The Time it Takes

What separates the best landscape photographers from the rest of us? And I definitely consider myself one of “the rest of us.”

A major part of the answer, I think, is that the best photographers simply work harder. They’re willing put in the time it takes to get a memorable photograph.

Five Photo Tips for the Road or at Home

Over the last 15 years, I have worked as a photographer on assignment in over 60 countries, ranging from drug stories in the Horn of Africa to climbing expeditions in the Himalayas. My clients have mostly been magazines, ranging from all the National Geographic publications, to Esquire, Outside, Men's Journal, Stern, GEO and many others, plus a host of commercial clients. Seeing the world with a camera—and sometimes a pen—as a passport to open concealed doors and even hidden worlds can be a magical—often wild—ride. 

While the world of assignment photography has changed in the last decade, pushing photographers like me to acquire new tools like video and audio, many of the tricks for making memorable images haven't changed. 

Here are five simple tricks I recommend to students when teaching workshops, whether in Africa or in my backyard of Colorado.

Editor's Note: This is a guest blogpost from Pete McBride.

Creating Visual Depth

Creating visual depth isn’t something that comes to mind right away when photographing. We’re usually concentrating on getting a proper exposure and getting our subject in focus. Even when we’re composing, we’re often thinking about ‘rules of thirds’ or some other compositional idea. Yet, visual depth is what is often lacking in a photograph—especially a scenic or landscape image. If you want your pictures to have more impact, start paying attention to how you can suggest depth in your photo.  Remember that you are taking a three-dimensional world, and distilling it into two dimensions in the final image, and you don’t want that image to appear flat. There are several things you can do to put the suggestion of depth into your images.

Editor's Note: This is a guest blogpost from Brenda Tharp

Finding the Right Light for Landscape Photographs

Good landscape photographs usually have an interesting subject, a good composition and good light. Of those three ingredients, the right light may be the most elusive.

How do we find it? It requires thinking, persistence, and a willingness to get up early and stay out late.

Enhancing the Illusion of Depth

Photographs have no depth. They're two-dimensional facsimiles of a three-dimensional world.

But photographers, like magicians, deal in illusion. If we understand what creates the illusion of depth in a photograph and how to enhance that illusion, we can make our images more believable.

Using Telephoto Lenses for Landscapes

When we think of landscape photography, many of us tend to think of our wide-angle lenses. There are situations, though, in which a telephoto lens is a better choice—or the only choice.

Using Contrast Masks

A contrast mask is one of the most useful processing techniques I know of. Many people seem unaware of the technique. It's very easy to learn and to apply.

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