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.


jalynn01 said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on the snowy Owl. I love your picture with the cowgirl hat!! I'm a country girl and also have a hat...which I wear when I go to Bull riding events. Anyway, I checked out your blog and you're off to a great start. I love country landscape, especially barns. You have some beautiful pictures.

Dani said...

Lovely photos...the colors are so deep and vibrant...thanks for stopping by my blog and for the links to taking better photos...I have to take mine while driving for the most part do and from jobs, maybe one day, we can slow down a little....
smiles, Dani

CountryDreaming said...

jalynn01: Thanks for your kind compliments! We can wear many hats in life, but the most fun are the ones we wear the better to enjoy the beauty and adventure of the great outdoors.

Dani:Thanks for your kind words on my photos! I'm glad you find the links useful, they were my on-line course in photography. I can't wait to see the photos you take while commuting between jobs ... I bet you travel through some really scenic places!

Mary said...

I love this photo and even though the hay bales are tiny it is the streaks of red and other colors in the countryside that make it so lovely! Thanks for visitng my quilt blog....I just found the comment you left. This photo of yours would make a lovely landscape quilt. There are quilt artists that do wonderful landscape stuff and I hope to try some eventually.

CountryDreaming said...

Mary: Thanks for the encouraging words. I'll definitely be back visiting your quilt blog and other blogs. The fascinating thing is that I have other photos of the Hocking Hills that remind me even more of a patchwork quilt. You'd love visiting this area of Ohio, especially in the fall. Bet it would inspire many a quilt for you. I don't make quilts myself, but really admire those who do.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying checking out yours. Please come back to mine often!!!

Good luck with your new camera. Sounds like you are getting some great education.