The Photographer's Notebook

 

 

A LEARNING BLOG WITH PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

FOR THE MOM AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER

How to Photograph Landscapes in Summer Storms

Summer storm season is just around the corner. I enjoy watching nature and her power, so it's always a treat to see a storm brew up and move through, as long as there's no destruction left in that storm's wake. Up here in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a thunderstorm can pop up without much warning unload her furry and move on in a matter of minutes. I adore the drama in a good storm and have indeed chased my share of thunderstorms up and down the mountain highways. If you, like me, enjoy capturing a good mountain storm, remember these tips next time the weather turns dramatic. 

1. Be Prepared

A landscape photographer knows that she must prepare for all types of weather. Even on a sunny day, I never venture out without adequate supplies tucked into my backpack. My necessities include a waterproof rain cover for my backpack, a rain sleeve for my camera, a medium-sized, highly absorbent towel, an umbrella, mittens and a toque (that's Canadian for a winter hat).

During a...

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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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5 Important Tips for Creating Stronger Landscape Images

Landscape photography is not for the faint of heart. Us landscape photographers rise before the earliest of birds begin to sing their morning songs. We skip meals and ignore hunger and fatigue. We hike through forests and fields, hoping that the animal tracks in the snow are not fresh or that the howling wolf pack is farther away than they sound or that the bear frequenting the area signs are old news and he's actually up over the other side of the mountain. We haul heavy gear and wear layers of clothing through weather elements most would remain inside for. We wade through streams and hop into rivers to achieve the perfect composition for sunset. We stay up way past reasonable hours to witness night skies and drive home in dense fog and enveloping darkness. But we love every single moment of this passion. 

With all of the efforts we put into getting to a location and with all of the other unknown elements at play like weather and light, us landscape...

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5 Reasons to Use a Telephoto in your Landscape Photography

Do you haul around your heavy telephoto lens in your photography backpack but rarely take it out? I'm hanging my head in shame because my answer is, "Yes." I'm notorious for rarely taking out my telephoto, and this is something I must change. A resolution, per se, even though we're well into February. As the temperatures begin to warm and we all begin to spend a little more time outdoors exploring all the beauty nature has to offer, I'm sure you're embracing your opportunities for landscape photography. Instead of keeping that telephoto lens tucked inside your backpack, adopt the following reasons for why you should take it out and use it in your landscape images.  

1. Isolate your subject

Telephoto lenses are fantastic for isolating a subject. When zoomed in using a telephoto, you can crop out large areas of detail, which will isolate a single subject. The composition of your image is vital in such a situation, though. Think about how you can draw attention...

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How to Photograph a Landscape with Impact

It's no secret that I have a profound love for landscape photography. The mountains are apart of who I am today. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, I have spent many summers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains with my camera in my hand. It's no surprise that as a landscape photographer, my very favourite scenes contain images with the beloved mountain ranges I grew up in, continue to share with my children, and enjoy to this day. 

Viewing the mountains through the eyes of a landscape photographer is a powerful thing, and I've come to recognize that there are a few key ingredients to photographing a landscape with impact. I want to share these tips with you so that you can make the most of your landscape photography opportunities. It may not be mountain scenes that you most often capture, but being aware of these key ingredients will help you photograph more impactful landscape images. 

1. Light 

It's also no secret that I adore light both as a mom...

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How to Capture Stunning Winter Landscapes

Don’t let winter keep you away from doing what you love! Winter offers beautiful and unique opportunities for the landscape photographer. Snow-kissed mountain peaks, frost flowers, ice bubbles and more! It’s all stunning and begs to be photographed.  Here are a few ways you can capture stunning winter landscapes. 

1. Don’t shy away from the cold

Winter is cold. I get it. I live in a climate where 15 degrees Celsius is considered balmy enough for a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I know what it’s like to be cold most of the year. I’ve learnt to embrace the cold and become comfortable photographing in cold temperatures. The trick is dressing for the weather and layering. It is a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort. Some of the most beautiful atmospheric elements come hand in hand with the cold. Clouds, fog and steam off feezing water are all prevalent during the winter season and can create stunning winter scenes. 

ISO 400,...
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How to Capture a Landscape Image at Night

Back in August, I wrote about My 3 Favourite Landscape Photography Techniques. In that post, I mentioned night photography as being one of my favourite landscape photography techniques. There’s magic in the night sky. It’s captivating with shows of star-studded skies, the Milky Way, meteor showers, moonlit mountains and dancing skies filled with the aurora borealis. It’s all breathtaking and completely worth sleepless nights with groggy mornings…nothing an extra cup of coffee can’t fix!

Here are some tips to help you successfully capture the magic in the night sky.

1. Focus manually

Under dark skies, it's likely, your camera is not going to be able to autofocus. Manual focus is often necessary. During the day, practise setting your lens to infinite and capturing a few exposures. Examine whether or not your image is actually in focus. If your image is in focus with how you’ve lined up infinite, then that’s where you’ll want to...

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Long Exposure Landscapes

Several weeks ago, I wrote about My 3 Favourite Landscape Photography Techniques. A few weeks after that, I discussed How to Capture a Static Landscape Image. This week, I want to elaborate further on that first post and talk about long exposure photography. Long exposure, in landscape photography, is a creative technique in which movement is showcased. Most often, long exposures showcase movement in clouds and water. Long exposure photography is gorgeous, and once you try it, I think you’ll fall in love with this technique. If you are interested in trying long exposure photography, I have a few tips to get you started.

1. Use a wired cable or wireless shutter release

I think when you are learning a new genre of photography that you should jump right in and get started even without having all the fancy tools. If landscape photography is something you find you enjoy, I highly recommend your first landscape photography specific purchase be a shutter trigger release. Wired...

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How to Capture a Static Landscape Image

A few weeks ago, I wrote about My 3 Favourite Landscape Photography Techniques. In that post, I talked about my three favourite techniques for capturing a single landscape scene. One of the methods I mentioned was static exposure. Static exposure is essentially photographing a scene as it is, and freezing it, as you see it, in time.

When I began my landscape photography journey, I had very little knowledge about how to capture a good landscape photograph. I had never photographed a landscape scene before. Also, I'm a mom photographer and was used to chasing my children around snapping images with wide-open apertures. My child subjects didn't stand still like a landscape scene. As I explored landscape photography, I quickly learned that my approach to capturing a landscape image was different than the approach I took when photographing my children.

Static, or regular exposure, of a landscape scene, is the most basic of captures when it comes to landscape photography. However, this...

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My 3 Favourite Landscape Photography Techniques

There are many different approaches a landscape photographer can take when capturing a single scene. This is, in my opinion, where much of the artistry in landscape photography is born. I’ve been asked before if I ever get bored of shooting the same scene over and over again, and my answer is always, “Absolutely not!” Weather conditions, light, and seasons change. Those changes add beautiful differences into a scene. However, a photographer does not necessarily need to wait for a different day to capture a scene differently, as it unfolds. There are three ways in which a photographer can capture a single scene that will yield a different look with different results.

In the below three images I’ve captured the same scene, the iconic Three Sisters in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. However, I used a different technique in each of these images, which resulted in different looks. Below are three different ways a landscape photographer can capture a scene with...

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