Generally, photographers think of light as the thing that illuminates the subject being photographed. There are times, however, when the light itself can be the subject—or at least an important element of the overall composition. There are several general circumstances when you should consider photographing light as your subject. Sunlight passes through a layer of
In my over ten years as a professional landscape photographer, I’ve learned that artistic composition—the positioning of visual elements within the picture frame—is vitally important to taking successful photos. A critical component of mastering composition is learning how to recognize and creatively use abstract shapes. When assessing potential landscape subjects, I always keep an eye out for objects that form a triangle shape, as I’ve found that you can make powerful compositions by using triangles in landscape photography.
I’ve been a professional landscape, nature, and travel photographer for over ten years, and I often get asked the question: what are the best times of day for taking outdoor photographs? The answer, of course, depends in large part on what you are photographing. Outdoor photographers like myself spend weeks in the field hoping for incredible displays of natural light to fully bring their subjects to life. Understanding light, how it changes during the day, and how you can best use the light to your advantage are all critical aspects of successful outdoor photography.
I believe that the three biggest concepts in photography are gear, composition, and post-processing. The smallest of those three is gear, the second smallest is post-processing, and the one that is most essential is composition. If I had to attach percentages to them, it would go like this: Gear: 10% Composition: 65% Post Processing: 25%
Whenever you include the sky in your photos, chances are your compositions will look better if there are clouds—the right kind of clouds, that is. Photographing clouds is really important for landscape photography in particular, but I find the presence of clouds to be useful with other types of outdoor photography as well. Look for
Leading lines are vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines that attract a viewer’s attention and lead the eye to critical areas in your image. Leading lines are an effective tool for landscape photographers looking to create depth in their photos, and to draw the viewer deeper into the scene. For the image below, I used a
The Falkland Islands, located in the South Atlantic off the coast of South America, are world-renowned for their exceptional wildlife photography opportunities. Large, easily accessible colonies contain tens of thousands of some of the world’s most incredible birds, including five species of penguin, imperial cormorants, and black-browed albatross. Elephant seals, sea lions, and orcas are
There are few sights in nature that are as awe-inspiring as being high up a mountain, looking down upon a sea of clouds. Getting above the clouds doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it presents many unique photographic opportunities. I drove high up an alpine road to make this photo at sunrise, when golden
Whenever I’m teaching someone in a photography workshop or in a classroom setting, I always try to get them into a comfortable workflow they can follow for every photograph they edit. However, every photograph is different which forces the photographer to make decisions on some extra edits they should make. A workflow is important because
Early blooming flowers provide plenty of opportunities to take great pictures in spring. The variety of colors and species available make for endless creative possibilities. We are also more sensitive to colors after a less saturated winter. Of course, there is always an impulse to imitate pictures we have seen and liked, pictures that inspired