Landscape photography is a classic subject, tried and mastered by many many photographers over the last century or so. Ansel Adams is probably the most respected and well known name as far as landscape photography goes, being called the father of landscape photography ever so often.
His zone system was considered as a basic method to shoot and to evaluate a photograph, especially a landscape image. That said and done, modern techniques have made landscape photography better than ever before.
Techniques such as high dynamic range and long exposures at minute apertures have accentuated and improved on an already impressive foundation laid by iconic photographers such as Ansel Adams. Here, we have put together an analysis of comparatively modern landscape images.
If you noticed, this image is as striking as it is, probably only because of that little bit of lightning from an overcast sky. In contrast, the well lit ground below creates as unusual and unrealistically bright foreground, keeping the overcast sky in mind. We believe it is this unrealistic contrast that makes this image strong and appealing. Photographers who shoot landscape images usually take a lot of time planning their shots, sometimes even entire days.
Again, contrasting elements is the key to this beautiful landscape image. Notice the contrast not just in terms of light and shade, but also the natural elements of land, sky and sea. It is also the pockets of rays of light from amongst dark clouds that lends an additional touch of contrast to this wonderful landscape image. One needs to appreciate the accurate exposure reading that the photographer has masterfully planned.
Landscape photographers often use wide angle lenses to create their works of art, and this image is a fine example. The bluish tint on the entire composition somehow connects the different elements within the frame. If you study the image you will find only two basic colors, blue and pinkish white that dominate the photograph and this is the most striking aspect of this winning image.
So who says landscape images need to be contrasty, and showcase all the zones? This breathtaking high key image is exceptional mainly because of the quality and color of the light. No doubt the composition is a class apart as well, as is the technical execution of the shutter speed and aperture used.
India is probably the most photographed of all countries, and why not? The sheer diversity of the place makes it a favorite shooting destination for photographers from all over the world. We love this image simply because of the striking beauty of the place, well composed by the photographer of course.
Landscape photographers have the obvious luxury of taking their time to compose and execute a shot, unlike say photojournalists who have to think on their feet. This image demonstrates one of the most tried and tested seascape methods – slow shutter speeds. The dream-like texture on the water and the foreground elements work together to make this a very impressive landscape image.
Foreground interest is a key element in any image, and even more so in a landscape image. Here we see an image which could have been just an average photograph if not for the accentuated foreground elements. The photographer has done well to use a wide lens to exaggerate the foreground bushes.
What is it about boats that make them such a defining element in a landscape image? Whatever that quality is, it has been used to the fullest in this image. The photographer has technically mastered this image using a slow shutter speed, a small aperture and placing the boat at a power point (keeping the rule of thirds in mind).
We often see landscape images made using extremely slow shutter speeds to give water that silky texture. It is refreshing to see this image, where the photographer has resisted the temptation to do so, and frozen the motion of the waves with an extremely fast shutter speed! This is not to say the image would not have been a great one, had the photographer used a slow shutter speed; it would simply have been another photograph altogether!
Landscape images and tonal ranges have been associated since the introduction of the zone system by Ansel Adams, and even before. Notice the extreme tones from black to almost white in this stunning landscape image.
There is something about extremely small apertures that simply defines quality, and we see this used to good effect in this landscape image. The symmetry of the entire scenario is masterfully tweaked with the rock as a foreground element, and also by refraining to split the composition into two, using the horizon as a dividing line. All in all, this image is a striking image thanks to the composition.
Deserts, sand dunes and a twilit sky! What more could you say about this wonderful image that impresses with the three compositional elements of texture, form and light? Come to think of it, this image would still have been impressive in black and white as well, thanks to its tonal range alone.