National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography

National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography

by Tim Fitzharris

Paperback(Second Edition, Updated and Expanded)

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Overview

National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris

Step-by-step lessons, annotated photographs, before-and-after comparisons and hundreds of inspiring examples of the master photographer's art provide a complete course in taking professional-caliber photographs of the natural landscape. Whether you want to shoot a waterfall in impressionistic brushstrokes, record a mirrorlike reflection of ice-capped peaks or capture the last rays of sun over a Pacific beach, you will find professional guidance here. Distilled from decades of fieldwork by award-winning landscape photographer Tim Fitzharris, these foolproof techniques emphasize specific field procedures for a wide variety of wilderness settings. This book will boosr your photography skills whether you are a beginner wanting to improve vacation snapshots, an advanced amateur or a professional taking images for publication.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554079933
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 12/22/2011
Edition description: Second Edition, Updated and Expanded
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 786,399
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Tim Fitzharris is a critically acclaimed photographer known by his colleagues for his regular column in Popular Photography and Imaging magazine. He is the author of 25 books, including National Audubon Society Guide to Nature Photography, Close-Up Photography in Nature, Rocky Mountains: Wilderness Reflections and Big Sky: Wild West Panorama. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Read an Excerpt

Introduction: The Earth, our planet, our home.

In its natural state it's difficult to imagine anything more beautiful. This book is intended to help photographers capture this beauty for the enjoyment of both themselves and others. The landscape is arguably the most difficult, challenging and fascinating of nature's subjects. It is an elusive target—terrain shimmering in ultraviolet or buffeted by wind one day and twinkling with frost or glinting bronze under a sunset sky the next.

Not only does the landscape change, endlessly offering to the lens new contours, textures and colors depending on weather, light and season, it posts no signs to guide the photographer's approach. It does not encourage you to capture spreading antlers or eyes sparkling with highlights. Its appeal is broad, and as subject it is open to wide avenues of interpretation. It is more concept than thing, more mood or feeling than identity. You cannot take a picture of a mountain and say, "There, I've got it." You can only say that you know a bit of it, that you've spent some time near its energy.

If you have an artistic temperament, this will appeal to you. No matter how many times a famous landform has been photographed, your encounter with it will be unique and will remain so with every subsequent shooting session. Pulsing with light, mother of life, for the artist a subject both sublime and mindless, the land abides in us and for us. You appreciate this while looking through the lens, trekking to a shooting site or standing on a precipice waiting for sunrise. If you're reading this book, you're already attuned to this. You want to know more about direct engagement,about embracing this wonder of Earth through your eyes and insights, your photography and your art.

This book will help you understand how camera and film (or sensor) depict the land so that you can make images the way you see and feel. The technical components of professional-level landscape photography are all covered here. The emphasis of the book, however, is on the photographer's actual interaction with the subject. I've described here the numerous ways in which I photograph the landscape, the particulars of how I proceed to capture a dune field, ocean sunrise, autumn forest or alpine reflection. Each setting calls for the application of a different set of technical and artistic considerations. I've outlined the general procedures I use when working in the field, the focus being to enjoy the process while maximizing the quality of imagery.

To this end, you will find that keeping things simple—technically, logistically, artistically—brings you closest to the Earth, your subject, allowing the clearest expression of your artistic goals. The working models presented here are the ones that I use and know, but they needn't be the ones that you favor. There are many ways to approach landscape photography, and your art will benefit by considering how others photograph. As you gain experience you will discard some procedures, embrace others and develop new ones of your own.

It's impossible to photograph the landscape and not be aware of the accelerating deterioration of the planet's natural areas. Governments generally see progress in terms of economic growth manifested through industrial, residential, agricultural or commercial expansion, nearly always to the detriment of natural systems. As nature photographers we can use our influence to turn capitalism's focus on development to one that favors preservation. It's seems to be a losing proposition at this point, but you'll feel better and grow more appreciative of the subjects you photograph just for making the effort. Earthlings, unite!

