The Photographer's Notebook





Common Landscape Photography Mistakes

Standing in a valley frozen or lush beneath majestic mountain peaks while the cool fresh-scented forest air fills my lungs is my ultimate cathartic experience. Photographing that splendour is an honour in which I hope that I can capture the beauty before me with some true-to-life replication.

I have yet to meet a landscape photographer who does not enjoy being immersed in nature's beauty.

Each photographer has her own unique way of seeing the world and then photographing that beauty, from her perspective, within a landscape scene. However, there are some common mistakes that landscape photographers can make. Here are some mistakes you can learn to avoid in your landscape photography.

1. Using an automatic or semi-manual mode

Our cameras have limitations in dynamic range, which is the ability to capture a full spectrum of shadows through highlights in certain scenes. If we leave our cameras in an automatic or semi-manual exposure mode (for most landscape situations), we throw...

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Six Ways to Capture the Essence of Winter in your Landscape Images

Winter infuses hidden magic within a landscape scene. The visual drama of the summer and fall has been hushed under winter's soft blanket of snow. Quiet and stillness unfold before our eyes, and it's captivating in so many ways. The winter months offer incredible frozen beauty and often soft diffuse light. It's truly a spectacular season in which to venture out into your favourite landscapes. Below are a few tips on how you can embrace the winter season and capture its essence in the coming months.  

1. Embrace the weather

I love stunning light and colour, and I know you do too. Photographers crave pretty light that bursts into colour and takes your breath away, but the reality is those days can be few and far between during the winter months. Don't let a snowstorm or lack of colour disappoint you. Showcase other wintery elements, like diffuse light on a mountain peak or winter's artwork at your feet. There's beauty in all types of weather, so don't be afraid to...

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How to take Beautiful Landscapes on Stormy Days

Winter has come to the Canadian Rockies. I love winter in the mountains! Although it's cold, the visual beauty inherent in winter is an absolute dream to photograph. Stormy days are plentiful during the winter months. Conditions filled with snow flurries, pockets of wintery light, and overcast cloud drama become the norm for the landscape photographer. I used to be filled with disappointment when I'd make the trip out into the mountains for a day of landscape photography only to be greeted by stormy skies. Now, I embrace these days, as they are, in fact, some of my favoured conditions for photographing landscape scenes during the winter months. Here are a few ideas on how you can embrace stormy days and still capture beautiful landscape images.    

1. Embrace the snow

Snow squalls are common in the Canadian Rockies, and I think they are magical. Snowy scenes can be challenging to photograph, especially when the snow is swirling down and melting...

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Find Beauty in Landscapes In-Between Seasons

Sometimes, it can be challenging to photograph landscape images in-between seasons. Melting snow can be dirty, leafless trees aren't always that attractive, and the leftover muck from winter's freeze can be an eyesore. It's your job as a landscape photographer to find and photograph the beauty that is present regardless of the time of year. There are a few ways in which you can hide or minimize unsightly in-between season elements.

1. Compose thoughtfully

Knowing what to include and exclude within a landscape scene is an important skill to have as a landscape photographer. Thoughtfully compose your scene to eliminate elements that are not overly attractive during the shoulder seasons. Ensure that your main subject is highly visible, as this will draw the viewer's eye, minimizing less attractive features within the frame. Pay close attention to the edges and close objects within your frame. Crop out elements that are not as attractive around your frame edges with...

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