4 Concepts that Changed My Photography
I started shooting with a DSLR in the summer of 2001. Having invested a lot of money into my photography gear, I went to Olympic National Park, confident that I would was ready to conquer the world of Landscape Photography. But here is what I came away with…
None of these images would make anyone go “Wow!”…except perhaps my mother. All of them look like they were taken by a kid with a point-and-shoot. They lack details, colors, engaging composition… and it appears as if the photographer did not know even the most basic concepts of photography. And this would be correct. I had the resources to acquire the gear, but not the knowledge of how to use it.
Now compare this to the images taken several years later at the same locations and you’ll notice a dramatic difference. The images below have vibrant colors, rich contrast, exquisite details and, when printed large, can make the view feel like we are looking out of a window. My skills had matured enough that I can now publish my photos or print them large and sell them as fine art prints.
So what changed in all of those years?
I have learned to look at landscape photography as a workflow that starts when you are planning your trip and ends when you finish processing the image. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned along the way…
- Research and Planning: My first trip to Olympic National Park (in 2001) was taken at the wrong time – during the dry season. Now when I travel, I research the location so I know exactly what to expect.
- Know Your Equipment: Not only did I not know how to use my equipment, but I was also missing key accessories such as filters, a remote release, and an extra memory card. After my first trip to Olympic, I spent the next few years trying to master how to properly use my equipment. I also invested in new lenses, essential filters, and other accessories that transformed my photography.
- Creativity and Light: When I first started shooting, I had no idea the impact that light and creativity would have on the colors in my photos. Over the years, I’ve learned how to use creativity to make the most of the available light and how to look for the proper light.
- Post Processing: To be honest, back in 2001 I had no idea how to use a RAW converter other than how to play with the sliders. Now I analyze my photos and know exactly which sliders to use to create the effect that I want.
It took me several years to master each and every part of photography from planning to post-processing.
Our Ultimate Landscape Photography Course in giving you insights on how we use these concept together to create images from Start to Finish. It provide information on all aspects of photography – from planning to fieldwork to post-processing… and so much more.
Very cool old/new photos. Fantastic improvement.
Nice write up, Jay. It’s great to see how you’ve slowly transitioned over the years especially to see the photographs to go with the article.