Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by dannylightning, Oct 31, 2015.
I never like any of my landscapes, what do you all think of this, i think its lousy as usual.
I can't tell you why you don't like your landscapes, but I can tell you what I see in this image. Firstly, remember that we live in a complex and chaotic world. As photographers, we cannot add to a scene, but we can reduce it and simplify it. The world is actually a jumbled mess that our brains are extremely good at filtering and deciding what is important. However, when we transfer the world onto the 2D surface of an image, we lose that ability to filter the environment in real time. Our goal is to take a complex scene in which the elements may clash and simplify it to a strong composition.
Let's take a look at your image. The first question is what attracted you to this scene. What did you want to photograph? Was it the bridge? In this scene, there are several competing elements: the tree on the left, the tree behind the bridge, the railing and path behind the bridge, and the cars in the parking lot. As you can see, there are multiple elements in this photograph that do not work together to make the composition stronger but instead interfere with each other, weakening the composition. Simply being able to analyze an image and suggesting how to make it stronger is easy in comparison to actually carrying out that task.
If I were personally trying to shoot this scene (I probably would have not shot this scene and moved on due to its complexity), I would attempt to position my camera in such a way as to focus on the subject and remove as much distraction as possible. This process requires trying several different camera positions and compositions. For example, try getting really close to the bridge and shooting with a wide angle, emphasizing the structure of the bridge and the leaves at its base. When I shoot a landscape, I visualize the shot I want and try several different compositions, refining the image continuously. In a nutshell, I approach composition in this way.
The next issue to address is the lighting of the scene. This scene appears to be photographed with overcast light. Different scenes call for different lighting scenarios. Overcast light is flat and dull, and at times, is what is called for. In this scenario, I do not think that the light is helping you. It makes the scene dull, flat, and unexciting. Golden hour light is the most dynamic light for landscape photography. Not only are the weather conditions important, but the direction of light is also key. I would have likely approached this image at a different time of day or under different lighting conditions.
The concepts that I have mentioned here are only a few of many that need to be considered with landscape photography. If you would like to improve your landscapes, I suggest that you study landscapes and identify the elements that make you like them. Good landscape photography requires experience behind the camera, so I suggest that you continue shooting if you would like to improve. I hope you find these suggestions helpful.
the bridge and the fall colors is what i was going for. it was overcast, not many sunny days here recently. winter is on the way i guess..
i remember when i got my first DSLR not even thinking about what kind of stuff i wanted to shoot i started going out to the parks and back in the woods looking for stuff to shoot, i found my self photographing butterflys, dragonflys, birds and stuff like that. i shot a few landscapes here or there and for the most part there have been very few that i have liked.
usually always tried to get these big wide landscapes so i tried to tighten up the scene with this one. i found my self cropping the photo even tighter once i got it home but could not really get a crop that i liked. i just though a pic of the bridge and the fall colors would look nice.
At a brief glance, my eyes go to the bridge. But if I look at the image even longer, they wander towards the tree in the upper left, or the passing black vehicle in the upper right.
I'm not sure if the bridge could have been shot from a different angle to make the tree less dominant or not, but it may strengthen the image. Also, I'm not a fan of the tight crop. Landscapes don't always have to be ultra wides, but this one is just a bit tight for my liking.
But again, I'm no landscape photographer. Just my .02
Yes, I see how you tightened up on the bridge, but there are still other objects in the photo.
The structures to the right are a distraction, as are the cars seen through the trees, and the large shade spot at the left. Maybe just move around to find a better composition.
Here is a version without the cars showing:
I found my landscapes got a lot better after I made a concious effort to include elements in the foreground, middle ground and distance. The shot you've posted is full of mid ground with no distance and very little foreground interest. I tend to think that this makes shots very flat. Compositinally the path leading to the bridge is nice but after that it all goes wrong as my eyes are lead up to the right and out of the frame, only coming back in to notice the cars. There's nothing much in the third of the photo on the left and that gives the impression that the composition is heavily weighted to the right hand side of the picture.
Hi Danny, you continue to receive great advice imo. Slow down and think about it more prior to taking the shot. Designer's edit gave an entirely different image. Who would have known there was a parking lot.
Dont get discouraged and understand that not many of us were good at this stuff initially.
In my case, I'm still not good at it.
Some of the pictures I've seen you posting that are good are the birds, etc. Maybe that's where your passion is; with trying to do landscapes you might be forcing it. I think you need to really love something to spend enough time doing it to get good at it.
When you're out photographing birds maybe spend some time just looking thru the viewfinder and think about what you see with the scenery. You don't have to shoot a vast landscape; getting in much closer you might have seen the bridge differently and gotten a better picture.
Maybe this is more what you wanted the picture to be about, what you wanted the viewers to see (since your profile shows OK to edit I just did a quick crop). I think the balance in the composition could still be better; my inclination taking the picture would be to get in closer, and to have taken a step or two and maybe gotten more of the orange leaves to the right in the picture and eliminate a lot of the foliage and background. Learning more about composition could be helpful and think about what the picture is about - if it's about the bridge, that's what you want to show in the picture.
when i am out shooting birds i usually have my 150-600mm lens on, i took this photo with that. unless i can really far away from something its usually way to much zoom for a land scape.
i appreciate all the advice, the edits of my photo look pretty good. i like them allot more than i like mine.
I see a faint footpath that leads to the bridge...it might have made a good foreground element, one which would have lead the eye naturally and directly to the bridge. Had the shot been framed/composed differently, including the footpath would have reduced the amount of background, which would have eliminated the cars in the parking lot.
So the question on this landscape is: how many different camera placements did you try? Was this the result you got from one, single try? Or did you literally walk to different positions and attempt to compose a good shot?
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