Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How to Get Started in Landscape Photography – The Journey from Tourist to Artist

One of my very first landscape photos, "Hay There, Sunshine!" taken in the Hocking Hills of Ohio on October 16, 2004. I was all excited by the hay bales off in the distance ... which ended up looking like tiny little dots you can barely see! That's why the word "Hay" is in the photo's title, even though the fence post came out much nicer.

I was afraid to take my first digital camera out of the box for three months. Like most people, I had the photographic skills of a tourist taking snapshots without any awareness of the thought and care that should go into producing a finely-crafted artistic photo. But my enthusiasm for this new hobby meant having to start somewhere. So I surfed the web for all the info I could get my hands on dealing with:

1) Landscape photography tips
2) Nature photography tips
3) Artistic composition tips

Here’s a link to an awesomely helpful website for landscape photography hints that really helped me:

While my personal focus tends to be more on autumn or winter trees, sunset ponds, and roadside scenery, I also checked out websites on nature photography. The site below gives some decent insight on interacting with wildlife and being aware of your surroundings using cues such as bird language:

To see through the camera with the eye of an artist, here are three links on artistic composition … Yes, three links. Composition is that important! (More important, even.)

Finally, for all those on a quest to take their photography to the next level, don’t be afraid of breaking the rules if inspiration leads you to see a better way. But first learn the rules -- the better to know how, and when, it might benefit you to break them.

Stay tuned … I plan to add my own list of favorite tips for free-spirited photographers in a short future blog entry, then expand on each tip in upcoming posts.

Question for Readers: How did you take the plunge to improve your photography skills? Please feel free to comment and share your favorite technique on landscape, nature, or artistic composition.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to Country Corner

The above photograph is called "Valley Barn" and was taken in the Hocking Hills of Ohio on a gorgeous May morning.

I'm a photographer who loves the landscapes and nature of Ohio. Amish Country, the Hocking Hills, and Kelleys Island draw me to visit again and again. I also love creating fine art effects in Photoshop with an abstract or surreal flair.

The above paragraph doubles as both my blog introduction and my artist’s statement. At least for now.

This past August, I had a lot of fun participating in the Kelleys Island Art Show. (Even when the card table I had lugged from the mainland fell apart!)

Three of my photographs were on display in December of 2008 at the Market Street Art Center in Lockport, New York as part of an exhibit called "Off the Walls."

In this blog I look forward to featuring Flickr photographers and Etsy artisans who handcraft everything from soap to jewelry. I’ll be sharing my own thoughts, feelings, and sometimes zany adventures … along with a special focus on landscape, nature, and fine art photography. I’ll share links that I’ve found helpful or enjoyable. And I’ll invite you to share your opinions.

See y’all next time.

Living in the suburbs, dreaming of the country,

~~ CountryDreaming