Weather and season
changeable or stormy weather gives some of the best chances of a good
and the warm low light of dawn and dusk the best time of day. In fact
Freeman Patterson says that "edges" often give the best photographs,
of the land, the weather or the day. All seasons can give good
but high summer is the least promising. For trees and leaves the fresh
greens of spring before the leaves darken and the spectacular colours
autumn are often best. Mountain environments often look better once the
bracken has changed to red and grass to yellow.
Clarity will be best after rain or when airflows bring cold dry
light is everything !
Wide angle lens
allows two things, a wide view to include a strong foreground and deep
depth of field to enable foreground and background to be in focus.
To obtain maximum depth of field use the smallest aperture possible.
setting the infinity marking on the focus ring to the depth of field
for the aperture being used, the maximum depth of field that includes
will be obtained, the hyperfocal point).
the function of a long lens is not only to bring things closer but
to eliminate depth and compress distant objects into a closer
with foreground objects.
Taken to extremes
this can result in an almost abstract image .Its
shallow depth of field can be used to isolate one object in a complex
of figures in a landscape is a personal thing, I rarely include them
they can be used as a focal point or to emphasis the scale of a
and a sense of isolation or
to encourage an emotional response in the viewer.
looking for repetitions that can be emphasised in an image, often with
a telephoto lens.
helpful if a path or ridge can be found to lead the eye into the centre
of the picture.
Sky and horizon
position for the horizon is probably a third way down the picture. I
urge you to abandon this approach and include sky based upon its
blue (or even worse) grey skies being excluded.
the rule of thirds has its place in positioning objects within the
although always be ready to abandon it.
must become an extension of your body, with its controls manipulated
and intuitively. Your consciousness becomes its consciousness. The art
lies in communicating your soul though the fall of light in a
instant of time, look for those moments at the edges, of day and night,
land and sea, forest and plain, city and country, life and death. Look
for the deep song of the visual world. For the duende.
Search also in the details, in the detritus of a tideline, in the
of a snowflake and in the emptiness where less is more and perfection
obtained when nothing else can be removed.
the lens cap!
are not very important. Any 35mm or better format that allows manual
of exposure and focus is suitable. For mountain photography light
ruggedness and minimum reliance on battery power are further
or independent light meter is essential and a tripod is useful,
when taking long exposures to emphasise movement.
features lens quality is of course important : I used to carry 17mm,
24-50mm zoom and
a 70-200mm zoom. Polorising
filters and lens hoods. I used to use 50 ASA Fujichrome film and scan
slides with a Nikon Coolscan V. I now use a 15 megapixel digital (APS).
lens setup is 12-24, 24-70, 70-300 (plus 170-500 if wildlife potential)
and 70mm macro
to get about the same effects from a partial frame body as the film
(The 12-24 cannot accept a polariser). It is however much bulkier than
the film setup, although part of that is not due to digital issues.
forget Amazon UK when looking for photographic equpment (for SLR
specify mount in search)
12-24 wide angle (Nikon fit), an ideal zoom range for digital
photography books & photographic software