5 Ways to Simplify and Improve your Landscape Photography by Adam Karnacz

Improve your landscape photography by simplifying your images. 

When working with clients on a workshop, the single biggest thing people are looking to improve is their composition skills. Finding a good composition will often result with a photographer being told they have ‘the eye’. This is fine, but it also implies it is a god given talent that cannot be improved upon. I do not believe this is the case. Certainly some are more creative than others but there are still skills and knowledge that can be learned to improve photography composition.

Although it may play a part, simplifying an image is not just about removing items or objects from the picture. What we are really talking about is simplifying the story. For this we must first understand what the story actually is. What are you trying to convey to the viewer? What emotions are you trying to evoke? What is the story? Without this, an image will be a purely technical exercise and will be left lacking. The story can only come from you so there is no prescriptive method. However, when standing in front of a scene, think about how you are feeling, what does the landscape say to you? Is it a beautiful scene? If the answer is yes, then why? Being in touch with your own feelings is vital in making the work personal to you. Aim to tell the story of landscape from your own point of view.

The next stage is to consider the actual composition of the scene in front of us. Rules of composition work. They are often a good starting point once a subject has been established. Identifying a subject is not always easy, but look for the good light, good shapes and interesting features and things should become easier. Subjects can include anything from a rock in the foreground, a tree, a distant mountain or cliff, a sky full of colour or even the whole scene itself. An image can also include more than one subject if the story flows from one to another. Leading lines are a good narrative tool. They tell the viewer where to begin and guide them through the scene and story. The rule of thirds is also worth considering until you find something better and the rule is broken.

To simplify the image, focus down onto the story and use composition and technique to achieve it without distraction.

1. Long Exposure

Take the image above which looks out from the Scottish mainland to the Isle of Skye. There are a number elements that make the image work. Firstly the leading lines of the jetty guide the viewer from the bottom of the image and out over the loch towards the distant mountain. The snow covered mountain is also framed by the two either side of it with more rock than snow showing.

I have then used long exposure to remove detail from the water and the clouds; this literally simplifies the image. The smooth water shows more reflection and also puts more emphasis on the jetty and the mountains and there is no distraction in the sky.

The jetty is in a small village called Glenelg in a remote area of the West Coast of Scotland. The people living there have to be resourceful and do things for themselves in order to get by. This creates a functional industrial feel to the village. The jetty, which is clearly old and not designed for recreation, hints toward this heritage. The jetty is also in a truly beautiful location and this juxtaposition is shown in the loch and distant mountains.

Further simplification can occur in post-production. The second image shows a test exposure that is an unedited standard exposure.

The conversion to black and white was planned at the time because the colour creates distraction and is not particularly appealing. However the soft morning light was beautiful and where it hits the metal of the jetty, creates some really interesting tones. Finally a blue toner has been added to enhance the overall metallic industrial feel of the photograph.

2. Negative Space

Another way to simplify an image is to draw attention to the subject by using negative space. The image above shows where this can work in a landscape image and produces what is often described as a fine art feel. The white areas of the sky and the bright surface of the sea serve to draw all the attention to the old groins. The image was shot on a bleak beach on the remote and neglected spot of Spurn Point in East England. It is actually a colour image but the natural lack of colour, and focus placed on the groins, support the bleakness and loneliness of the story.

3. Isolate the Subject

Isolating a subject in a photograph is a very common way to simplify a picture and enhance the story. It is the basis of the majority of portrait photography where all focus it put on the model by either blowing out the background with big apertures, or using plain backgrounds in a studio setting.

The same applies to landscape photography where an image can often be described as intimate or a ‘portrait of the landscape’. There are countless ways to achieve this including using a longer lens, capturing a tree in a foggy woodland or using an extreme wide angle lens very close to the subject.

The image above shows a tree growing out the side of a Welsh mountain. For a few moments the sun shone perfectly down a small gully in the mountain and lit up the tree in a very exciting moment. I used the light and natural contrast to isolate the tree from the background to emphasise the fleeting moment the image represented. The second image shows the exact same composition just a few moments later once the sun has passed. You can see how the tree blends back into the cliff face and there is no image at all.

4. Simplifying the Image VS Simplifying the story.

Removing features and items from an image does not necessarily mean we are simplifying the story. Take the two images above of a mountain in Glencoe on a truly stunning day of landscape photography — watch the video now — https://youtu.be/iXyUDwB9sMQ.

In the picture on the right I have removed the road in photoshop. There is a lot I prefer about the composition without the road but it has complicated the story. My location becomes less clear, it deceives the viewer and most importantly it has removed the sense of scale provided by the road in the absence of any other permanent object.

Another example is shown here. The picture on the left is full of detail and colour; there is lot going on in the summer scene consisting of a view dear to my heart. However the photograph works using a number of compositional elements. The heather bathing in the warm light immediately tells the viewer it is the height of summer, the winding curves of the path lead you round and up to Roseberry Topping, which along with the sun, is sitting on the cross sections of the rule of thirds. In the other image I have removed the heather. Very often less is more, but by removing the heather the story is now lost. The composition no longer works, particularly as the light hitting the hill to the right distracts the viewer from the main subject of Roseberry Topping.

