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September 03, 2011


I keep trying. Really, really hard. It does. not. work. I want to be good at landscapes. I really do. I like landscape photos. I don't LOVE them but I do wish I could get a good shot every now& then. Tonight we had a pretty beautiful sunset. I have a pretty beautiful backyard and the sun sets over the pond I went to try to capture this. I failed. I failed miserably, actually. I have photos to show you guys of how bad they are ..I think I should probably stick to people and animals. And whatever can fit in the light box. I love the light box.

So back to things I can't do.. landscape photos. I didn't even bother to edit or watermark these. You wanna steal some seriously lackluster shots of a sunset? Feel free. Does anyone have tips or any websites to learn from? If the answer is I need a special lens -I'm out. I do not like landscapes enough to want to fork out some serious cash for a new lens ..although it would be good to know if a special lens was needed so that I stop trying. Actually, that would be fabulous. Just lie and tell me I need a new lens so I don't feel like such a failure.

Yeah. It's not even 'alright'. It's barely decent. I wonder if I should have shot with my tripod? I'm not sure ..I know I definitely forgot to change the aperture from 4 ..oopsy. Thankfully, the sun sets& rises every day so I have another 2 chances tomorrow. At which point I will try again, only more prepped than ever for my looming failure. Oh my. Do you shoot landscapes? Do you find any joy in it? Were you good from the start? I'm finding the more I try& the less I succeed that it's becoming like having my teeth pulled. Which isn't fun. So now I'm off to watch Hoarders because hey. I can't take a landscape shot but at least my house isn't being condemned either. You can't have everything, eh?


Sarah Y. said...

Here are my random not-technical tips on shooting landscapehs. It's sounds like eskapey! Okay right.

My mom always told me. "Use the rule of thirds!" Which I started to do even before I really understood what that meant. I'm sure I could Google it to find it's correct use and meaning, but to me it means "99% of the time, do no ever never ever have the photo be exactly 50% land/water and 50% sky." Make it 2/3rds sky or 2/3rds land. NOT HALF AND HALF. Anyone can do half and half. It's more visually appealing in most cases. Of course there are exceptions. With digital photography, we have SO much more experimentation possible without having to buy film and develop it and all that. What I used to do in the beginning was take on half and half shot, one with more sky and then one with more land. When I looked at it on the computer I was able to see and choose which worked best and was pleasing to the eye.

In general, put the aperture at the highest it will go. Because you want the whole landscape to be clear in focus. Pretty much that defines landscape to me. But it seems like you know that already which is good because I don't remember what aperture actually means.

Ummm.... Oh okay. Now that I strive for quality instead of quantity, I only take landscape photos if there's a good point of focus. Otherwise I switch to auto and take tourist shots just for the memories and to say I had been there. So like in your shot there's a cool stack of three dark coud in the middle. I would have gone with a portrait (portrait meaning vertical, up down, whatever) shot (because my eye finds that nicer most of the time) with that in the center or even slightly off center. (That's another thing, composition! I take a photo of the "focus" with it in the center then off to one side then in a corner and see which one is better. Composition can make or break a photo.) Anyways, then I'd use the rule of thirds.

I don't know what the term is, but I would let just a wee bit more light into the camera. Again, being of this digital age, I often take multipules of the same shot only changing how much light I'm letting in. Yes, you can edit much of this on the computer, but I try to get my photos as close to perfect as possible.

Wow, sorry for the ramble. I was on a writing streak. xP Hopefully you won't feel as frustrated next time you take landscape photos!

Danelle said...

I think good landscapes are the hardest kind of photo to shoot. So don't give up if you want to be really good at it. I still struggle with it, so I definitely think it takes patience and practice. Good luck!

Joyful Sparrow said...

I'm no professional photographer, so I have no helpful advice -aside from "Don't give up!"- But I wish you the best of luck, and I'm excited to see you get better and better as you practice.

Anonymous said...

I think you're doing great. Keep up the good work

Sylvanfire said...

I think you are doing great. As the first person commented you need more light. If you have a Manual/Digital (as in Digital SLR that you can switch to manual) I would try and allow more light into the picture. Either use a longer shutter speed or larger aperture. If your camera measures the light (my new digital will tell me what F stop and thing it thinks I should use) then measure the light off the ground, not with the sky in the picture, then make sure you sent the camera to those settings (if you use Automatic it will change them to a different setting when you move the camera up, so you will need to manual enter these). Light is measured by the camera and light meters at 18%Grey... what this means is it looks at your image and assumes it's all grey, so you need more light in Snow and Sky images. If your camera has the +1,+2 feature at the top then I'd take a picture like normal (you can use the Automatic for this if you want) then take one at +1, +2 and -1... then you can see the differences in the light. What the + and - do is they allow more or less light into the image without you having to change all your settings...

I hope this helps.
Keep Creating

Yvonne said...

Thanks guys!

Sylvan- Yes, I have a dSLR. I shot this on manual and it sucked big time! I will, however, go out& try to get more practice.

Danielle -thanks for telling me that! Makes me feel a little better about my massive failure on this particular shot :)

Tim& JS- thanks very much!

Sarah- Keeping all this in mind :D

Belly B said...

HOW is that BARELY decent? It's GORGEOUS!!! Just keep taking photos, you clearly have the talent!
Thanks for leaving that lovely comment on my blog!

Belly B :)

Damon said...

great post

Yvonne said...

Belly B& Damon -thank you folks :) Made me smile and feel a little better about it!

Marlee said...

Oh I'm such a sucker for landscapes, especially at sunset/sunrise!

Hey I wanted to let you know I'm putting up a new page on my blog ( I thought you might be interested from your last comment.

Hope to hear from you soon (and fantastic pics btw)!