The art of sea‑ing

Cap­ture the essence of a land­scape with­out land and sky, says Lau­ren Scott

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

When I re­cently found my­self back in Corn­wall, it would have been all too easy to put on my wide-an­gle lens and cap­ture a ream of tra­di­tional post­card­style land­scape im­ages of the sea and the sur­round­ing har­bour. In­stead, when I headed out for the not-too-early win­ter sun­rise, I mounted a zoom lens and worked only at the max­i­mum fo­cal length of 85mm. In­stead, too, of gaz­ing into the dis­tance at the ex­pan­sive ocean, I pointed the cam­era down at the har­bour, and fo­cused on the colour­ful de­tails found below the quay.

In this project, I’m en­cour­ag­ing a more ab­stract and emo­tional ap­proach to shooting land­scapes. There aren’t any key set­tings or sub­jects to fol­low, or right and wrong ap­proaches, al­though there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re in your cho­sen lo­ca­tion. First, take the time to ex­plore a dif­fer­ent shooting an­gle. Could you look up at the sky, cap­tur­ing a tree canopy or layer of clouds above you? You might, for ex­am­ple, turn eyes to your feet, snap­ping lay­ers of leaves on the floor, or re­peat­ing pat­terns found in sand.

It’s best to stick to longer fo­cal lengths – think 50mm and be­yond – as this will hone in on de­tails and keep the viewer’s eye in the frame. Use Man­ual mode for full con­trol over your ex­po­sure, and man­ual fo­cus if you’re shooting to­wards a bright sky, or onto re­flec­tive wa­ter. Edit­ing im­pact

My shot looked very dull straight out of the cam­era, and noth­ing like I’d seen it at the time in the warm morn­ing sun­light. Be­cause I’d shot a raw file, how­ever, I knew I had plenty of room to up the Clar­ity, Con­trast and Vi­brance lev­els (in Cam­era Raw) to make the hues pop. Here, the colours of the wa­ter and the leaves did ben­e­fit from an in­jec­tion of colour, but how much you edit or change your im­age is down to per­sonal taste and what suits the sub­ject. I also pre­ferred the shot in a por­trait ori­en­ta­tion, so I ro­tated the im­age by 90 de­grees.

AF­TER EDIT­ING

be­fore IN RAW

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