The aim is to simplify the story, not just the elements in the photograph.

5. Cropping

 

‘Get it right in camera!!!’ It is a common phrase that I do not subscribe to when it comes to processing an image. However it is more applicable with composition. You simply cannot change perspective in post production. You can however crop. It is always better to plan a crop like a square or a panorama at the point of shooting but cropping can be used in post to remove distracting elements that you missed at the time of shooting. Whether you end up using that particular image or not, use the new found knowledge and hindsight as a reason to re-visit the scene and capture it again.

The images below are an example of where cropping can work. The picture on the left is the full un-cropped frame. It was an incredible evening for a number of reasons (watch the video here — https://youtu.be/6NqDSY2nVu0) but when the sky set on fire I was not totally focused on the photography.

The image on the left is not bad. It just has some distracting elements that do not assist the story. By cropping in, the leading lines of the cliffs and the road become more prominent improving the pathway through the image towards the sky of fire. The horizon now also sits on the rule of thirds which adds to the overall balance of the image. The crop has worked because all the right elements were captured in the original file.

Simplifying an image is just one way in which composition can be improved. Give it a try, work hard and your images will almost certainly begin to improve.

Build Confidence in your Camera Settings and Composition by Adam Karnacz

I meet up with Paul G Johnson on location in the Lake District and we discuss how worrying about the camera settings is holding back creativity. We also do some landscape photography in this epic location.

Check out Paul’s channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE97FSS3fIeu89P70bCk4HQ

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I wanted to talk about camera settings, photography composition and technique today in response to last weeks video where I compared doing a handheld panorama to one on the tripod. I got hammered in the comments because of the technique I employed, mostly because I had not considered the nodal point and parallax. One person even stated it was a great example of how not to do a panorama. I found this a touch frustrating because I think many people have this backwards…..also, did you see my final image? I think it is one of the best panoramas I have taken, it looks great, it has printed beautifully and I am proud of the work.

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Landscape Photography

Ultimately landscape photography is the the opposite to maths. In school we were always taught to show your working and points were still scored even if the answer was wrong. In photography as long as the viewer is not being deceived the final image is all that counts; how you got there does not really matter. When I take a photograph the final image is more than just what was visible to my eyes at the time. It includes my emotional perspective and I am trying to induce that same feeling in the viewer once I present it. I want to tell a story of that moment. A technically perfect image, that is devoid of this creative, emotional element, will almost certainly be an image I am not interested in.

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Photographers Lacking Confidence

Through my workshops I am often finding that photographers are seeking technical perfection way over discovering their own creativity and photographic personality. This is often is borne from worrying too much about the camera settings, with the assumption that we must all be technically perfect. It is nonsense. Great landscape images can be captured on a phone or any camera, whether they have filters attached or not. 

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Ullswater Sunset

Exposure Triangle

Developing a basic understanding of the exposure triangle and how each one affects the elements of a landscape photograph is an important step. It is also one that will not be achieved without hard work. However once the work has been put in, no longer will they be worrying about the camera setting and lacking confidence. The camera becomes an extension of the photographer; a tool to express their creativity and share the single moment they have witnessed with all the emotions attached.

Handheld vs Tripod Panoramas by Adam Karnacz

I wake up on the top of a mountain ready to capture the sunrise in this landscape photography vlog. We also compare two ways to capture your panoramic photographs, handheld or with a tripod.

Landscape Photography Workshops - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/workshops

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Wild camping and landscape photography are married and there is no better way to capture a sunrise than waking up on a mountain in the Lake District. The peace, harmony and wellbeing felt from an experience like that is second to none. Not to mention a brilliant opportunity to capture some stunning photographs.

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This includes some panoramic photography, or panorama photography. I have talked recently about doing handheld landscapes, particularly panoramas so I wanted to test out which was better; handheld or with a tripod. I took two series of images of the same scene and then combined them both into a panorama using Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom has a feature called boundary warp that pulls the edges of a panorama to fill in any blanks created whilst merging the individual images. It is very powerful and does a great job, especially with landscape images when there are not many straight lines.

In the video my handheld panorama is shot pretty irrationally, but with a combination of boundary warp and cropping, the final image looks virtually identical to the more ‘text book’ tripod shot.

Using a tripod is still the best way for overall quality. It is a faff though and more difficult to do, which includes have a very level tripod. Handheld panoramas are fast to shoot and the results are almost as good. The upside is that you will almost certainly create more images using the handheld method, where in the past you might not have bothered to get the tripod out.

Landscape Photography | Wild Camping in the Lake District by Adam Karnacz

I meet up with Gary Gough to climb to the top of a mountain and do some wild camping in this landscape photography vlog.

