It's easy to see why photography has surged in popularity; quality cameras are becoming more affordable and social networks offer us a platform to share our snaps to the masses. So we've asked James Bell, one of the UK's leading photographers, to walk us through his best landscape photography tips. You won't want to leave home without these.
Whilst photography of all genres has seen huge hikes in popularity thanks to smartphones, landscape photography remains one of the most technically challenging areas of photography. Timing is what separates landscape photography from other forms of photography such as wedding, street and documentary. Landscape Photography is the slowest paced activity of all. After all, mountains, rivers, lakes and trees don’t move and avoid the camera as people do.
As more of us take up photography and have access to instant feedback from a digital camera and an engaging social network you’d be forgiven for thinking Landscape Photography is easy. After all, so many people are creating so many amazing and truly inspiring images.
What separates a truly amazing landscape photo from the rest of images we are bombarded with on a daily basis? What ultimately inspires us to take to a photo and bring it to life as a physical item or share it online?
First of all, it has little to do with equipment. Most photographers believe the more expensive the equipment the better their images will be. While this is true to a degree, this is not what makes a good photograph. Having the latest and greatest megapixel camera and expensive lens won’t capture the mood or atmosphere and it certainly won’t make a composition that lets our eye wander around inside the elements of the frame.
Most photographers believe the more expensive the equipment the better their images will be. While this is true to one extent only this is not what makes a good photography.
In my experience what makes a good photograph is the ability to communicate emotion, to instill a positive emotional response to the photograph, it is that which people connect and engage with.
I have been fortunate enough to sell my own landscape prints for over a decade and what sells most aren’t images captured with the biggest and best cameras I’ve owned. In fact, two of my most popular photographic prints aren’t technically perfect shots in terms of composition. What they do well, however, is convey a mood and a feeling that people connect with. This is something you cannot buy and have in your camera bag.
I can wholeheartedly recommend the process of printing your images and presenting them as framed masterpieces of your efforts. It completes the circle and provides you with something tangible, something to be proud of and no matter how many likes, shares or thumbs ups you receive on a screen, nothing compares to holding a print in your hand, seeing that print framed on your wall and being appreciated.