Summer Landscape tipsSummer photography tips

Recently I was asked to take part in an interview on CTV News to talk about landscape photography. I thought I'd share some of those tips here.  With the longer days and more time to play, the summer is a perfect time to try new techniques, or visit new locations.  Consider:


Lighting – ideal times of day are early morning & late afternoon until after sunset. Use the ‘magic hour” – a half hour or so both before & after sunset. The light changes continuously and produces astonishing effects, especially when you are around water.  Don’t head in right after sunset – often as it grows darker, the sky becomes very dramatic.

Weather – watch for dramatic skies, storm clouds, rain streaks, or deep blue clear skies.  I am often outside in inclement weather - the conditions can be challenging, but are often worth it.  Just dress for the weather - good rain gear for yourself, and either a rainsleeve for your camera, or my personal favourite - a kitchen sized garbage bag with a hole for the end of the lens to poke out - will keep you and your camera dry.

Landscape compositions – look at everything in the viewfinder and change your position if there are unwanted elements in the photo. Pay attention to the foreground in your photo, use various lens settings to alter the perspective, for example a wide-angle lens will distort the vertical lines and increase the distance between near & far objects. A fisheye lens will curve the horizon dramatically. A telephoto lens will shorten the distance, making everything seem much closer. Use a telephoto to find ‘landscapes within landscapes” – small details that we tend to miss when looking at the entire scene. Look up at trees and the sky, and down at objects at ground level. Vary your shooting position, get down low, or take photos from a high vantage point.

Try abstract landscapes – look for textures or shadows in the landscape and isolate them from the main scene. Photograph sunlight patterns on water, or the edge of a wave  on the sand. Use long shutter speeds to blur moving water – this will make it look soft or misty. Or try panning or zooming the camera while using a slow shutter speed – this will introduce a blurred, streaked pattern – this works well for subjects with strong colours.




Posted on July 15 2014 top

Conestoga College - Fall registration now open

Once again this fall, I will be teaching both the Fundamentals of Photography and Advanced Photography at Conestoga College in Kitchener, ON.  These two courses are the first in Commercial Photography Program offered at the Doon Campus.  Upon completion of this two-year part time program, students will be accredited in contemporary photography practices and will graduate with an Ontario College Certificate.  The College website has more information, and is open for registration for fall programs.

Posted on July 15 2014 top