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Landscapes, weather and the time of day (image heavy)

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by EightBitTony, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Rather than drag on the conversation in the appraisals section, I thought I'd start a new thread.

    The best way I found, to help myself understand the effect of light, weather, time of day, was to look on Flickr (because it's easy to search) for places I'd photographed, and see what other people had done.

    I live not too far from Curbar Edge. Great scenery, lovely spot, should be ideal for landscape photographs. I went, mine sucked. They sucked for a number of technical reasons (inexperience with both the lens I was using and the tripod) but they also sucked because I 'knew' that light mattered but I didn't 'understand' how.

    Here's two shots I took (in my defence, the weather was better when I set out at 5am than it was when I arrived), they've had basic post-processing but I didn't invest much time.


    I was really disappointed when I got back. Forget the composition for now, the lighting is just boring. The features are boring. The haze is annoying.

    I went looking on Flickr, to see why other people get great photos, and it's because of the light (which is a function of the time of day and the weather).

    The search also told me that if you find a good looking piece of scenery, everyone else has already photographed it.

    I'm not saying which of these are good, better, or bad, I'm just giving them as examples of how the light affects the scene, and that using Flickr to find landscape shots of places you've been / going to, can help understand how different conditions can affect the mood.

    [​IMG]Sunrise on Curbar Edge (Derbyshire Peak District) by Dave Fieldhouse, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Curbar Edge by l4ts, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Curbar Stones by Matt Oliver., on Flickr

    [​IMG]Curbar Edge 2 by Paul Mason, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Pastels at Dawn by Paul Sutton, on Flickr

    [​IMG]curbar edge by First NameLez Kent, on Flickr

    The rest didn't allow BBCode linking, but please, go and check them out.


    Attached Files:

    Geren likes this.
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Nice piece. Yes some people don't understand why we are lukewarm about their lovely landscape, but this sets it out well. I also look at flickr to see what others haven't done and bear that in mind. Nice to do some of the popular shots, but it is not main object of the exercise.
  3. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    It's one thing to be able to nip up the road when you feel like it...If, on the other hand, you're just passing through and probably won't be here again then you take the light as you find it.

    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Not if you're taking it seriously and expecting feedback.The Mason shot above is a total waste of effort. Pointless.
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, if you just want a snap to remember it, fine; or even a shot to remind you to go back when the light is better. But for interesting shots, you need interesting light - which CAN be midday, but only if the weather makes it so.
  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I have a whole lot of "location" snaps I did in the Lake District because weather and light were bad. That was 12 years ago and I haven't got back yet! Always good to use those times for recce.
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I have a portable hard drive full of recce shots. But one thing dull light does make me do is to think harder about composition - I always try to see if I can find a worthwhile shot, whereas with interesting light it's all too tempting to just take the obvious picture.
    Zou and EightBitTony like this.
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I like the first three images - approximately the same shot, but very different lighting each time.
  9. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Only looked at your OP, Tony, not the following comments. Apologise if I'm repeating points already made. Couple of points.
    1. You have to try to divorce yourself from the experience of 'being there' when you are looking at the images later. It is not easy. Some photographers (including landscape photographers) advocate not looking at images for some months, even in the instant digital age of now.
    2. Any compositional shortcomings may also influence how you 'read' your pictures and perceive their quality.
    3. Poor atmospheric conditions, as demonstrated in some pictures, are what pictorialists used to love. If you are wanting 'sparkle' then you have to be there when the atmosphere is clear, as it usually is after a good shower of rain. Instead, why not make the most of the prevailing conditions?
    More, perhaps, later. Cheers, Oly
  10. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    1: We're back to the age-old questions ,"Why do we take photographs and who do we take them for?"

    3(last sentence): My point exactly- we have to work with what we're given, especially in mountainous regions. For Snowdonia, The Lakes or the Derbyshire Edges, for example, you can always go back and try again. If, on the other hand, you're on,say, an Antarctic cruise then you have to take the weather and light on, for example, South Georgia as you find it.

    EightBitTony likes this.
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Understanding the difference between the two situations, doesn't prevent you doing the latter. I think the key is knowing how light affects the scene, knowing what conditions might give you the 'best' shot for various definitions of best, and also, equally, being happy and prepared to take a shot in the moment because that's all you could do, and being happy with it.

    Taking every shot at the time because you were there and not having an understanding of how the weather or light might improve or worsen it, isn't the same as knowing those things but choosing to take the shot anyway.
  12. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    I find for landscape, the light is great during the "golden hours", just after rain,(loads of saturation) or as the weather changes. British grey light, often disappoints .......:(
  13. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I can understand and see that light is softer in the golden hours but I struggle a bit with flat images. Is it just the shadows that give depth in much the same way as using off camera flash/lights for indoor portraits? The best link I have seen to explain flat photos is on Cambridge in Colour, any other suggested links?
  14. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Not just shadows, but polarisation of the light helps a lot. When the sun is higher, light bounces around all over the place, in a very diffused way, causing flatness and haze. That's why (depending on angle) a polariser helps.
    This was polarised, but still shows a lot of diffused light https://flic.kr/p/RBJBNd. I have versions that remove it entirely, but they look a bit picture postcard, so I have use it like this.

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