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Having a day out shooting landscape photography is good for the soul and almost always improves  your wellbeing, especially in the Lake District. Going out alone is great. More recently though I have found I can get a new sense of perspective when taking photographs with a friend. That’s exactly what Gary Gough and I did today. 

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The Lake District is an incredible place to take photographs. Sunsets are not always easy though because as the sun sets, the mountains cast very large shadows over the landscape and unless you’re up high, it’s going to be a struggle. Being up high at sunset though means you’re in for a dark and lonely walk down. Unless you wild camp that is. Wild camping is not strictly allowed in the Lake District but it’s a fairly common practice and will not upset anyone if you are respectful. Eg don’t light a fire, take all rubbish away, set up late and leave early etc. Obvious things. 

Once you are set though we are rewarded with the ability to capture a sunset, and the following sunrise with relative ease. If the weather is good, it will be something special when waking up to a mountain vista with no one else around. Magical.

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In this video Gary and I hiked to the to the top of Great End where we spent the night. The conditions were amazing and the view is undoubtedly one of the finest in the UK. Despite this the Photography conditions were challenging because a mist in the air was catching all the light and removing all the detail from the shadow areas. However once the sun started to dip behind the cloud I managed to get a few images.

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My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Landscape Photography | Being creative with camera settings by Adam Karnacz

Take your landscape photographs to another level by employing creative camera settings to match the vision of the stunning scene in front of you. I head to the Lake District in this landscape photography vlog. 

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One thing I often find when running workshops is people are looking to be more confident with their camera. This comes from from having total understanding of the exposure triangle and the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It’s an important step in any photographers journey but once mastered, the camera becomes an extension of your body and an intuitive tool to create your art.

Conquering the camera settings - https://youtu.be/0uhG0HvjXGw

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO can all be used creatively to make the image match the artistic vision in the mind.

In landscape photography standard settings are to have an aperture between f/8 and f/16. We generally look to maximise the sharpness of the lens and also have the whole scene in focus. ISO will almost always be 100 to keep noise as low as possible and then we adjust the shutter speed to get the exposure nicely balanced. However these settings can be adjusted away from this norm to unlock creativity.

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Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is when we extend the shutter speed to capture an illusion of movement in the image. Clouds become soft and streaky, water is smoothed out and light is captured at all points as it moves through the scene. The ethereal feel it can create is infectious and addictive. With the addition of ND filters the shutter speed can be extended to several minutes creating interesting and unique images.

Long Exposure tutorial - https://youtu.be/vKAu0IluyR4

ISO above 100

The reasons to increase ISO above 100 is the same with landscapes as it is with any other area of photography. It allow us to maintain or increase the shutter speed at a given aperture. We might want to do this for several reasons but one example is to allow us to shoot handheld landscapes. There is a lot to be said for taking handheld landscape even though a tripod is a staple of any landscape photographer. You catch more moments, photograph things you might not bother getting a tripod out for and it can create a really nice overall documentary of the day if the camera is always in hand.

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Another reason you might increase the ISO is reduce the amount of movement in the scene. IN the video I wanted movement in the water but not in the clouds. I knew a 2 second exposure was what I needed and an aperture of f16 was required for the depth of field. The addition of a 6 stop ND and ISO 500 achieved the exact shot I wanted. It can be used similarly to reduce the movement in grasses are shrubbery that is blowing around in the wind.

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Aperture

The main creative use of aperture is to control the depth of field. A nice shallow depth of field can take a portrait to the next level. It is not used very often in landscape photography although there is no reason why it should not be. With woodland photography it is often important to isolate a specific tree. Using a bigger aperture to blow out the background really helps to achieve this.

Aperture can also be used to help bump up the exposure time. If moving from f/8 to f/16 has little effect on the depth of field in your images it can be useful in reducing the light coming in meaning we can extend shutter speeds to increase exposure time. This is a good tactic when shooting the light trails from cars at night and means an ND filter is not required.

Overall it is about deciding first how you want the image to appear. This is often called visualisation and includes your feelings towards a scene as well as what is physically seen. It is then just a matter of using the camera settings to your benefit to make the image match your artistic vision.

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I took some really average pictures | Landscape Photography Vlog by Adam Karnacz

We all have bad days with landscape photography. Compositions aren’t right, the light doesn’t play ball and we make mistakes. I travel all the way to Wast Water in the Lake District to have a day just like this.

Landscape Photography is like golf. It is a detailed past time full of intricacy, fun, exercise and constant frustration. You do something that feels right but then the ball slices off a million miles to the right. You work hard and you get better and better but it never feels like you have mastered it. Frustration and annoyance come almost as often as total satisfaction. The thing is, we keep coming back for more.

At the start of this day I was cosy in my office and did not want to leave. The weather was poor, I was warm and the motivation to get outdoors to take some photographs was pretty low. Thankfully I managed to get myself out and drove the 3.5 hours to Wast Water in the Lake District. However, when I got there I was tired from the drive and the stresses of living with children who do not sleep. The weather was also very grey. The cold grey weather is seriously getting me down, especially as we now near May.

