Landscape photography is more than just nice scene.

Being on site exactly at the right place at a great moment is key.  Moreover, this moment could last only for a few minutes.  Most of the time you can’t predict when or where this will happens.  Being there and being ready is mandatory. This is the most important part of Landscape Photography

On this January 29th, I was at my home computer writing yesterday’s blog post about Documentary Photography.  My loved one came to me telling me:  “Denis, have you seen the light?  The light is so nice!”  Seeing the light!!!  I went in the kitchen to see what she was talking about.  she was right!  The light was magnificent.  The sun was not up yet.  Temperature was at 0 degree Fahrenheit.  The residual humidity crystallized on trees, leafs and branches and everything look like magic.

So here I am outside with my snow shoes and my camera, on the lake, looking to see the light.  I am trying to catch the light.  Make it my prisoner in my camera.

Again, what we can see with our eyes is much nicer than what could be recorded on camera.  We used to talk about how film if better than digital.  This is not true anymore.  However, our eyes are so superior to digital sensor!

In this picture, the sun was rising over my right shoulder.  The golden light it sprinkle on the fine ice crystals on tree branches at the top of the trees was so nice.  This picture is a pale representation of what I saw in this early morning.

When taking picture of snow, the metering systems of the camera will cut the amount of light reaching the sensor to reach a point where the snow is grey instead of white.  You need to compensate for this.  You can adjust for one or two stop of light higher by using your camera metering compensation.  If you do so, and you are trying to capture a darker area, then you will overexposed your picture.  It is not easy to get a correct exposure in these circumstances.  Bracketing is the easy way to make sure you get one good picture.

Another option is to take a sample picture, consider the exposure using the LCD monitor on the camera and the histogram and switch over to manual exposure.  By regularly reviewing the result on your monitor and watch for changing light, you can do pretty well.  Myself I prefer bracketing.  This also allow me to do HDR later on if need be.

To get inspired by snow photography I urge you to visit this post on Onextrapixel.com.  Very nice examples of good use of snow in photography!

In this picture I tried to make a dynamic composition.  The trees get smaller when they get farther in the distance.  This helps us represent the third dimension.

Technical details:

This is a single exposure with Canon 5D Mark III and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS.

  • ISO – 160;
  • 1/200 sec;
  • f/7.1;
  • Black and white adjustment in Lightroom along with contrast enhancements;
  • Slight Clarity and Vibrance increase.

Did you ever go outside like crazy at freezing temperature to take shots?