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09-07-2016, 04:34 PM   #1
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First effort at landscape.
Lens: Pentax 18~55mm Camera: Pentax K100D Super Photo Location: Cooper Mountain Winery ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/250s Aperture: F9.5 



I tried many different approaches to this effort, even walking back and forth across the rows looking for an interesting view. I debated with myself as to whether to leave the house in or omit it. I think it all came out pretty decent. I was relieved to learn that the bee traps are for yellow jackets and not honey bees. Honey bees do not like grapes, as I do not like yellow jackets. Nasty little devils.

Focal Length is 55mm.

Many thanks for viewing.

Antonio

09-07-2016, 06:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote

I tried many different approaches to this effort, even walking back and forth across the rows looking for an interesting view. I debated with myself as to whether to leave the house in or omit it. I think it all came out pretty decent. I was relieved to learn that the bee traps are for yellow jackets and not honey bees. Honey bees do not like grapes, as I do not like yellow jackets. Nasty little devils.

Focal Length is 55mm.

Many thanks for viewing.

Antonio
Well, for getting started it's not bad. A 55 can be more challenging to work with creatively for landscape use. Do you have anything wider to use? I would have thought about that barrel a bit more and tried to get a low shot from the right facing left. Some better post processing techniques could help the image as well.
09-07-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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You took the photo in the middle of the day... for landscape work, that is generally the worst time to be out shooting... the light is harsh and shadows unflattering.

I'm not sure what the focal point of the photo is.. center is uninteresting. The house is off way in the background and hidden by foliage so that can't be it. The barrel and the rows of grapes are interesting. But they don't seem to be the subject.. they sort of just feel like they happen to be in the scene to me. The sky is just a blank blue so I wouldn't give too much of it in the scene since it doesn't add much.

Actually, reading GalacticPhoto's comments, I'd agree. either angle it like he says.. or try a wider lens to get more rows of crop.

Also, try going back when the sun is further at an angle.. you'll get those long shadows and (if you go within an hour of sundown) a much more goldeny interesting light.
09-07-2016, 07:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
You took the photo in the middle of the day... for landscape work, that is generally the worst time to be out shooting... the light is harsh and shadows unflattering.

I'm not sure what the focal point of the photo is.. center is uninteresting. The house is off way in the background and hidden by foliage so that can't be it. The barrel and the rows of grapes are interesting. But they don't seem to be the subject.. they sort of just feel like they happen to be in the scene to me. The sky is just a blank blue so I wouldn't give too much of it in the scene since it doesn't add much.

Actually, reading GalacticPhoto's comments, I'd agree. either angle it like he says.. or try a wider lens to get more rows of crop.

Also, try going back when the sun is further at an angle.. you'll get those long shadows and (if you go within an hour of sundown) a much more goldeny interesting light.
I should have mentioned the sun thing, I just take it for common knowledge at this point shooting and sometimes forget people think mid day is best day to shoot. I have seen countless new photographers and even some long time shooters make this mistake.

You want to, when possible to shoot in the "Golden Hours" when the light has that nice gold tint and hangs low, creates nice cast shadows and helps make clouds look more interesting. Which is another point, clouds can really make a photo as well. Plain old blue skies tend to look pretty dull, most people take clouds for granted but a good landscape photographer will consider them as being a big part of the photo as well.

09-07-2016, 07:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GalacticPhoto Quote
Well, for getting started it's not bad. A 55 can be more challenging to work with creatively for landscape use. Do you have anything wider to use? I would have thought about that barrel a bit more and tried to get a low shot from the right facing left. Some better post processing techniques could help the image as well.
The only other lens I have is the Takumar F 70~210mm 1:4~5.6 lens.

Thanks very much for your helpful suggestions. I will certainly follow them.

Tony

---------- Post added 09-07-16 at 07:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
You took the photo in the middle of the day... for landscape work, that is generally the worst time to be out shooting... the light is harsh and shadows unflattering.

