“It is not what you hold in your hand take takes a great photo; it’s what you hold in your heart.” – unknown
I don’t always pay attention to advice, but when I do, it goes well for me.Some of the best landscape photography advice came from Weldon Lee, a great photographer in Colorado. I hired him to take me on a photo safari through RMNP and here is what he taught me: just keep workin’ it. This tree is “Weldon’s Tree” because this is where he taught me that principle. We spent over an hour that day photographing that tree.
Occasionally, I get lucky and get the perfect light and the right conditions and jump out of my car and take a snapshot of a beautiful scene like The Thunder Rolls
For me, that happens about once very 5,000 images. Most of the time, I have to work the scene. Here’s what it means to work the scene:
- Scout locations you think will look good either in the morning or evening light
- Work different angles – these following two images are the same tree, different angles
- Work different compositions – I drove by this location on afternoon and decided that that best time to photograph it was the morning so the sun could fall on the barns. I also worked it by playing with different compositions. Which one do you like best?
- Work it by isolating a section– the following is the same area, just different angles and points of concentration. Notice in the first one about a 1/3rd of the way up the left side? I moved to a different angle and capture the next image.
- Work it in post-production– Almost all cameras, even on your smart phone, have black and white or other ways to manipulate an image. I’ve photographed for so many years in black and white that I can tell when a scene is going to be best in b/w.
You’ll enjoy your photography more and create better photographs if you just keep workin’ it!