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Earth, our planet, our home

Part One: Outfitting for the Landscape

Camera Systems
Professional results from cameras and tripods

Landscape Optics
Lenses for scenic subjects and how to use them

Logistics in the Field
Transporting, accessing and protecting equipment in the field

Part Two: Shooting Fundamentals

Exposure
Making reliable exposures in difficult situations

Aperture and Shutter Speed
Controlling image detail with depth of field and exposure time


Part Three: Creating an Image

Illuminating the Scene
Proactive lighting techniques

Composition Basics
Fundamental principles of picture design

Art of the Possible
Adapt your shooting schedule to natural conditions

Expressing Perspective
Techniques for recording the third dimension

Photogenic Opportunities
Recognizing the potential of a landscape setting

Part Four: Spectacular Settings

Bonfires of Autumn
Capturing the rich color of the woodland palette


Cascades and Waterfalls

Interpreting the beauty of flowing water

Radiant Reflections
Recording mirror-like reflections in lakes and ponds

Dramatic Dunes
Procedures for great sand dune photographs

Sunrise and Sunset
Seizing opportunities at the magic hour

Oceans of Light
Recording the changing moods of the shoreline

Floral Wilderness
Capturing the beauty of meadows in bloom

Twilight Time
Heavenly light when the sun is below the horizon


Wide View Panoramas

Shooting and stitching multiple captures of a scene

Captivating Clouds
Dynamic landscape imagery hangs in the air

Part Five: Digital Processing

Digital Darkroom Equipment
Storing images in the field and processing them in the studio

Preparing Images for Presentation
Professional art print, website or print media display

Resources


Preface

Introduction: The Earth, our planet, our home.

In its natural state it's difficult to imagine anything more beautiful. This book is intended to help photographers capture this beauty for the enjoyment of both themselves and others. The landscape is arguably the most difficult, challenging and fascinating of nature's subjects. It is an elusive target — terrain shimmering in ultraviolet or buffeted by wind one day and twinkling with frost or glinting bronze under a sunset sky the next.

Not only does the landscape change, endlessly offering to the lens new contours, textures and colors depending on weather, light and season, it posts no signs to guide the photographer's approach. It does not encourage you to capture spreading antlers or eyes sparkling with highlights. Its appeal is broad, and as subject it is open to wide avenues of interpretation. It is more concept than thing, more mood or feeling than identity. You cannot take a picture of a mountain and say, "There, I've got it." You can only say that you know a bit of it, that you've spent some time near its energy.

If you have an artistic temperament, this will appeal to you. No matter how many times a famous landform has been photographed, your encounter with it will be unique and will remain so with every subsequent shooting session. Pulsing with light, mother of life, for the artist a subject both sublime and mindless, the land abides in us and for us. You appreciate this while looking through the lens, trekking to a shooting site or standing on a precipice waiting for sunrise. If you're reading this book, you're already attuned to this. You want to know more about direct engagement, about embracing this wonder of Earth through your eyes and insights, your photography and your art.

This book will help you understand how camera and film (or sensor) depict the land so that you can make images the way you see and feel. The technical components of professional-level landscape photography are all covered here. The emphasis of the book, however, is on the photographer's actual interaction with the subject. I've described here the numerous ways in which I photograph the landscape, the particulars of how I proceed to capture a dune field, ocean sunrise, autumn forest or alpine reflection. Each setting calls for the application of a different set of technical and artistic considerations. I've outlined the general procedures I use when working in the field, the focus being to enjoy the process while maximizing the quality of imagery.

To this end, you will find that keeping things simple — technically, logistically, artistically — brings you closest to the Earth, your subject, allowing the clearest expression of your artistic goals. The working models presented here are the ones that I use and know, but they needn't be the ones that you favor. There are many ways to approach landscape photography, and your art will benefit by considering how others photograph. As you gain experience you will discard some procedures, embrace others and develop new ones of your own.

It's impossible to photograph the landscape and not be aware of the accelerating deterioration of the planet's natural areas. Governments generally see progress in terms of economic growth manifested through industrial, residential, agricultural or commercial expansion, nearly always to the detriment of natural systems. As nature photographers we can use our influence to turn capitalism's focus on development to one that favors preservation. It's seems to be a losing proposition at this point, but you'll feel better and grow more appreciative of the subjects you photograph just for making the effort. Earthlings, unite!


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National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
scavengercat808 More than 1 year ago
The photos alone make this book worth picking up. This is far above your standard scenics collection - these shots are the most inspirational I've come across. The images are accompanied by info on equipment used, which is a little depressing when you realize that these stunning shots were taken with $25,000 worth of gear. Nonetheless, there is great information on how to approach landscape photography. It's easy to absorb and full of useful information. Of all the how-to books I've picked up, this one is at the top of my list.
readyforvac More than 1 year ago
I think this book has a lot of great information in it. It's not like a lot of books were they show a lot of pictures put you have no idea how they are taken.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago