Paul Thomson

Using Conditions to Your Advantage

Paul Thomson
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Duration:   7  mins

As an outdoor photographer, you often run into challenging landscape settings: mountains, deserts, flatlands, and forest. Then, there is the fickle weather: sun, rain, storms, clouds, wind. This can all be discouraging. However, if you use these conditions to your advantage, you will capture some great images. In this premium video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s Paul Thomson takes you outside on a cold morning and into the sunny, snowy hills where he shows how to capture an image of a frosty tree on a distant ridge.

The sky is cloudless and bright, but Paul finds a silver birch tree with, as he says, lots of character. Rising above the ridge, the tree is hung with snow, its branches outlined in details. Given the pristine snow-covered foreground, Paul is careful not to leave footprints in the scene. He sets up his tripod and takes you to the back of his camera screen to illustrate his planned composition. Choosing a square crop, he divides his composition into thirds. He positions the main tree just left of center, with two smaller trees trailing off to the right. The ridge angles through the back of the trees.

Before he takes the picture, he sets his exposure at one stop under because of the white reflective snow. This approach works to avoid blowing out the highlights. As a tip, he suggests keeping an eye on your histogram to achieve balance, and to also set your levels. After capturing any image, Paul always analyzes the photo on the camera screen and double checks the histogram for any exposure extremes.

To improve your outdoor photography and challenge your creativity in any conditions, try to use the conditions to enhance your images. Whether in difficult weather or on tricky landscape, you are only limited by your imagination. In this premium video, Outdoor Photography Guide’s pro photographer Paul Thomson shows you how to come up with unique images no matter what you face outdoors.

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