The day consisted of me struggling with composition, feeling disconnected from the images and the landscape and generally not performing to my usual standards. I think you can see this in the video. I still climbed up a mountain and the views were great. I got the usual boost to my wellbeing but when I got home I was bitterly disappointed with the two images I captured. It still produced an interesting video, giving some insight into when it goes wrong for a photographer. Landscape photography is a wave of ups and downs. I need to get up again asap. A period of nice sunny weather, with beautiful sunsets, will seriously help me.

How to Improve You Industrial Landscape Photography by Adam Karnacz

In this video I travel to the northern powerhouse of Teesside to explore some industrial landscapes using long exposure photography. 

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If you are anything like me then you will agree that variety it this spice of life. That is exactly how I feel about the subjects of my photography. Varying the type of subjects I shoot gives me an edge and keeps me motivated and creative. It is even true with the landscape photography genre too, so in the video I am going to show you how to photograph industrial landscapes and take them to the next level using long exposure.

The last video provides and in-depth introduction to long exposure photography. You can check that out here - https://youtu.be/vKAu0IluyR4

I hope the video inspires you to get out and shoot some industrial landscapes of your won.

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Raise your Landscape Photography Game Using Long Exposure by Adam Karnacz

Discover new creative tools by using long exposure to take you images to the next level. We travel to Whitby in this landscape photography tutorial and vlog.

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In this landscape photography tutorial I travel to Whitby in North Yorkshire to capture and share how I create my long exposure images. 

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If you have never seen long exposure photography before you are in for a treat and capturing these images brings new challenges and creative possibilities. Essentially what is happening is by increasing the exposure time we introduce movement into our image that would normally be frozen and it gives the picture added interest and a look that would not be seen by your own eyes.

This video focuses on capturing long exposure landscapes during the day but the principles are the same no matter how or when you use it..

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You will already understand the exposure triangle so when increasing exposure time we need to balance things by reducing ISO or making our aperture smaller to prevent the image being over exposed. However, in daylight conditions, even with ISO at 100 and an aperture at f/16, your shot could still be over exposed before even one second has passed. To achieve the desired effect we want our exposure to be at least 30 seconds. The only way to do this is to use ND filters. These are filters added to the front of your lens that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens without severely affecting the colour. ND filters are rated by how many stops of light they reduce the exposure by. For example if you attach a 2 stop filter to your lens you will need to increase exposure in your camera by the same 2 stops to obtain a proper exposure.

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density filters like the Lee Big Stopper reduce the amount of light entering the lens. In the tutorial we are using a 6 stop filter, a 10 stop filter and a Formatt Hitech 82mm 16 stop ND filter which allows us to get some extremely long exposures of several minutes, even in bright daylight conditions.

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Why do Long Exposure Phototgraphy?

Exposures of this length have a number of uses. It will reduce the roughest waters to a smooth tranquil scene and add lots of movement to even the slowest moving clouds. In city scenes it can also be used to remove people from your images. At night it can be used for star trail shots and create interesting and varied light painting images. 

Shutter Release Cable

In addition to the ND filter you will also need a shutter release cable, unless you have a built in timer, allowing you to lock the shutter open when using the bulb mode. Keeping your camera very still is also essential so a good sturdy tripod is handy. If you don't have a tripod you could also place your camera down on a wall or some raised ground. A bean bag can be used to allow a small amount of adjustment or to keep things level on an uneven surface. When using a DSLR it is worth covering your viewfinder with some gaff tape or a viewfinder cap because light can creep in and ruin your image.

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Once you are armed with this knowledge and the few tools you need; get out and take some pictures. It is an amazing motivation to go and see the world and can really pull you out of the landscape photography dip.

Glencoe by Adam Karnacz

Glencoe is a destination high up on the list of anyone doing landscape photography in the UK. In my latest Scotland video I head out in some truly amazing snowy conditions in one of my most epic vlogs yet.

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This is the second part of my annual landscape photography trip to Scotland for 2018. After struggling to bring the huge scenes of the Cairngorms down into a good composition we headed over to Glencoe. We had heard there had been heavy snow showers overnight but the weather forecast looked perfect for the day ahead. We started perfectly when we stopped of at the stunning Ruthven Barracks to capture a classic Scottish scene.

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People often say to me, when I capture a great shot, that I was lucky with the weather. I understand this but there is more to it. I believe you make your own luck and that is certainly what Lyle and I did on this day. The roads were horrendous getting to Glencoe and it was an extremely difficult drive that was long and stressful.

