Landscape Photography Making the Most of Local Landscapes (Ep #058)


Hello and thanks for joining me on
another landscape photography outing. Today I’d like to think about landscape
photography without an epic location and look at how we can capture interesting
artwork just about anywhere and in just about any conditions. Today I’ve come down to my local water
feature which you may have seen on my channel from time to time I live just
over the far side my house faces approximately south-west so I tend to
shoot from the other side whenever there’s a decent sunset and I’m
concentrating on the stand the reflections in the water. But I guess when you tune in to my
channel you’re expecting to find me in more interesting locations and that’s
because I happen to live close by them. So why wouldn’t I share them with you
and encourage you to visit if you can. Now many of you might say ‘yeah but look
you’ve got this fabulous lake right on your doorstep’, well, yes, of course that’s
true. But I’d say that just about everyone has an interesting landscape
not too far from where they live whether its water or woodland or even urban
parkland there are landscapes everywhere you turn so looking at this
location you can see it’s a perfectly Pleasant spot for a quiet scenic stroll
but it isn’t necessarily the first place that a photographer would think of
coming the surrounds are a bit flat and boring and there’s no mountainous
backdrop like Dew and water for example or Snowden horse-shoe behind Clint lador
or interesting old jetties there isn’t a single lone tree in sight or an
interesting little island to draw your attention you see most still water shots
really needs something to focus on to draw your attention in if you just shoot
the water itself it’s probably not really going to be that interesting as I
said earlier I only use it as a device when I’m actually shoot in the sunset
now let’s think about the conditions here it’s a pretty dull gray day and
there’s really not much going on but of course when you’re able to get out with
a camera that could well also be the case we can’t always get out when the
light is just perfect and that’s why I came out on a so-so sort of day to a
ho-hum sort of location so you can enjoy watching me struggle to find some images
I’m gonna ever hunt about for about two or three images which I hope will show
you that you can get out and enjoy your landscape photography wherever you
happen to be and whatever the light is doing
Oh what caught my attention with this little cascade is at first glance you’d
think there’s not much to it but what I really like is the way the
trees in the background are reflected in the still water of the pool above the
Cascade so putting those three elements together with the Cascade at the bottom
I think it makes for quite an interesting composition I’m not a big
fan of water that’s been completely smoothed out so it looks like milk I
still want to be able to see some detail in it obviously I don’t want to freeze
it solid so that quarter of a second should hopefully give me what I’m
looking for but as I said what I particularly like about this are the
reflections behind the Cascade perhaps I was being a bit economical
with the truth when I said we don’t have a derelict jetty because actually we do
but it’s hardly in the same league as Derwent water that said it’s still an
interesting subject I can’t get a standard wide open composition because
the banks are all completely overgrown so I’m forced to shoot with these leaves
overhanging and I’ve got a whole Bank of reeds
between myself and the end of the jetty now that’s not necessarily a problem at
all I’m taking a long exposure of this and I’m allowing the reeds and the
leaves to move in the image and create that interesting motion but the clouds
and the water are getting smoothed out with this quite nice soft diffused light
the only question I’m gonna have when I get it back in post is whether I can do
anything with colours or whether I’m going to need to make it monotone I’ll
take a look at that later and make a decision in the meantime what I’m doing
is making sure I’ve got enough data to work with I can’t stress this enough for
landscape photography you have the opportunity where your subject is not
moving very fast you don’t need to grab a shot really quickly you can take your
time and think about it and what this is allowing me to do is to try all sorts of
different focal lengths and different slightly different compositions to see
which I prefer when I get it back onto my computer so make sure you’ve got
enough data on your card get the multiple exposures bracket if you need
to meter for the foreground meter for the sky do all of those things so that
you can throw away 50 shots to get that one shot that really works for you I think the lesson I’m learning today is
all about observation I’m having to work much harder to find something that’s
going to create the interest that makes a good image now usually when I’m out
and about in my epic locations it’s much easier to simply point your camera or
whatever’s giving you the wow factor if I’m happy with any of the images that I
get today I think they’ll probably mean more to me than an easy win where I
simply point my camera at a golden sunset in Snowdonia on the subject of being observant not
that long ago I was walking with a fellow vlogger chap by the name of Paul
Compton you may have heard of him he’s an extremely good photographer by the
way don’t be fooled by his exuberant vlogging style we were on our way to see
an evening with Tom Heaton and I was looking at our surroundings as we were
chatting and thinking oh this might make a good composition that would be an
interesting subject and that exact moment Paul said do you know what
whenever I’m out and about walking I’m always looking at stuff of it as if
it’s a potential image and I knew exactly what he meant you kind of get
into that mindset and coming to a place like this on a day like this and having
to really work at it kind of sharpens your skills so that the next time you’re
out and you’ve got a great subject and great light you’re equipped to really
make the most of it for this final image I’m shooting across this little Inlet
and it’s quite shallow so by using a polarizer I can see all the crap on the
bottom and it looks fabulous it’s all dead stuff on a sort of sandy bottom and
then behind it I’ve got a really nice bed of bullrushes what I’ve done with
this one is I’ve put my Tokina wide angle lens on so I’m shooting ultra wide
about 11 millimeters and it’s a perfect composition for that sort of wide angle
one of the problems that I see with a lot of wide-angle shots are that you get
really interesting foreground but if you’ve got a subject in the background
it gets completely lost some images that come to mind are things like bamburgh
castle for example there’s some fabulous rocks and photographers are really keen
to feature those rocks but then the castle ends up as a teeny
tiny little aspect right in the far distance for me I tend to try and avoid
using an ultra wide-angle lens unless the entire image is what I’m
trying to get into it so with this one I think the sort of composition that I’ve
come up with hopefully will work quite well as far as my settings are concerned
well again as I said earlier I’m doing all sorts of different exposures to see
what I come up with so you’ll find to help what settings I
settled on when I show you the image shortly well I hope you’ve enjoyed this
one not my usual sort of thing I’m usually about the epoch locations more
about where to shoot than how to shoot I don’t normally get quite this
philosophical but I thought I should come clean but I don’t always get up
into the mountains or down onto the coast and I hope it’s given you some
food for thought but you can get out and you can find some interesting images
wherever you happen to live and when you do get the opportunity to travel to the
more interesting locations that you’ll then be better equipped to make the most
of them so get out there and take some pictures so with that I’ll say thank you
ever so much for watching I really appreciate your comments and your
encouragement and support oh by the way if you haven’t done it yet why not
subscribe now and join me next time