I'm not sure what the focal point of the photo is.. center is uninteresting. The house is off way in the background and hidden by foliage so that can't be it. The barrel and the rows of grapes are interesting. But they don't seem to be the subject.. they sort of just feel like they happen to be in the scene to me. The sky is just a blank blue so I wouldn't give too much of it in the scene since it doesn't add much.

Actually, reading GalacticPhoto's comments, I'd agree. either angle it like he says.. or try a wider lens to get more rows of crop.

Also, try going back when the sun is further at an angle.. you'll get those long shadows and (if you go within an hour of sundown) a much more goldeny interesting light.
Thank you very much, your suggestions will be followed up on.

Tony

---------- Post added 09-07-16 at 07:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GalacticPhoto Quote
I should have mentioned the sun thing, I just take it for common knowledge at this point shooting and sometimes forget people think mid day is best day to shoot. I have seen countless new photographers and even some long time shooters make this mistake.

You want to, when possible to shoot in the "Golden Hours" when the light has that nice gold tint and hangs low, creates nice cast shadows and helps make clouds look more interesting. Which is another point, clouds can really make a photo as well. Plain old blue skies tend to look pretty dull, most people take clouds for granted but a good landscape photographer will consider them as being a big part of the photo as well.
Excellent advice here. My only concern would be how to manipulate empty blue sky. You are saying that empty blue sky should not occupy much of the photo. Is that correct? A big problem with that is I live in the Great Pacific Northwest, meaning our Monsoon Season begins around the middle of October and usually lasts until June or even the middle of July. As a bonus we usually get three or four horrendous snow storms. The only time it is safe to go out on a shoot is a small window between July and October. Perhaps because of my location, landscape photography would not be doable for me.

Many thanks for all the helpful suggestions and comments.

Tony
09-07-2016, 08:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
The only other lens I have is the Takumar F 70~210mm 1:4~5.6 lens.

Thanks very much for your helpful suggestions. I will certainly follow them.

Tony

---------- Post added 09-07-16 at 07:36 PM ----------



Thank you very much, your suggestions will be followed up on.

Tony

---------- Post added 09-07-16 at 07:49 PM ----------



Excellent advice here. My only concern would be how to manipulate empty blue sky. You are saying that empty blue sky should not occupy much of the photo. Is that correct? A big problem with that is I live in the Great Pacific Northwest, meaning our Monsoon Season begins around the middle of October and usually lasts until June or even the middle of July. As a bonus we usually get three or four horrendous snow storms. The only time it is safe to go out on a shoot is a small window between July and October. Perhaps because of my location, landscape photography would not be doable for me.

Many thanks for all the helpful suggestions and comments.

Tony
I'm not saying empty blue sky should not occupy much of the photo. That's something you have to develop an eye for. At times it might work really well. I'm simply saying, consider cloud cover. There are lots of cloud formations that are unique or don't occur often. Personally I love big Cumulonimbus clouds in landscapes and Cirrus / Cirrostratus in sunsets.

Landscapes can be shot in all sorts of weather conditions!

---------- Post added 09-07-16 at 08:07 PM ----------

You may also want to buy the book "Understanding Exposures" on Amazon if you're just getting started.
09-08-2016, 01:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
The only other lens I have is the Takumar F 70~210mm 1:4~5.6 lens.
Hi Antonio... Have you considered panoramic stitching? This would allow you to take several sequential shots starting from the left of a wide scene, then stitch them together in software to create one large panoramic landscape. Your 55mm lens would work well for this, and there's various free software that will do the stitching for you
09-08-2016, 10:53 AM   #8
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Also if you really enjoy landscapes you might want to consider a budget wide angle lens to invest into.

I just sold a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 for $210 and you can pick up a Rok 8mm fisheye for under $200 as well. There's plenty of older legacy lenses out there too that you might find at some second hand / thrift shops or auctions etc.

09-09-2016, 02:22 AM   #9
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Hi Tony. Trying something new, good show. Landscapes can be rewarding.