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On arrival hundreds of photographers were already at the location where we had planned to park. It was demoralising and there was no where to park the car. This was a blessing in disguise and forced us to rethink and find another spot. We found a tiny space in a lay-by and decided to trek up the side of the opposite mountain through incredibly deep snow. It was tough going through the two feet of snow but we were helped by the tracks already forged by the local deer. The effort all became worth it at the end of the day. We found ourselves in a spot that no other photographers had visited that day and it was a very special moment. Perfect for landscape photography. It was hard work at the time, but the memories I now own I will cherish forever.

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Landscape and Wildlife Photography in the Cairngorms by Adam Karnacz

We travel to the Cairngorms in Scotland for an adventure in some stunning wintery snow conditions to capture some wildlife and landscape photography.

See how a real wildlife photographer does things - https://www.instagram.com/lyle_mccalmont/

Last week I missed uploading a video for the first time in two and half years and it’s good to be back. I head up to Scotland to visit the Cairngorms with my very good friend Lyle McCalmont, to shoot some landscape photography and wildlife photography. Lyle is an expert wildlife photographer and is my sole inspiration to go out and capture our animal friends. In this video he takes me deep into the Cairngorm woods to shoot the Crested Tit, known locally as the ‘Crestie’. A small and interesting bird that moves incredibly quickly and is pretty shy compared to the other locals.

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Best laid plans

The day did not go exactly according to plan. Every time I travel to Scotland I am overwhelmed by the scale of the place. I am often associated with the Lake District, it is truly an incredible place and dear to my heart but Scotland takes things to a whole other level. The mountains are taller and the lochs are bigger than the lakes, but the highlands are so very huge and isolated in a way that will humble any person. The scale of the place is so very impressive but it makes it difficult to capture your best landscape photography. When you do not know a place, photographing it is a real challenge. Travelling to a new location and trying to find a good composition can be frustrating when you know something amazing could be round the next corner but you just can’t see it. I did my best to overcome this and find some nice shots. I succeeded in one sense but failed in another when I could not make a picture out of the incredible trees that were on offer. It was very good fun capturing some wildlife photography though. I am not always a big fan but I do enjoy the challenge of a bit of bird capture. The crested tit turned out to be very shy but I still managed to grab a couple of decent snaps of the bird that only shows itself in the Cairngorms.

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Winter Landscapes

The snowy and wintery landscape provided some superb opportunities for some top draw drone footage that was immensely enjoyable. The frozen water of Loch Morlich was also an incredible sight to witness. I feel incredibly privileged to have seen it and it will be something I never forget. 

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Landscape Photography in the Snow - Winter in North Yorkshire by Adam Karnacz

Snow is the the theme of this landscape photography vlog. I travel to Roseberry Topping in North Yorkshire to make the most of some winter conditions and talk about how I capture landscapes in the snow.

Snow Challenges

Landscape photography in the snow can present some genuine challenges. Firstly the cold causes problems and in this shoot pretty much all my gear stopped functioning by the end of the day. It seems obvious to say, but snow is wet. It just doesn’t feel wet when it is falling out of the sky. The snow had been falling on me, my gear and my bag all day and, by the end, everything was wet to the core.

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Technical Challenges

Secondly there are the technical challenges to shooting in snow. This mainly comes in the form of exposure and white balance. When shooting in the snow the highlights created by the light reflecting off the snow can really confuse the camera’s meter. Putting your camera into manual mode is a must. Using the LCD and Histogram in Liveview will then help you get in right place with exposure. I always shoot in RAW which gives me a large amount of adjustment to exposure in post-production. With white balance, cameras often tend to capture snow with a very blue tint. You see this a lot on TV and it can be used purposefully to add to the cold feeling of the scene. However, have you ever seen blue snow? Again, shooting in RAW provides full control of white balance in post production and I always aim to bring my images to match the scene I visualised at the time ie with white snow. In the last shot of the day the snow had a slightly yellow, orange warm glow to it when it was bathed in the evening sun.

Location, Location, Location

In the video I also talk about shooting from the same location on numerous occasions. I am often asked how I find locations and do I run out of places to shoot. I am a big fan of returning to the same place and capturing an image of it over and over again. Capturing a scene in the different seasons, in different weather, in different light will produce very different photographs and the one you make on the 15th time of asking might be the one that really pops and gains attention.

Happy New Year

Finally I’d just like to wish you a very happy new year. I hope good things happen to you in 2018 and I look forward to running into you out in the landscape. Thank you so much for subscribing, watching, commenting and sharing. It means a lot.

Panoramic Landscape Photography with the Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II lens by Adam Karnacz

The Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II tilt shift lens can be used to capture some stunning panoramas free from distortion. I travel to the LakeDistrict again to put it to good use in this landscape photography vlog. 

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Last week I used the Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II lens in London to capture some cityscape images free from distortion. The tilt shift lens can also be used to capture some beautiful panoramas free from the normal distortion created when you rotate a lens around a fixed axis (ie on your tripod). This is achieved simply by using the shift function. By shifting the lens left to right you can capture five overlapping images that stitch together in Lightroom absolutely perfectly. We get used to looking at panoramas and we get used to the distortion, sometimes it even benefits the image. However when you see a panorama shot with a tilt shift lens they have an extra element of quality. Even a feeling that you are standing in the scene yourself.

