among the most wonderful places in the world. They’re the very definition of a windswept landscape — the product of our planet’s most fundamental forces. They also exist everywhere, from coastal regions to deserts that span entire continents. Below, I’ll offer some of my top tips for photographing sand dunes and getting incredible images.
At the end of the day, there’s only one reason why people like good photos. It’s a simple concept, really, but it also forms the foundation for all of photography. Emotion. For a photo to succeed, it has to resonate with your viewer. That could happen for a number of reasons, ranging from your subject to your composition. But the strongest tool to capture emotion is far more fundamental than that — it is, quite simply, your light.
Composition is critical. If you want to take powerful photos, it’s one of the most important parts of photography. Still, a lot of photographers start out only hearing about the rule of thirds, and they never go more in depth on how to compose better photos. The good news is that you can learn more about composition — and you should. It’s a deep topic, and there’s no way to cover everything in just one article, but I’ll do my best to hit the biggest points here.
How is it that two photographers can visit the same landscape at the same time, but one of them manages to take a better photo? It’s not about equipment, or camera settings, or sharpness. Instead, it’s all about composition. Composition is how you arrange the elements of your photograph to guide a viewer’s eye. How do you pick a good composition for your landscape photos? There are two elements that matter more than anything else: simplicity and visual weight. In this article, I’ll share some tips for using them correctly.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when I wrote my 100th article for Photography Life, and here we are today with article number 150. I must confess that I mulled over what topic that this ‘mini-milestone’ article should cover. My ‘little voice’ told me that it needed to have a philosophical orientation. So, this article shares some of my philosophic approach to photography, and answers the question why I prefer being a lazy post-processor than a lazy photographer. And, make no mistake, I am a lazy post-processor. [Read more…]
The concept of personal style is a fundamental topic in all art, not just photography. Everyone has their own way of seeing the world, and everything that people create is based upon this underlying uniqueness. In terms of photography, though, even mentioning personal style can seem strange — since our work is inherently based upon the real world, is it even possible to have a unique style? This question is especially relevant for fields like landscape and wildlife photography, which often rely 100% on the scene that nature presents to you, rather than any elements you add yourself. How can you insert your own personality into an image that mirrors the way the world actually looked at one point in time? It’s a complex question. Things get even trickier if you look into all the features that must be copied perfectly in order to produce a convincing forgery (or a benign imitation) of another photographer’s personal style — and, even further, the implications of analyzing and imitating your own personal style. In this article, we will explore the topic of personal style and how you can find it in your photography.
I’ve heard a lot of “hidden tips” for landscape photography over the years. Most of them weren’t helpful at all. But, along the way, I have collected a handful that really are useful — nuggets of wisdom that I still use today, and that I recommend to other photographers as often as possible. I’ve included the five most valuable hidden tips below. Perhaps you’ve heard some of these before, but I hope that at least a few of them will be completely new.
Perhaps you read our composition tips for landscape photography and realized something interesting: It never mentions the rule of thirds. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, you’re rare — the rule of thirds is, by far, the most common rule of composition you’ll find in photography. But does it actually work? Can it really improve your images? The truth is more complex than you may think.
The deeper you go into photography, the clearer it will be that everything is about emotion. Each decision you make — every single part of your thought process — matters for that one reason. A prominent example? Positive and negative space. These two elements of photography are important because of the emotions they carry. So, what are positive and negative space, and how can you use them to improve your work?
Most of the time, landscape photography tips are intended for beginners rather than advanced photographers. That’s a problem — it says to advanced photographers that there is nothing new to discover. But landscape photography is incredibly complex, and there are still techniques out there for everyone. This article goes through some of the most important. If you’re an advanced photographer, and you’re not sure what else there is to improve, my hope is that this will be a good start.