Dealing with a few Landscape Photography Myths - A must read.



Now, I do a lot of reading online of Photography related subjects. I also watch a lot of YouTube. Over the last year or so I have been somewhat agasp at some of the 'statements' I read in the comments sections.  So here are a few actual comments I have recently read, let's deal with 3 porkers right here that struck me this week. 


1) 'No real landscape potographer shoots hand held' 

Yes this was actually a statement. Let me assume the poster means one should always use a tripod if one is to be a 'real' landscaper. Well that's just plain wrong. The way I view the use of a tripod is like I view any other decision making process. I ask myself 'Will using [insert item here] improve this image or enable me to achieve what I hope to? If the answer is no, then I leave it out. In my case I would say that of 90%+ of published shots, the use of a tripod would not have added anything, in fact it's often a hinderence. By example, all of the shots in this post are hand held. 

I personally mostly shoot handheld, heck I don't even use a camera strap. Why? I do not like the restriction of a tripod. This is just my MO.  I use one when I need to drag the shutter at lower speeds than modern cameras and lenses allow but that isn't often. Moreover I like to move around, flow and merge with my surroundings. Get my feet into it, feel it. This brings me closer to the subject figuratively speaking, and I have more flexibility and speed with composing. It's not stiff and planted like tripod work is. Modern advancements like image stabilisation etc mean I can shoot as slow as 1/15th second hand held, and sharp! Maybe my past military trading in the use of a rifle helps, I can stand and shoot very steady but this can be learned by anyone. 

I am not alone in this either. In 2014 I managed to become a finalist in U.K. Landscape Photographer of the Year and that years winner, Mark Littlejohn, shares this view and practice of avoiding the tripod. My image from that competition is below and was shot hand held, ISO 1600, f8 @ 1/125 sec helped by image stabilisation. 


2) 'Good images need hours of post processing' 

 This is just silly. Of course one can spend as much time as you like editing but depending on the image five or ten minutes can be plenty. If the RAW image has potential the editing phase can be just about pulling out the beauty and making it pop. If you need much more time and assuming you aren't merging or blending then perhaps you are making changes that could have been considered during the making of the exposure? Remember editing should never replace good craft so try to perfect your camera craft maybe. Check out my YouTube channel for some examples of quick editing. 

3) APSC (crop sensor) digital cameras are not suitable for Landscape work.  

Hmmm. Of course they are. The sensor size has little effect on the image real terms. By real terms I mean the technical qualities of composition, moment and feel which are to me the 3 key elements of a great image. Crop sensors of today's quality can give us images which can be printed big enough and the greater depth of field that can be achieved with a crop sensor can in fact offer advantage. 

As a reminder here are the sensor size relationships  


And by means of example, the image below was taken with my iphone. Thats the smallest sensor shown above. 


A few hand held made images taken on APSC cameras with just a few minutes post processing.  


North Devon morning. Fujifilm XT1

North Devon morning. Fujifilm XT1

Exmoor River. Fujifilm XT2 -  1/15 sec hand held. 

Exmoor River. Fujifilm XT2 -  1/15 sec hand held. 

Lanzarote, Fujifilm XT2

Lanzarote, Fujifilm XT2

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