Panorama Photography

I am a very big fan of panorama photography. They are big and impressive and the files generated in Lightroom are large and detailed. There is a problem though. They do not share well on screen; and therefore on social media. To get the whole width of the image in, the height has to be reduced and you end up with the image looking much smaller than a normal 3x2 or 16x9. Screens are not designed to display panoramas. The only way to truly appreciate them is to print them and see them in person. When printing landscape photography, I am a true believer in bigger is better.

Winter in the Lake District

For the shoot I managed to get up early again and head over to the Lake District for what turned out to be an absolutely stunning morning.I wanted a more accessible day with locations close to the car so picked out spots at Tewet Tarn, Castlerigg Stone Circle and Bassenthwaite Lake. I have been asked a few time now to provide a guide and GPS details for the locations and vlogs I have done. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in. It will take a lot of work, so I will not be able to offer it for free, but I was thinking somewhere in the region of £5 per guide. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cityscape Photography in London with a Tilt-Shift Lens by Adam Karnacz

I am in London shooting some cityscape photography and use the very special Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift lens to capture some images with nice straight lines.

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It has been a been a while since I have a had a decent opportunity to shoot in London. This week I carved out some time so decided to hire the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift lens for the occasion. Tilt shift lenses are perfect for using with landscape photography, especially cityscapes where the shift function corrects the perspective distortion normally suffered by wide angle lenses. This distortion causes buildings, particularly those at the edge of the frame, to angle in towards the centre of the frame.

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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

The Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift can also be used to capture some excellent panoramas but that is the theme of next weeks video.

London Baby!!

I truly believe that London is one of the greatest cities in the world and provides some great opportunities for landscape photography. The cityscape of London is steeped in history and impressive buildings and skylines exist in every direction, especially down by the river Thames.

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The Plan

I started the day with a very clear vision of the images I wanted to achieve. I aimed to shoot North to South across the river making several iconic structures my subject, including the Shard and Tower Bridge. These have been photographed many times so I was aiming to elevate my images. Firstly by ensuring nice straight lines with the tilt shift lens and second by creating and interesting and ethereal feel using long exposure photography. I purchased a 16 stop ND filter for the occasion to achieve exposure times of around 6 minutes.

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An Emotional Day

I ended the day on the Greenwich peninsula to shoot across the river towards the bank buildings of Canary Wharf. Overall it was a superb day where I got back in touch with London, a city where I lived for ten years and know very well. The day was actually quite emotional for me as I walked around and remembered all the history I have tied up in the place. I was also very happy with the images I captured using the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift and was a nice break from my usually landscape photography shoots in the mountains.

Landscape Photography Workshop Secrets and some Q&A by Adam Karnacz

I reveal some of the secrets from my landscape photography workshops. I provide tips and advice to solve the problems many of my clients have been struggling with. There is also some general Q&A.

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My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Drove 3 HOURS to the BEACH just to find a SEASHELL! by Adam Karnacz

I travel to Flamborough Head to find a sea shell for my new project. It’s more nature than landscape photography, where I bring the outdoors, indoors. I also test out the new lower noise DJI Mavic PRO props.

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The Perfect Plan

I had an epic plan. It was going to be beautiful. Everything was set for the early start the next day. The weather was looking great, the mountains were snowcapped, the bag was packed, the coffee was prepped and I went to bed very excited. Then guess what, yep you got it, my alarm did not go off. Or it did, and I did not hear it or turned it off subconsciously. Either way I was gutted. This kind of thing never happens to me. There was just no way I could salvage it, I couldn’t get to the Lake District in time. I was so certain Plan A was going to work that I did not have a plan B. In the end you’ve got to believe these things are meant to be.

A photography project backup

For times like this it’s always good to have a few project ideas in mind. I wracked my brains and remembered an idea I had thought of recently whilst creating a collage on my wall from all the vlogs I have filmed this year. When I was putting them up I realised that they all fitted into one of three categories - woodland (or trees), beaches or seascapes and finally mountains. I thought it would be fitting to create a piece of work that celebrated these three categories that I had subconsciously gravitated towards over the year.

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Struggling for Inspiration

Over the last few weeks I have been struggling for inspiration with my landscape photography. It often happens to me at this time of year when the dark nights set in and we go through the Autumn to Winter transition. With that in mind I decided the project would be about bringing the outdoors, indoors. I wanted to photograph a single object that represented each landscape category and then combine them into an overall piece of work. Three items for three categories. It seemed pretty obvious to use a leaf to represent woodland. Mountains were a bit more difficult to represent. The rock, the earth and the dirt all speak to me when I am on the mountain but do not necessarily make a good picture. One particularly appealing feature of the mountain trails are the cairns that mark the path. Whilst piled up by man, the rock is still of the mountain. I therefore decided to represent this on a smaller scale using small stones. That left me with the sea. Nothing represents the sea and the beach like a shell. Except I didn’t have a shell. So here I am. 

