John Potter showed us some of his recent landscape images. He also gave plenty of tips for improving our landscape and architectural photography, as well as general workflow.
Here are a couple of John’s tips. Shooting any scene in a number of different formats (for example, long/short exposures, long/short focal lengths, portrait/landscape compositions) can help maximise earning potential from stock photographs. Get to know your landscape locations in good light first and then re-visit at a better time of day to photograph them. Take advantage of seasonal variation in scenes by returning to landscape locations at different times of the year, and don’t underestimate the benefits of working in your own patch. John prints photographs of favourite scenes on transparencies and carries these with him to remind him of their composition.
John recommends developing a consistent workflow or routine when photographing landscapes. He suggested the following workflow:
- Focus. Use the Live View to set focus manually. Use the grid in your camera’s Live View to position strong focal points near thirds in the frame.
- Exposure. Position the metering rectangle in Live view to use it as a spot meter.
- Bracket. Take a range of exposures to record detail in shadows and highlights.
John also explained briefly some of the techniques that he uses in his architectural work. He usually uses a wide angle lens at waist level, and recommends keeping the verticals vertical (although it can sometimes be tricky). He explained the effects of balancing the ambient light outside with the available interior lighting, and the usefulness of a white balance target.
After the break John spent some time showing us examples of how he processes his landscape images in Photoshop; in particular, he demonstrated a number of different methods for blending images and lightening or darkening the sky in landscape photographs.