Landscape photography is all about seeing and being a part of what is being portrayed. The outdoor images that it embodies it should elicit an emotion of being part of it. This opens the doors wide open for you to explore different events in nature at different timings and also human build to be photographed artistically. It concerns humans and their perspective of these varied aspects that you get to see in life. In fact, though landscape photography does not photograph people, its purpose is to enable humans to connect with those scenes.
Painting is the most ancient way of portraying what people wishes others to see and appreciate long after the event or the occasion is over. We find different expressions of the different facets of human life through paintings across the globe. Landscape was however very sparsely kept as the main subject of painters, rather they were used as backdrops for the main subject. Gradually, nature by itself began enthralling painters and landscapes began being painted and this continued in the early 18th century.
With the coming of photography in the 1800s, as individuals began exploring the world with the camera in tow, they began documenting their travel. It is then that landscape photography started and carried the look and feel of landscape painting. In the late 19th century, Peter Henry Emerson began emphasizing on photograph being pursued as a distinct art with its fine nuances too. It is Emerson that stressed the importance of naturalism in photography and made it immensely popular.
Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s iconic ‘Boulevard de Temple’ in 1838 is a long range shot of a Parisian street scene was shot to capture a man having his shoes polished.
In 1848, Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter captured the town’s waterfront in their panoramic Daguerreotypes
The art of capturing the images of buildings and other structures in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and also an accurate representation of the subjects is what we call Architectural Photography. The “View from the window at Le Gras” by Nicéphore Niépce is considered as the first Architectural Photography as it contains the view of buildings.
In the 20th century with the coming of modern architectural marvels, the need for photographing them in greater details and also with better aesthetics has seen the rise of this branch of photography. It not only consists of taking pictures of lavish structures but even small shanties and dilapidated buildings – each of which communicate eloquently conveying a message.
In the broadest sense there are two branches of Architectural Photography:
This type of photography takes the advantage of daylight or other natural light source like moonlight or the ambience such a street lights. Depending on how and what the photographer wants to capture, the surrounding landscape or the skyscape blend with the structures.
Indoor architectural photography is a form of controlled photography. This too makes use of the ambient light but also artificial light sources like the flash bulb.
Professional Tips: You will need cameras that can be shifted or tilted to control the position and depiction of the structures from appealing angles. You will also need a deep depth of the photographic field to give both the foreground and background the same level of sharpness.
Also known as Descriptive or Straight Photography, this form aims to give the viewers an objective and realistic representation of the scene captured. There are no artificial components or props used in it.
Lighting plays a special role here as does framing. At times, Representational Landscape Photography is used to describe something. Perhaps the best description of this type of photography comes from Terry Barrett in his book “Criticizing Photographs” as “to identify or describe visually an object, person, place to thing. In the art world these types of photographs usually consist of longer series of images.”
Professional Tips: Take a deep depth and wide angle to get the best combination of the landscape that you wish to capture. You may choose to combine the skyscape depending on the choice of subjects.
Abstract Landscape Photography as the name suggests is meant to stimulate a strong emotion in the viewer. This is done by portraying the aesthetic characteristic of the landscape and not just a descriptive view of it. Here, color form, tone, texture and lines play the major role. They all play on the human cognition levels compelling them to elicit a response.
There is nothing dogmatic about this form of photography. The places of photography can range from a rocky formation to reflections of a passing iceberg in its irregular patterns. Inspiration for this kind of photography can be found everywhere in nature and it only takes the photographer’s imagination to capture it at the right angle.
Professional Tips: Light plays the biggest role in Abstract Landscape Photography where you can choose to diffuse it. If you choose for harsh contrast of natural sunlight, it may give you the opportunity to use the shadow shapes and patterns as a subject.
The term is self-explanatory. Photographs of this genre show cities or towns in their vast and unending setting almost doing away with the sense of limits of space. These can be aerial views of the cityscape or taken from a high altitude and can be shot within the town or even from its periphery.
There are also other specializations like urban streetscape photography and night trails. Each one of these have an interesting aspect to it captivating the viewer with the representation of what exists definitively in the city at that point in time and space. It is very commonly used when documenting definitive times and their development and later used to compare and study.
Professional Tips: When deciding on the place of photography, you should keep in mind the pyramid that has humans and the foreground at its base with the reflections and juxtaposition coming later.
This is both similar to Urban Landscape Photography and dissimilar from it. Rural Landscape Photography mostly comprises of capturing life as it goes by in the countryside. In a sense there is always something old or quaint about rural landscape photography that makes it so different from rural landscape photography.
While some prefer involving humans as a subject of the Rural Landscape Photography, others prefer to capture only what exists in the landscape. Either way, you will bring alive whatever you capture. Each photographic piece should tell a story – as passionately as you capture it!
You can lend variety to your Rural Landscape Photography by shooting long stretches of farms, barns and ranches, capture old and abandoned houses, the sky and the events in nature like rain.
Professional Tips: Take a sweeping stake at whatever you capture keeping the details in mind too. There is plenty is the ruralscape that includes animals and birds that can add to the living value of your Rural Landscape Photography.
Impression is something that remains even after you have removed it. In the case of Impressionistic Photography, it is the result of interesting ideas that leave an impression on the mind of the viewer. It is a relatively new concept in photography having been born in the mid-19th century when Money. Morisot, Pissarro and Morisot produced their works. It has a feeling of movement, a sense of color vibration, mixing and blending freely. Often these are multiple impression of real single objects that exist in reality.
Professional Tips: It can be achieved by using the camera in combination of techniques like giving the shutters, zooming selectively, long exposure and focus through.
Seas have a lot to offer in terms of photograph and it need not be restricted to the beach alone. Seascape can include the water, land and the sky or be restricted to the tremendous wave formation or the sky and the water meeting in the colored lights of dawn or dusk. The best way to go about creating stunning seascapes is to have an interesting foreground to make a stunning contrast of it against the sea. Such photographs describe nature in its calm and aggressive moods to give the exact feel to the viewer.
Professional Tips: Vary your shutter speed for the especial effect and filters to vary the color gradient.