I just want to tell you what I thought was a slightly ridiculous conversation that I had about this image with dappled sunlight. It was a beautiful day and I was out walking in the hills and stopped by a waterfall. There was a couple in their mid 70’s sat by the waterfall, there was also a class of school children doing geological studies there. The kids were having fun as they do when near water. I fell into conversation with the couple, the conversation got onto how these kids probably only get out into the countryside when on school trips. They probably spend most of their time sat on their PlayStation’s at home.
The couple both had good cameras and liked to photograph when out walking. I mentioned to the couple about a day that I had in the Derbyshire Peak District recently, the light was beautiful and had come across some strange trees, the dappled sunlight was coming through the trees. The light was amazing and the scene just stunning. The gentleman the said to me that he would create that effect in photoshop. I was little taken aback, surely all you are doing is the same as the kids on their PlayStation’s. Part of what we do as artists or photographers is getting out there and seeing and feeling passionate about the images that we produce. Always remember that photoshop is not a substitute for feeling passionate about our wonderful world.
Giving your image a sense of scale is very important. One of the best ways to do this is to add people into the image. We all know roughly the size of a person so it gives you an idea of the vastness of the overall scene. The image that I have on here is to show the landscape but including the rock and photographer in the foreground gives a sense of depth and scale to the image.
I had gone out to do some landscape photography with Monika in the Peak district in Derbyshire, it was one of those days where the light was beautiful and clear. We walked down a gorge which has many trees and the dappled sunlight was perfect. We walked out onto the open moorland where we came across these rocks used by climbers. Slightly more daring than me she went and sat on the outcrop to take some photographs. I took a few shots of her on the rock, I love this image as the clouds are wonderful and the detail in the rock and scene are immense. The conversion to black and white was done in lightroom.
After learning how to use apertures, shutter speeds etc. the next thing any photographer should learn is about light. How to use it and how it affects your images. The correct use of light gives interest to your images as well as depth. The use of shadows can add great atmosphere to an image. On the image that I have added here I have used subtle tones in the shallow estuary water of the River Conwy in Wales. The shot was taken from high upon a hill so you clearly see the different tones where the sand shows through and ripples on the water. The cliffs add a frame to the esturay.
Sometime when you go out for a stroll with the camera you come across a shot that is set up for you. The whole thing is about a feeling, a passion for your art. The window with the wooden shutter is framed by the beautiful ivy. It gives a great contrast between the two but works perfectly together. This shot I spotted at Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire. I have put it into black and white because I felt color detracted from the image.
If you want to add extra impact to your images then look at the world from different viewpoints. There is nothing wrong with photographing anything with the camera at eye level stood up but it is how most people view the world so can lack impact. If you explore your environment for different viewpoints then you can add a lot of impact. Bend down, look up or move shooting position. To show the point I have chosen a shot where I was above a field. The branches in the foreground are to add depth and scale to the image. When you look at the field with the trees in you see all lines and patterns of how the field has been worked by the farmer, making for an interesting image. If this shot had been at the side of the field none of the patterns and lines would have been captured. Always explore your environment and add impact.
I was walking along a path in a very misty wood with very little light and desperately searching for some inspiration. The wood was at Haughmond hill in Shropshire. It is a popular venue for families, dog walkers and people just out for a bit of fresh air. As I walked along the path the sun appeared through the trees above the mist. As it was later afternoon it gave a lovely golden light which softened spread with the mist. It’s moments like this which we dream of as photographers to give beautiful light and create something magical.