DJI Mavic Pro Low Noise Propellers

Heading out has also given me the opportunity to the new low noise props for the DJI Mavic Pro. At £20 for two pairs they are not cheap. The propellers made only a very minor difference. When drone is hovering there is very little noticeable difference. When the drone is going a full tilt there is a marginally reduced volume. Worth a £20 upgrade? Probably not.

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Bringing the outdoors, indoors

Shell in hand it was time to head back to the studio to create the images. I knew black and White was the way to go for each image using a mixture of high key and low key lighting. The methods I used to capture the images are not the theme of this video but leave a comment down below if you’d like to see a tutorial. My vision for the final image was to have them side by side in a panorama. That makes it harder to print so I settled for small prints in a vertical frame. The final work took much more effort than capturing a single landscape photograph. I loved the process though and am proud of what I have created. Now, when I look at it, i am reminded of the beauty that is out there providing inspiration for the next shoot.

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Bored of Landscape Photography and Finding a New Perspective by Adam Karnacz

Ever been bored with landscape photography? I have, so todayI head out early to rediscover my passion during a sunrise shoot in NorthYorkshire.

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Burn Out

Over the last year I have shot landscape photography every week of the year and have shared all those experiences with you. Now I am feeling burnt out. It is a classic symptom of repetition and sometimes a break is required to rediscover a passion whilst exploring other avenues. The other week I was in the Lake District observing a perfectly beautiful sunrise and I just didn’t feel inspired. The drive to get out has just not been there since then. This happens to many photographers and is often something I go through towards the end of the Autumn. The colours have almost gone but the icy wintery nature has yet to arrive. 

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A need to create

Despite this I feel unfulfilled unless I am creating. Sitting around on the couch is not an option for me. I need to pour my efforts into other pursuits. You may have noticed I have not been vlogging for a few weeks and have instead focused on other areas of photography including water drop sand tech reviews. Hopefully you have found these videos useful and enjoyed them. They have given me the break from landscape photography I needed and also a break from the hours and hours I spend in the car.

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Finding a new perspective

In the video today I have rediscovered my mojo with a trip to the North York Moors national park. The weather was showing good signs and the trek up Hawnby Hill Crag in the darkness was well worth it for the sunriseI witnessed. I was also joined by a slightly creepy animal friend and captured some lovely Drone footage. It remains to be seen if my landscape photography passion is back in full force, but if not, it is well on the way.

If you are feeling in a rut leave a comment down below and let me know and we’ll see what we can do to get you out of it.

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Landscape Vlogs

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Wild Waterfalls and Woodland Whereabouts by Adam Karnacz

Landscape Photography at Aysgarth Falls

We travel to Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales to shoot some woodland photography and some long exposure waterfalls in this landscape photography vlog.

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Autumn and Winter Photography

We are approaching that time of year again where the weather is often not on your side. The British Autumn and Winter bring numerous damp and overcast days that do not obviously lend themselves to capturing great photographs. However there are venues and conditions to suit all circumstances and in today’s video I went in search of images that work beautifully in overcast conditions.

Aysgarth Falls and Robin Hood

I headed up to Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales that were made famous in the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when Kevin Costner fights Little John with big poles in the river. It is a beautiful location but on my visit today there was absolutely no chance of getting into the river. There has been heavy rainfall recently and the river and waterfalls were raging with huge torrents of water. It did make for some interesting photographs and slo mo footage though.

Waterfall Photography

Waterfalls in the UK are often surrounded by trees. Shooting them with direct sunlight on them can often create harsh contrast lines that spoil the image. Capturing them in overcast conditions is ideal when you have the nice soft diffused light created by the clouds.This also means you can capture great images at any time of the day. No need to be getting up early for sunrise or staying out late for sunset. As you might know I am a huge fan of long exposure photography and it works really well with waterfalls to capture some of the movement in the water.

Woodland Photography

Aysgarth Falls is also surrounded by some beautiful woods. I had not planned to do any woodland shots today but as I was walking past one particular tree, the yellow Autumn leaves really caught my eye. I worked up a composition and captured a shot that I am really quite pleased with. It was far from being ideal woodland photography conditions, but I used a shallow depth of field and some strong contrast to really make the tree stand out.

No Drone......

Finally, I missed the drone today. I am planning to order one this week!

An Early Rise and Natural Highs by Adam Karnacz

I travel to Blea Tarn to capture a magnificent sunrise and make the most of the stunning Lake District morning, with a short mountain hike, in this landscape photography vlog. 

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More than before

Over the past two years I have shot a lot of landscape photography, more than ever before in a short space of time. I recently printed out a 4x6 print of one image from each of the vlogs I have shot this year. It filled my wall and it is a body of work I am extremely proud of, especially with a film to accompany each one. I have learned a lot and it has been a thrilling experience.

