Monday, October 19, 2015

landscape photography- a few tips

Today my latest online class Lovely Landscapes goes live and while I can't give share the entire class, I thought it would be fun to share a few tips from my lesson on landscape photography.

I've always loved photography and for many years I simply used it as a way to capture inspiration. But over time I developed a deep passion for taking pictures. These days I consider my camera just as important as my paint brushes and drawing pens. Taking photos is another way that I am able to capture beauty, be creative and express myself. Since my life is very connected to the outdoors and nature, I have naturally been drawn to landscape photography. Out of all the photos I take, my favorite subject matter hands down is a landscape. 

USE WHAT YOU HAVE: In my opinion, you don't need anything special to capture a great landscape photo. While I use all kinds of different camera gear, I believe you can take amazing photos with the things you already have- for most people this is a phone. I use my iphone over half the time (usually because it is all I have in the moment) and the rest of the time I carry all my gear with me. 

iphone 4s, Canon Rebel, Canon 7D, Canon Power Shot

TIP: I always have some kind of a tripod on me. Much of the time I am alone when I take photos and I love incorporating myself into landscape photos. In order to do this I use a tripod to set up my camera for a timer photo. The Gorilla Pod is one of my favorite tripods to use because you can wrap it around branches and trees. It is heavy duty and is small enough to fit into my backpack or purse.

You can have all the fancy camera gear but this won't make you a good photographer. I think that good photos come from using your lens (any lens) to capture things that capture your heart. Good photos come from opening your eyes to the world around you and things that bring you joy. Whether I am running errands, walking on the beach, working in the yard or creating in my studio, I am always paying attention to my environment and surroundings for possible photo opportunities. Everywhere I go, even the boring and mundane places, I try to keep my eyes open to unique details and moments that create a really dynamic photograph.

This is something that has completely changed my creative life and has allowed me to capture some amazing landscape photos. I make it a point to plan one or two outings (only dedicated to photography) each week. Sometimes they are big destination places within a 10-15 mile radius. Sometimes they are small places, like the back yard or neighborhood. Regardless of where I go...going somewhere with the intention to only hunt for photo opportunities has made me a better and more productive photographer.

TIP: If you have a busy schedule try starting small with taking one photo a day. Identify one thing that really catches your eye and speaks to you. Try to take one creative photo a day for 30 days. I promise at the end of those 30 days you will begin to feel more comfortable with being aware or your surrounding and be on your way to taking more dynamic photos.

Whenever I am taking pictures, I always start by finding my light. For me, this means identifying where my light is coming from, what the light is doing around me, where I could position myself to take a photo and how I can utilize the light. I have been going through this process for so long that is has become second nature for me. Regardless of what I am doing (even if I am not taking photos) I am in the habit of finding my light.

TIP: Take some time to go hunting for light! You don't even need a camera, just the awareness and inspiration to notice the light around you. Spend your day going about your normal routine but try to pay attention to light and the relationship it has in your day. 

When I am taking photos, especially more intuitive photos, I do A LOT of moving and walking around. My family knows that I will hike to the top of a mountain, wade into the water or lay on the ground to try and get a really great landscape photo!

TIP: Don't be afraid to interact with the landscape! Climb a tree, hike up a hill or lay on the ground. Finding unique ways to engage with the setting has the ability to create a really interesting story.  

I love landscape photography but I REALLY LOVE landscape photography that includes figures. In my opinion, there is something really powerful that happens when you put yourself (or someone else) into a landscape. A figure placed in a landscape can create a narrative and can challenge the viewer to use their imagination. A figure also has the ability to convey a sense of depth and scale.

TIP: Most of the time my landscape photography process is really spontaneous but sometimes I like to plan or give thought to how I want things to look, especially if I want to tell a story or try create a whimsical photo. It is fun to wear or bring clothing that will will pop against the landscape or even compliment the landscape. You can get really creative and plan out dramatic clothing to create a really an interesting narrative.

I hope I have sparked a little inspiration to get out and take some landscape photos!


Creative Khadija said...

Great tips and beautiful article Alisa! Thanks for sharing with us :)

Purvi Gadewar said...

Thanks for the great tips...very helpful...
The first photo is breathtaking!

Pink Scarf Studio's said...

Thank you for sharing

Jennifer Reardon said...

I took your Snapshot Delight class and it completely changed how I look at the world around me. I'm always thinking "would that make a great picture"? Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Love this... you are the best!! :)

Linda said...

Great tips! Love your photos with you in the red dress.

Yana Ch. said...

I love your photos!!

Laura said...

Amazing pics!! Lovely!!

studioGypsy said...

gorgeousness!! thanks always for the inspiration and tips! i would totally love to paint the pic of your landscape and red dress... so dreamy! xo

studioGypsy said...

gorgeousness!! thanks always for the inspiration and tips! i would totally love to paint the pic of your landscape and red dress... so dreamy! xo

Julia said...

You are exciting!


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