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Tutorials: Far Out and *Also* ‘Far Out’ . . .

May 30th, 2013 No Comments
English: Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake ...

English: Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the National Park Service. (79-AAG-1) Français : Ansel Adams. Les Grands Tetons et la rivière Snake (1942). Parc National des Grands Tetons, Wyoming. Archives Nationales des USA, Archives du service des parcs nationaux. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We take in two tutorials at the ‘long’ and ‘short’ end of the lens today.  One has to do with Landscape Photography and the other with close-in Macro Photography!

From Far Out . . .

Elliot Hook’s Landscape Photography tutorial in DPSchool addresses the question Where to Position that Horizon?  Hook relates the ‘rules’ and also explicates just when and where to break the rules.  The ‘rules’ for high and low horizon explained, Hook shows when and where to go for a centred horizon.

He also says that you can entirely omit the sky if the landscape itself has sufficient interest and detail, illustrating the point with a picture of a textured, undulating meadow.  Actually, waterfalls and cascades are an excellent example of scenes in which one can omit the horizon.

Aspect ratio has a little something to do with horizon positioning as well.  A panoramic landscape will generally look best with a horizon that is off-centre but not dramatically so.  A vertically-oriented composition, however, will benefit from horizons that are well off centre, close to the top of the frame.  Also, assuming that the subject-matter is complementary, 1:1 aspect ratios and centred horizons go very well together as the symmetries reinforce one another.

Vantage point and angle of elevation will also influence the placement of horizon.

Also ‘Far Out’ – in a Different Sense

How about photographing a landscape reflected in a water drop?  That’s the technique you can learn in Harold Davis’s how-to, Photographing Waterdrops: Exploring Macro Worlds, published on Shutterbug.

Davis has a philosophy around photographing waterdrops; he says that having a “visual structure” and “metaphorical stage” is important if you want to create an image such as this soothing semi-abstract photo.  Fortunately, you do not have to go that far because he also provides some more nuts-and-bolts type of guidance.

To begin with, he explains why it’s a good idea to use macro flashes and what their effects are.  However, he also provides tips on how to photograph sunbursts in a drop – and that can only be done with natural lighting.  

Davis’s text relays which weather conditions provide the best opportunities for photographing waterdrops.  You can also learn a few tricks from the detailed exposure information provided with each image

If you’re psyched for this kind of photography but only find a ‘blah’ droplet on a ‘blah’ setting, add one or another type of diffraction filter to your lens and see what it does!


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