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Creativity Tag

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Shrink Things Down

Tilt-shift lenses are best known in landscape photography for generating extensive depth of field and keeping vertical lines straight. Another use for them is to create the "miniature" effect, where a scene is photographed so that it appears as if a scale model has been shot from close range using a macro lens. This has traditionally been achieved by using the movements of a tilt-shift lens to severely restrict the depth of field in the scene....

Move It

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is an abstract style of photography where the photographer deliberately moves the camera during the exposure to create an impressionistic interpretation of the landscape. Instead of taking a sharp photograph, you are effectively painting with your camera-nature provides the colors, textures, and interest, and the sensor becomes your canvas....

Lose Focus

Orton first developed the technique in the 1980s in an attempt to imitate watercolor paintings. He did this by sandwiching two slides together of the same composition-one in focus and overexposed, another out of focus and underexposed-to create ethereal results. ...

Speed Up Time

assignment you will be taking a break from shooting conventional still images. To convey time, movement, or change, it is better to capture a time-lapse sequence. This is a technique where you take a series of photos at regular intervals and then combine them into a continuous sequence to create a sped-up version of time....

Make a Starburst

A sun flare or starburst can really add sparkle and impact to your landscape images. This effect shows the sun, or any bright light source, as a near-perfect star, with rays of light radiating from the center. You can capture the effect using almost any camera type, but using an interchangeable lens camera-with adjustable aperture-will give you more control over the look of the final image. ...

Paint With Light

If you enjoy nighttime photography, but have wondered what to do on cloudy evenings, this is the assignment for you. Painting with light is a technique in which you use a flashlight to subtly shine light on a subject, making it stand out from the rest of the scene, which will be in the relative darkness of the ambient light. ...

Shoot Film

Film has been around for almost 200 years, but have you ever shot a roll? Depending on your age and experience, there is a good chance you have only ever known digital capture. But for this assignment, we encourage you to return to the classic medium of 35mm film. There is something magical about exposing film, and getting back to basics is not only a good discipline, but a fun and rewarding experience. ...

Infrared Fun

Shooting infrared (IR) is a great project for the summer months, when many landscape photographers struggle to find subjects, because of the high sun and harsh, high-contrast light. However, these conditions are perfect for infrared photography, especially black-and-white infrared; blue skies are rendered as a deep black, which contrasts strikingly with clouds, while foliage turns a ghostly white....

Mono Magic

It may not be immediately obvious, but this is an assignment that will help you focus on the fundamentals of composition: shape, line, texture, and contrast. Without the distraction of color, these are the features that become important. They do, in fact, also underpin most color compositions, but in black-and-white they are vital ingredients of a successful shot. ...

Mysterious Mist

Mist will simplify the landscape, reducing it to a series of shapes, layers, and outlines. Your assignment is to capture its effect, and then to select your best single shot. Look for an obvious focal point to either isolate or use as an anchor for your composition-maybe a landmark, boat, animal, or shapely tree. Shooting from a lower level, down amongst the mist, can also produce stunning results....

Heavy Weather

The saying "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing" could be your motto for this assignment. The idea is simply to head out and take some creative shots in bad weather. Of course, "bad weather" will mean different things to different people, but for most landscape photographers it is probably any conditions where the light doesn't create some relief on the landscape....

Beside the Seaside

Seaside resorts are full of picture potential. Artificial structures-such as harbor walls, piers, marker posts, seafront arcades, and jetties-add interest to the natural beauty of the sea and sand. In the summer, resorts tend to be crowded with tourists, making them a tricky place to shoot. However, during wintertime, or in bad weather, coastal resorts tend to be quiet, almost deserted and forlorn....

Capture a Cityscape

For many people, landscape photography is all about getting away from the hustle and bustle of town or city life and spending time somewhere peaceful. However, it may be that by doing so they are ignoring some fantastic opportunities in the form of urban landscapes. ...

Shoot Buildings

There is a beauty in the untouched landscape and many photographers try to avoid including buildings in an attempt to suggest wilderness and isolation. However, human influence on the landscape is extensive and buildings can add a lot to a scene. So, for this assignment you should actively look to include buildings in your landscape photographs. ...

Stay Local

It's tempting to think that you have to travel a long way to shoot landscapes and that only epic vistas will translate into great shots; that a shot only has value if it has been hard to create and shooting close to home is somehow "cheating:' However, there are great landscapes everywhere, and you shouldn't overlook your local patch, even if it isn't home to snow-capped mountains, glaciers, or vast sand dunes. ...

Go Somewhere Famous

This is a challenging assignment and one that should really stretch your creativity. If you look at social media and through the pages of photographic magazines, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is a set number of locations and viewpoints to shoot and very specific compositions you have to copy. It is perhaps a valid criticism that there is little new in landscape photography. ...

Road Trip

You don't need to invest lots of money in the best photography gear to shoot great landscape images. What you need is opportunity, and one of the best ways to get this is to go on a photography road trip. Revisiting the same places over and over can lead to overfamiliarity and complacency. So, if you suspect staleness in your work, look at a map and begin planning an adventure. ...

Make It Your Own

There is currently a lot of discussion over the question of originality in landscape photography. With ever-increasing numbers of images being presented online, some feel that there is a tendency for landscape photographers simply to travel from one well-known destination to another, doing little more than copy other people's work. ...

Be Spontaneous

Landscape photographers are encouraged to meticulously plan and prepare. Using a host of apps, they calculate the sun's precise position, view detailed weather graphs, and access up-to-the minute tide charts. Some apps even predict if there is likely to be a colorful sky or not. ...

Go Long

Due to their stretched perspective, wide angle lenses are the obvious choice for photographing landscapes. But it is not healthy for your photography to grow over-reliant on any one lens. Therefore, for this assignment, you must only use a focal length of 200mm or longer. ...

Nifty Fifty

Unsurprisingly, zoom lenses are popular today and their versatility means they are the mainstay of many photographers' kit bags. However, zooms can also make photographers lazy when composing shots and it is important to learn when it is better to physically move the camera in order to create the best perspective or shooting angle....

Shoot Handheld

As a landscape enthusiast there is an assumption that you should always use a  tripod, and for most of the assignments in this book a tripod will either be helpful or essential. However, you don't always need a camera support and-on occasion-the speed and spontaneity of shooting handheld will be a more practical and creative choice. ...

Capture Contrasts

This assignment takes us back to one of the building blocks of composition: contrast. The importance of contrast was emphasized by the Bauhaus school of art, design, and architecture. The design instructor Johannes ltten felt that contrast was the basis for composition and he produced a list of contrasts, which included these pairs: ...

Get Close

Photographing the "intimate landscape" typically involves isolating just a few, select elements, rather than capturing an extensive view. This gives you the freedom to be less conventional and more creative. For this assignment, swap your wideangle lens for a short telephoto, and look closely for detail, texture, structure, shape, or form. ...

Cream of the Crop

The landscape is a diverse and varied place. It can be flat, hilly, mountainous, empty, or busy. Therefore, it is unrealistic to think your camera's native aspect ratio will suit every scene you shoot. Aspect ratio is the term used to describe the dimensions of an image by comparing its width and height....

Colour Combinations

Most landscape photographers use colours instinctively and to a large extent we are restricted in that we can't really choose colours - we have to shoot what's in front of is. However, there is some room for manoeuvre, in that we are able to frame compositions selectively and can seek out particular colour combinations. It's therefore worth getting to grips with basic colour theory before embarking on this assignment....