Winter landscape photography
Winter landscape photography comes in all shapes and sizes.
Wide open vistas covered in snow with crystal clear blue skies…
Beautiful details off red berries covered in frost…Sounds familiar docent it.
But how often do we actually have the opportunity to shoot images like these?
Probably not very often.
When shooting winter landscape photography we have to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, to be inspired and more than that to be able to pre visualise.
Lest take a grey day, maybe a bit of frost , some mist, everything looks pretty flat.
Pre visualisation being one of the photographers greatest asset means that you can view these scenes and be inspired not just see it as a flat grey day.
Once you have mastered your post production techniques you will see more in the landscape, you will see the possibility of the image not the literal image in front of you.
Make sure you shoot RAW files, these will give you much more control off the image when you are back in the warm of the home or office.
Put simply you then need to up the contrast of these grey images. By doing this you will be creating a high key image, and image of greater contrast.
So the greys may become whites, the shadows solid blacks and there will not be many tones in between.
You are compressing the range of tones giving you an almost black and white landscape.
Take for example this set of images hot over a period of time in different locations, you can view this portfolio on my Behance page.
Each of these images highlights the simplicity of the winter landscape in virtual monochrome.
I was inspired by the normal, a hedgerow, a field, a tree in the mist.
However I also knew what I wanters the final image to look like.
This as mentioned is the key.
Learn to pre visualise what the print or screen image is going to be, not what is in front of you.
Shooting RAW files is like gathering the basic information you need to then produce the image you want to make.
So the lesson here is not to disregard the simple things around you, a short walk through a park or round the fields with a photographers eye can easily allow you to create a body of work.
A good way to be able to visulaise the landscape and practice good composition is to set your camera to view in black and white or monochrome. Some cameras allow you to do this by changing the “viewing” setting to B&W.
These cameras will have EVF viewfinders (Electronic view finders)
This is usaully achieved by setting the .JPG file to record as B&W
If you make sure you shoot RAW camera files you can now view the scene in monochrome.
The accompanying .JPG file will be in B&W but the RAW file will have all of the colour information and from there you can choose to porcess to colour, B&W etc.
This can help you with compositon by removing the distraction of colour in the viewfinder making it easier to see shapes and patterns in your photographs.
NOTE: Make sure you fully understand your camera settings, not all cameras will allow this and you need to be 100% sure that you are recording RAW camera files (as well as the B&W .JPG file)