The 18-55 can be a useful lens, perhaps not the greatest but at the short end it can be quiet reasonable for a wide angle if stepped down.

Like flowers, harsh midday sun is not ideal for landscapes. Early morning & late afternoon are generally preferable. Plain blue shy is not all that appealing, better a few clouds. If no clouds, crop as much sky as feasible. As someone has already noted pick a main subject and work your way around that for varying distances, angles, lighting directions etc. That barrel for instance would be better placed according to the 'rule of thirds' It would then occupy the main stage of your composition and dominate the scene. Also look out for stray leaves and branches such as the vine creeping out of frame top left.


A quick crop as below helps I believe. See how the barrel tends to dominate. Another good technique is a slight vignette which helps direct the viewers attention.

Cheers
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09-09-2016, 06:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
Hi Tony. Trying something new, good show. Landscapes can be rewarding.

The 18-55 can be a useful lens, perhaps not the greatest but at the short end it can be quiet reasonable for a wide angle if stepped down.
I particularly like the sense of perspective that draws you down between the rows of grape vines to the house.
I assume that the 18-55 lens that you are using is the kit lens that would have came with the camera. When doing landscapes wider is usually better so don't be afraid to experiment by widening out the lens to 18mm and don't forget to use the lens hood and maybe a polarizing filter if you have one. Then after you can always crop down a wide angle shot to give a different perspective or compensate for a vanishing point that may be off center without loosing too much of the perspective line
09-09-2016, 07:07 AM   #11
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To the original poster: Good for you for taking the time to explore various shooting positions.
Best wishes.
09-09-2016, 10:33 AM   #12
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In beginning landscape work you just have to knock out a bunch of these to test your technique, lenses, framing. etc. You can get into some serious Zen type reasons for snapping the shutter on the other hand some basics as presented to you by the generous commenters are all you need to progress. I would add several of my own: WHY am I taking this - art; snapshot to be deleted in a day or two; documentary reasons; "I was here"? Is there an important IDEA or CONCEPT I'm displaying to elicit emotion? Remember a photo "properly" exposed and in focus is not necessarily a good photograph. Keep shooting and hope to see many more!
09-09-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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Not really a bad effort. You've gotten some good advice so far as well. The golden hours can make even the most mundane setting look nicer. As mentioned, the 18-55 kit can be pretty good stopped down (f/8-f/11) and don't be afraid to go wider than 55mm. I would think about shifting to the right or left, and getting closer to the barrel as a subject. The setting has lots of great possibilities, so keep at it.
09-10-2016, 01:04 PM   #14
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It is difficult to get a dramatic landscape shot with vineyards. It helps to get above them somehow and shoot a sweeping scene. Here's a shot from 30 years ago using 35mm film-- Switzerland. Not a perfect shot but you get the idea.
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09-10-2016, 03:46 PM   #15
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Desertscape, I see what you are saying. This is a very nice landscape photograph, I like the technique.

Many thanks,

Antonio

---------- Post added 09-10-16 at 04:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GalacticPhoto Quote
I should have mentioned the sun thing, I just take it for common knowledge at this point shooting and sometimes forget people think mid day is best day to shoot. I have seen countless new photographers and even some long time shooters make this mistake.

You want to, when possible to shoot in the "Golden Hours" when the light has that nice gold tint and hangs low, creates nice cast shadows and helps make clouds look more interesting. Which is another point, clouds can really make a photo as well. Plain old blue skies tend to look pretty dull, most people take clouds for granted but a good landscape photographer will consider them as being a big part of the photo as well.
You are correct in saying that the time of day can be crucial when taking photos. I am looking at the original upload and I do not see where even harsh sunlight has caused a problem. In other words I do not notice any overexposure or bleached hot spots. The ground is burnt, yes, but that is due to the atypical low amount of rainfall this time of year. I am not sure what to do about empty blue sky, but I will continue to seek out the best way to get around it.

Once again, many thanks to you and everyone who offered their assistance.

Rgds,

Tony
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