Shoot­ing in par­adise

David Webb wants to make the most of New Zealand’s scenery

NPhoto - - Over To You… -

Be­fore I re­tired three years ago I had only re­ally taken hol­i­day snaps, but my wife and I wanted to see more of the world. New Zealand was high on my list of places to see, so we spent two months there, and my pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy, and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy in par­tic­u­lar, was given full rein. My cam­era bag was, of course, near to hand wher­ever we went. I cur­rently shoot with a Nikon D610 cou­pled with ei­ther my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens or my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.

New Zealand’s ob­vi­ous at­trac­tion is its dra­matic and var­ied scenery. I am still learn­ing about pho­tog­ra­phy and I try to pro­duce im­ages that re­flect what the hu­man eye can see, and above all, cre­ate a re­ac­tion. When re­flect­ing on my pho­tog­ra­phy ex­pe­ri­ence in New Zealand I have learned many lessons. I forced my­self to shoot to­tally in man­ual mode, as I feel that this makes you ap­pre­ci­ate and work the re­la­tion­ship be­tween shut­ter speed, aper­ture and ISO. Shoot­ing in RAW also gave me more lat­i­tude to make ad­just­ments later in Light­room. I was at­tracted to dif­fer­ent light con­di­tions and feel that be­ing able to un­der­stand light is key to im­prov­ing my im­ages. I have also learned the value of a solid tri­pod and a pa­tient wife!

The stun­ning scenery cre­ated its own unique chal­lenges – the paths are well trod­den. I wanted to cap­ture im­ages that were some­how dif­fer­ent or had an un­usual feel to them. I was there­fore con­stantly look­ing for dif­fer­ent an­gles, light­ing or sub­jects.

N-PHOTO SAYS…

David, you cer­tainly had a beau­ti­ful coun­try to pho­to­graph. You’re al­most there with your im­ages, and if you worked on the com­po­si­tion just a lit­tle more you would have some very pow­er­ful photos.

Try split­ting the scene into parts: fore­ground, mid­dle­ground and back­ground. Tex­tured rocks, wood and flow­ers all give the viewer some­thing to fo­cus on in land­scape pho­to­graphs. If you can, make the fore­ground ob­ject ac­cen­tu­ate what’s in the back­ground. For ex­am­ple, a piece of driftwood creep­ing into the frame could point at the glo­ri­ous moun­tains be­hind.

Don’t be afraid to move in or­der to in­clude an in­ter­est­ing ob­ject in the fore­ground. The chil­dren in shot 04 are slightly too cen­tral and have too much neg­a­tive space be­low – it would have been nice to see them at the top or bot­tom of the frame.

If you can, try to cap­ture com­pli­men­tary colours, and make the most of con­trast­ing tex­tures (so if part of your scene is smooth, make sure the other part is rough). Re­peated shapes and pat­terns also ex­cite the eye – the jagged moun­tains stack­ing be­hind each other could be some­thing to con­cen­trate on for your next photo pro­ject.

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