BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘landscape photography

Books for Your Library: ‘African Air’

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Photo books are a great addition to any library. As photographers, we are constantly searching for new ideas and are always interested in seeing concepts-done-well. Here’s a suggestion to add to your library …

“African Air,” a photo essay by George Steinmetz, offers a unique, bird’s-eye view of Africa through the lens of an award-winning National Geographic photographer.
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Steinmetz, who has been a contributing photographer to National Geographic and GEO magazines for more than 20 years, takes to the air in this book, flying sometimes thousands of feet in the air with the aid of a motorized paraglider (think parachute with a motor).

This book features amazing panoramic photos taken in more than 14 African countries. From urban sprawls to remote villages and miles upon miles of seemingly endless desert, Steinmetz offers the viewer a unique look of the African landscape.

Since 1986, Steinmetz has completed 18 major photo essays for National Geographic magazine and 25 stories for GEO magazine. Born in Beverly Hills in 1957, he graduated with a degree in geophysics from Stanford University. He began his photography career after hitchhiking through Africa for 28 months.

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Photo Critique 8: ‘Texture 1,’ by Andres L.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Andres, my friend in Miami, Florida.

'Texture 1,' by Andres of Miami.

'Texture 1,' by Andres of Miami.

General Overview:
Andy, you have a great eye for finding beauty in the ordinary. You have a great ability to present ordinary objects in a new light. That’s a talent that will help you in photography or any other artistic endeavors you choose to pursue. You also have an incredible amount of patience working in post production. This is an important aspect to digital photography and you’re learning post-production techniques quite well.

Like most images submitted for critique, I like the concept of this image because of its simplicity. You present the viewer with an attractive, pleasing look at an otherwise normal scene. You give the viewer plenty of room to roam around the scene, yet stay focused on the message you’re trying to convey. As a viewer, I feel “at home” and comfortable in your scene and want to explore it more. I want to walk down the road and see where it leads. You did a great job of convincing your viewer to look at the image and wonder “where does that go?”

Good job.

Improvements
There are just a few improvements I want to suggest. First, the object (it looks like a box) about mid-way down the road needs to be removed. You could have either moved it prior to shooting or walked past it and shot further down the path. In post production, you could easily edit the box out. Either way, it’s a little distracting to the viewer.

Secondly, I think a little more detail in the sky would have helped separate it some from the ground.

Finally, I think a little more vignetting on the top and bottom would have achieved a better look. This is a matter of opinion, though, so it’s really up to you to decide.

I would also recommend playing around with the ISO sensitivity. Perhaps a grainy look would help make the image “pop” a little more.

A quick edit removes the box and the distraction. (Photo Credit: Andres L. with edit by Jeremy Schneider)

A quick edit removes the box and the distraction. (Photo Credit: Andres L. with edit by Jeremy Schneider)

Andy, you always do a great job. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

March 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Photo Critique 5: ‘Colombia’s Endless Mountains,’ by Gabriel M.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Gabriel, a friend of mine in Miami, Florida from his trip home to Colombia.

'Colombia's Endless Mountains,' by Gabriel of Miami, Florida.

'Colombia's Endless Mountains,' by Gabriel of Miami, Florida.

General Overview:
Gabriel, this is a great idea for a landscape image. You found a beautiful location and you waited until the right time to make the image. You have a great eye for natural beauty and it shines through in this image. I know landscapes are relatively new for you since most of your shots are portraits so it’s nice to see you branching out and trying other genres.

I like the idea of using the barbed-wire fence in the foreground. I think it helps set an interesting contrast. You have the fence, which depicts captivity and then the background of mountains that seem to never end. I think it’s a nice play on the theme.

Very well done.

Improvements
There are a few improvements I will suggest. First, the sun in the right corner is too distracting. In order to capture the dark background, you needed to use a slower shutter speed, thus causing the sun to appear overexposed. There’s a few ways around this. On camera, you could use a neutral density or a split density filter to help offset the overexposure or you could have selected an area where the sun was not so imposing. In post production, you could have cropped out the sun or used the dodge tool to help bring it back into proper exposure.

Second, the mid-ground is a little too underexposed. I think you should have dodged the sun, burned in the mid-ground and it would have made a better image.

For your reference, I did a quick edit. See if you like the difference or not.

A quick re-edit by Jeremy Schneider. (Photo Credit: Gabriel M. of Miami, Florida)

A quick re-edit by Jeremy Schneider. (Photo Credit: Gabriel M. of Miami, Florida)

You always do a great job. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing some more images from you.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

February 24, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Workshops

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Here’s a list of photographic workshops that may interest you:

John C. Campbell Folk School
March 29-April 4: “Photography Boot Camp”
April 26-May 1: “Nature Photography for Digital Enthusiasts”
June 28-July 4: “Digital Macro Photography”
July 5-10: “Introduction to Photography”

Wilderness Institute
August 28-September 8: “Alaska Adventures 2009”

Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures
April 2-5: “Savannah, Grand Lady of the South”
April 23-26: “Springtime on the Outer Banks”
May 21-24: “Maine Coast & Lighthouses”
June 12-19: “French Wine Country”