22 Replies to “Landscape Photography Making the Most of Local Landscapes (Ep #058)

  1. Interesting video David, I’m a real believer in local places to shoot. Well done with this tough to make video 👍 good fun.

  2. Well done David another great vlog, and yes still editing mine love the last image so simple very standout great colours for something so simple,

  3. Fascinating video mate, and a really good message to us all. You’re so right about using ‘everyday’ locations to sharpen your skills and I also totally agree with your comments about us photographers continually looking for compositions everywhere we go 👍

  4. Very good video. I wish more photographers on youtube, other than street photographers, would do this sort of thing. Watching the "top" photographers visit Arches National Park, for example, and watch as they leave the site without a single image because of "poor light" is very disheartening.

  5. inspire me a lot this video. I hope the best for tomorrow and the day after to make a video finally after a while back to my channel upload more videos. Thanks for sharing

  6. I’ve just finished editing a video where I shoot very local and to be honest………I’m really pleased with it.

    Great video and great message Dave 👍

  7. Great advice from a wise man. Too often we restrict ourselves. Shooting in not so idyllic locations can often make us work harder which over time improves our composition skills. So true about the use of a wide angle lens and to be honest I’m struggling with it lately, opting for my telephoto lens. That doesn’t mean there is opportunities for great wide angle lens but the choice of foreground interest is so important. Good work David. 👍👍

  8. You could be an excellent teacher David, the way you explain and tell stories are very entertaining and interesting. Thank you for this little time you share with us.

  9. Your so lucky to have great landscape and seascape on your doorstep. I cant think of a better way than show casing your local area. Some of the shots in this video are amazing and would be happy to have in my portfolio.

  10. Wow what a shock just happy watching your video thinking what a good idea even if we don’t have a big lake in our back yard haha. Then you mentioned my name thank you for the great words. I am going to do the vlog we talked about that you touched on in this one. Have to say you got three nice little images there. Well done sir

  11. I will echo what others have already noted—this is excellent advice and well presented as always. I would argue that there is still one key element in making a good photo: talent. You have plenty of it! I agree about Paul Compton. Excellent photographer. Thanks David. Cheers, Jeff

  12. Thank you so much for a bit of "real world" photograpy. And for your comment about disliking "rivers of milk" which is something that drives me crazy!
    You have given me much food for thought when out in my own, not particularly spectacular, locality.

  13. Food for thought, David. I suppose a corollary would be to look at your local patch as a photographer rather than as a local. Some great images of the sunsets and the lake. Thanks for all the effort.

  14. Why you don't have more subscribers beats me. You offer sound, down to earth and valid information coupled with some great images. I have visited Anglesey on quite a few occasions and have drawn inspiration from your approach. Maybe next time I come up we could meet up for a combined shoot! 🙂

  15. Very wise advice my friend to shoot in close by locations, almost all my rewarded or published photographs (published in more than 50 countries!!!) I took in 5 miles distance from my house, many photographers pay attentions to iconic locations and they don't realize they became only collectors of billions the same photographs , mostly very average results and the reason is they have to deal with whatever light conditions is in present for their short period of time,,,,,,,,, informative and inspirational , thank you, cheers from Colorado, VDN!

  16. what an insightful little video! stellar advice here!
    thanks for sharing this great content with us and i really really enjoyed watching this!

  17. Thanks David for sharing this video. Very good advice. Don’t have many “Epic” locations close to where I live but always enjoy just getting out for a couple of hours on Saturday mornings. I need to be reminded to take my time and take many pictures and try for one good one. Have a great day.

  18. You've given me an idea for the weekend Mr. G especially with the snow we've had in and around pen y fan in South Wales

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