Following on from Landscape we have POTY 2 – Action : This quest of capturing and conveying motion is collectively called action photography. Action photography demands lightning-quick reflexes, a solid foundation in composition and other photo elements, and a little bit of luck.
- Freeze the Action – The world around us is in motion but a photograph is a still medium, a good shot freeze’s the action, and obviously it need’s to be sharp
- Being more Creative – The better image goes beyond just freezing the action. and seeks a creative way of capturing and conveying this motion to the viewer.
- Faces – If the image includes a person you need to see their face or more specifically their eyes and the expression.
- Balls – If the image shows some one jumping to catch a ball or to kick a ball you need to see the Ball and not just the attempt as this gives meaning to the image.
- Focus– the main subject of the image should be in sharp focus. However, sometimes motion blur can be used effectively to show motion.
- Lighting/Exposure – the subject should be easily visible and not hidden in a deep shadow or lost in the highlights.
- Background – the background should not be a distraction from the main subject of the photo.
- Colour – the colour of the subject should be natural. It can be very easy, especially when shooting indoors under certain kinds of lights, to produce a shot where the white balance is substantially off and people have a greenish or other color cast to them.
- Subject size – the main subject should fill a substantial portion of the photo; there should not be a large amount of excess space around the subject.
- Distractions – items that detract from the main subject or action should be cropped out of the picture.
- Noise – the picture should not be overly noisy or grainy. Excess noise is almost always a result of shooting at high ISOs or underexposing an image. Sometimes shooting at high ISOs is unavoidable (indoor sports, for example) in order to get a high shutter speed, but there are ways of reducing this noise during final processing of the picture. However, noise reduction can be overdone resulting in a “plastic” quality to people in the picture and should be avoided.
- Examples – Here’s some links for extreme examples of good action photography
- Hints & Tips – Here’s some links for more hints and tips
The opening competition of Photographer of the Year saw the theme of Landscapes. On the whole they were fairly standard landscape images and, with the exemption of a few, will get lost in the myriad of millions of landscape images ever produced. Whilst we are not expecting members to produced work more akin to the professional standard by icons such as Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite and David Noton, we do expect the members to produce something different from the norm whilst adhering to the storytelling nature of landscape photography. I find that images within the camera club world tend to do better if they are “people” orientated as, I believe, it is easier to tell a story. With landscapes we see so many nice but ordinary images. Even I started on this avenue and got constantly frustrated about why my image wasn’t doing better. Therefore it is imperative that when you enter you Landscape images, you are trying to tell a story and immerse yourself within nature, no matter how long you have to take the image. As usual, there are thousands of examples/resources on the Internet to help you in the future. You only need to take a couple pieces of advice and use this next time you take a landscape image.
So, from what I have learnt to date:
- Tell a story
- Use the golden light (sunrise/sunset)
- Use filters, including the “Big Stopper” for long exposures at the coast
- In woodland scenes, take images on a cloudy day when the light is diffused
- Composition is as important as the light
- Think portrait
- Be intimate with the landscape
- It is more important what you exclude rather than include
- Use a tripod for ultimate sharpness with apertures of F/11 and above with ISO of 100/200
- Be creative
- Use the mist and fog for separation
- Create depth
- Change your position
- Don’t be afraid to use a telephoto lens to compress the scene
- Take notice of the seasons
- View the masters – look at other landscape photographers for ideas and inspiration
From the Internet:
- On Landscape
- Landscape Photography Magazine
- Flickr Groups:
- The Landscape section on Digital Camera World
- Previous winners of the UK’s Landscape Photographer of the Year
- Google search for UK Landscape Photographers
Good landscape photography is a difficult skill, but as with any photography genre, with some thought and application, your results will improve.