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Landscape photography wellbeing

One of the biggest things that has struck me is the enormous sense of wellbeing that is generated when I go out shooting. This week was a particular example of that. I spent Thursday in the Lake District running a workshop and did not get back to my hotel until about 8pm. I was joined laterby my good friend and photographer Lyle McCalmont. We enjoyed a well earned couple of drinks before heading to bed. There was little rest though. We were up again for 5am to get over to Blea Tarn for some sunrise photography. When I arrived I was feeling a bit low. Tired, frustrated by the drive and not particularly ready for it. Even when the incredible pink sky appeared above Blea Tarn and the distant Langdale Pikes I felt underwhelmed even as other photographers who were present were whooping and cracking out high fives.

 Blea Tarn, Lake District, UK

Blea Tarn, Lake District, UK

More than the art

For me it has become about so much more than the simple art of capturing an image. The morning progressed and we hiked up a small mountain as the rising sun began to lash the crags around us. We had fun getting a couple more images before nailing some footage for the video. We eventually made it to the top for the breathtaking 360 degree views. The feeling of elation and joy was palpable. The exercise, the effort, the hard work and the challenge are all part of what provide the sense of achievement and wellbeing. 

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Well earned memories

Part of the drive is to produce images that others don't have. The Blea Tarn shot, whilst a perfectly good shot, felt too easy. The spot was about 1 minute walk from the car and the other photographers present were all capturing very similar images. Hiking up immediately puts you in territory that most people are not willing to venture into. It creates a much better opportunity for finding unique and interesting compositions. I do not purposely try to make things more difficult but the lasting memories and feeling of success is much greater when I have had to work for it.

 Isle of Mull

Isle of Mull

The next chapter

Looking at my wall of 4x6 images now, brings back rich and vivid memories of each experience. There is a story behind each one that makes me feel happy and proud every time I look at them. I can not wait to create the next one.

3 Ways to Long Exposure | Landscape Photography by Adam Karnacz

Long exposure photography is the order of the day and I share three of my methods for capturing the shot. I also discuss the merits of landscape photography and storytelling during this sunrise photo shoot.

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Long exposure provides a new way to look at the world. Capturing a relatively long period of time in one photograph. It creates an illusion of movement in the image and creates an ethereal mood that invokes feelings of serenity and wonder. Long Exposure has been the basis of my landscape photography for many many years and it is one of the first techniques I consider when I am visualising my image. I love the extra story telling capacity that a long exposure photograph can portray.

Landscape Photography with a twist

The above is achieved by creating context in the scene. It is the stark contrast between static objects in the frame against the movement of things like water and clouds. This juxtaposition on it’s own can expand the story. The power and speed of a waterfall, the direction of clouds and the wind; can all be deduced from a long exposure photograph. These subtle details all n part of a landscape and affect your attitude and feeling towards.

3 Long Exposure Photography Methods

In the video I detail three ways in which I capture my long exposures. First is simply by utilising dull conditions such as sunrise, sunset or during overcast weather conditions. Setting your aperture at around f16 and ISO at 100 will allow a shutter speed of at least a few seconds without the use of any filters. 

ND Filters

Secondly is about using a long shutter speed during sunset and sunrise. I achieve this through bracketing using a 6 stop ND filter. The maximum shutter speed using this technique will normally be about 30 seconds.

2 Minutes and More

Lastly, I do extreme long exposures. Shutter speeds of 2 minutes or more using stacked ND filters up to 16 stops of total light reduction. These can be technically difficult to shoot because any slight movement can result in a less than sharp image. Noise from the sensor also becomes a problem and some cameras can be worse than others.

An exciting part of landscape photography, long shutter speed images are another tool you have in your arsenal to tell your story. 

Landscape Photography | Conquering the Camera Settings by Adam Karnacz

I travel to the Yorkshire Dales to capture some images and talk more about the camera settings I use for my landscape photography.

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Landscape Photography Settings

Understanding basic camera settings for landscape photography seems to be the key to people feeling confident with their camera. Once camera settings are mastered then the camera becomes and extension of you and we can start to really focus on getting the creative juices flowing. In this video I focus down onto the camera setting and explain my methods in more detail.

More than a Photography Tutorial

Since I started vlogging I have moved away from making photography tutorials for beginners. It has allowed me to simply document my work process and show you my methods. Along the way people have picked up photography tips and tricks. Having said that, people still want to know the practical techniques. Things like, how to shoot in manual mode on your DSLR or what is the exposure triangle, or more information about aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This is totally understandable and I think shooting in manual mode is something all photographers should aim for.

Info from the Real World 

This video aims to give you the information about how I do landscape photography settings, including my metering and focusing methods, whilst maintaining the real world vlog type feel. In the video I am in the Yorkshire Dales, visiting Ribblehead Viaduct and climb up a small portion of the Whernside mountain. 

First Man Photography Blogs

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.