Published on by Thomas Heaton
People comment on my images and say things like “If I could take an image half as good as that, I would be happy”. This is the thing, anyone could have taken most of the images in my portfolio without any real difficulty.
Yes, composition can be tricky… sometimes. In most cases, the best approach is to keep things simple. Move left, shift right, drop your tripod a little, look for anything in the frame that distracts you and work to eliminate or minimise it. If you find yourself bending over backwards, with your tripod at angles never before seen by human eyes, then you’re probably trying too hard to make the shot work.
I shot this image and I love it. It’s one of my favourites. So, what was my secret? How can you shoot images half as good?
Well, my secret isn’t much of a secret and the most difficult thing about creating this image was not having the right gear or having the necessary technical skills to be able to execute the exposure. I did not use my extensive knowledge of Photoshop (I have no such knowledge) to achieve this photograph and I certainly didn’t pick out this composition in a crowded tangle of trees and shrubbery.
I checked the weather report, woke up early, I explored a local valley close to home and I took a few photographs. That was it. No magic recipe. The hardest thing about landscape photography is waking up and getting out! You can watch the video Here
The frozen tree was an easy find. It was there, it was obvious. A single subject, backlit by the morning sunlight. I looked at it, figured out what I didn’t like (the sky) and used an appropriate focal length to make sure the sky was not in shot. Point, Focus, Shoot.
I Photographed this image before sunrise at Buttermere in the Lake District. The hardest part? Waking up at 4am and walking down to the lake not knowing if it would be worth it.
So this is my point, landscape photography can be so simple. Your camera is very intelligent and will focus and expose for you in most cases. It is YOUR job to get out there, explore and find these hidden treasures. You need tenacity and perseverance and that is the most difficult thing about landscape photography.