Landscape Photography - analyze this

Above is a favorite Iceland image that I made in July with my Canon 5D Mark IV (pre-production model) and Canon 17-40mm lens – mounted on my Really Right Stuff tripod with RRS ball head.

The image, with excellent detail in the both the shadow and highlight areas (thanks to the dynamic range of the 30.4 mega pixel image sensor), illustrates several basic - and important - photographic techniques, illustrated by the marked-up image below . . . which I composed using Live View (which I recommend to all my photo workshop students).

But first, take the time to analyze your images. The process will help you determine which are your very best photographs. Try it, you'll like it . . . I promise you.

1) The black line shows the movement of the water running through the image.

2) The corner-to-corner white arrow shows that everything in the scene is in sharp focus, a goal I try to achieve in all my landscape images. For max depth-of -field, use a wide-angle lens, small aperture and focus 1/3 into the frame. You can use the touch screen to focus!

3) The circles on the intersecting lines of the tic-tac-toe grid illustrate the "rule of thirds" composition technique. The two waterfalls are the main subjects.

4) The open area at the top of the frame illustrates breathing room.

5) The letter "E" is placed over the brightest part of the image. The tip here: expose for the highlights (by checking your histogram and highlight alert).

The image also illustrates an important tip for waterfall photography: Experiment with slow shutter speeds to get the desired effect - the degree to which YOU want the water blurred. Here I used a 1.3 second shutter speed.

For more on composition and exposure, see my latest book: Creative Visualization for Photographers.

Hey, if you are in the Costa Mesa, CA area on October 6, I hope you can come to my landscape and seascape photography seminar at the Canon Live Learning Center. Click here for info.

Explore the light,

P.S. FYI: the new Canon 5D Mark IV camera has a built-in GPS, so I can easily find this exact location when I return to Iceland. The full touch screen is also very cool. And, for photographing in Iceland, the improved weather sealing is most welcome!