Landscapes & more


Landscapes &, more

Q &, A with Brian Kavanagh

What is the perfect weather for photography?

Weather plays such a big part in the success of a landscape photographer’s work, it’s hard to say.

I’d say an overcast day is usually a great day. If you want to get the most out of your shooting, the overcast day is a good way to get started. Any overcast conditions are good, but cloudier conditions give the photographer more options on exposure and other creative choices. If you’re lucky, the clouds will break and you can see past the overcast layer. However, there is usually so much more information and detail in the overcast light, it’s sometimes tough to tell what’s happening.

Light fog is also good, as the color of the light is warm, and not cold and gray. If the fog is extremely thick, the light may be too soft, and you’ll have to do some work in Photoshop to fix it.

Even if you have a hot summer day, you can still get a good image if you make sure to capture the light as it changes throughout the day.

What is your favorite part of a landscape image?

The most important part of a landscape image for me is the feel that I’m able to achieve in the final image. To me, that means I’m able to communicate something about the subject, the time of day, or even some emotion. This is a very subjective thing, so for every image I take, I try to be as objective as I can be in my analysis. There is always something that is not quite working, and trying to figure out what the problem is is a part of the photographic process.

A common issue that I have experienced is how, after you take the shot, the overall feel that the subject has is not strong enough in the picture. This is a problem of what I call texture, meaning the overall feeling or mood. Often, when I’m analyzing an image, I try to think of a tangible way to capture this feeling. One way to think of it is to think about water, water is always a strong texture in nature, and represents a feeling of the vastness of the sea or the stillness of the lake. When you’re standing on the edge of a lake, or you’re standing on the beach, you can feel the strength of the waves and the roar of the sea. As we get closer, we see the shapes of the waves, the swell, and eventually we feel the texture in the sand. The texture feels solid, but close, like you’re so close that you feel the strength in the waves, like you could grab it. That’s the kind of texture that is needed for a good landscape photograph. You have to capture that feeling in your own photography, and create it in your own photograph.

If you’re just starting out, what can you expect to learn from practicing landscape photography?

It is really all about the knowledge, the education, and the practice. As a photographer, there’s nothing better than shooting something, and then realizing that you have absolutely no idea how to do it. At that point, you have to learn all about it, read and study, or work on it with a teacher or mentor. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a teacher who is teaching on the side, and may even be able to take you on a photographic assignment, or have someone who can show you how to shoot this technique. That’s the most valuable lesson, the



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