When you photograph during the hour following sunrise and the hour prior to sunset, you have a much softer and more beautiful light to work with. A forgiving light, that brings landscapes to life. Instead of having to work around the light, you’re able to have the light work for you.
Removing obstructions can be one of the major catalysts that take your photography from being simply amateur to strikingly professional. By removing the power lines, unnecessary people, cars and houses, you can control the naturalism, power and legitimacy of the scene.
If photographers only shot from the safety of their cars, there would never be any exceptionally unique photographs. Take a shot and work with it, don’t settle for the quick snap. Play with it - by simply changing your exposure, you can make a photograph more interesting, powerful and moody. Don’t be afraid to hike to different vantage points. Chances are that you will be able to improve your final shots exponentially just by changing your position.
Draw the viewer’s eye
Draw the viewer’s eye into your work, make them focus on what you want them to see. By using focus, depth and composition, your photography can bring the scene alive for the viewer. Put the foreground versus the background to use, it can intensify the effect, power and evocation of your work. The eye naturally focuses first on the brightest, free-flowing and most in-focus areas in a photograph. You can alter these aspects in post-production if need-be, by implementing certain constructive techniques with Adobe Photoshop’s burn, dodge, sponge and blur tools - among countless others.
Don’t be a photographer
Be a storyteller. Great photographers transcended from being basic picture takers to great storytellers. Take a look at all of the greats, like Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson or Jim Brandenburg - they were storytellers first, photographers second. With each photo opportunity, pause and analyze the scene and let your creativity take over. You can sculpt the viewer’s perceptions and how the story has an effect on their reactions, feelings and connections.
(Photo by Christian Mueller-Planitz)