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Photography 101: Landscape

It’s a big world out there! Show us what you see in a landscape.

Image by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

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We’ve spent time practicing our establishing shots, capturing street scenes, and observing the natural world. Today, let’s walk in the footsteps of masters like Ansel Adams and focus on landscape photography.

The landscapes of nature photographer Kerry Mark Leibowitz are stunning.

Landscapes generally focus on wide, vast depictions of nature and all of its elements, from formations to weather. In this genre of photography, you won’t find much of a human presence: nature itself is the subject. A focus on nature isn’t mandatory, however — you can capture a sweeping panorama of an entire city, town, or industrial area.

Today, snap a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole, like the shot above of the English countryside in Kent — rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.

Tip: Ready to do some basic image editing? After your shooting session, sift through your landscapes and find one that needs cropping. (You can look back to previous shots from the course, too.) Look out for:

  • Stray objects in the background, near the frame’s edges and corners.
  • People around the perimeter of the frame that might have “photo-bombed” your picture.
  • A foreground or background that is too prominent or “heavy.”
  • A composition that is too-centered, with your subject right in the middle, that might benefit from cropping along two sides (in other words, cropping to the Rule of Thirds).

You can crop any image in your dashboard. When viewing the image in your Media Library, click Edit Image:

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 3.09.21 PM

In the Edit Image screen, drag your cursor across the frame to select the area of the image you’d like to keep. When you release, the crop option — the first icon at the far left — will become clickable. Clicking this button will crop your image.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 3.09.54 PM

While you can crop as much as you’d like off the sides, top, or bottom, your image may only need a subtle snip. Start slow, and crop little by little. If you make a mistake, restore the original version in the Edit Image tool under Restore Original Image.

If you choose not to use the crop tool in your dashboard, consider using Photoshop, PicMonkey, or an application on your computer like Preview (Mac) or Photo Gallery (Windows).

Note: Comments on Photo 101 posts are closed — please use the Commons to share your new posts, discuss today’s theme and tip, and chat with fellow participants. If you choose not to use the Commons, just be sure to tag your post with photo101 so others can find your submission in the Reader. 

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