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07/10/2005 12:54:51 PM · #1
DPC Mentorship Ė Rules of the Road

Group: Landscape/Scenery
Mentor: gi_joe05
Students: tcrock41, nshapiro, dartompkins, Geo_Griffin, Ironworker


1. If you are not an active member of this mentorship group, please feel free to follow this thread. It is not intended to be exclusionary - we hope everyone can learn from it.

2. If you are not an active member of this group but have a question or comment, please send it directly to the moderator by Private Message. The moderator will either answer you directly or post your comment and their response to the thread. Thank you for understanding that we are trying to keep these groups small and on-topic. If this experiment takes off, we plan to start more groups to try to accommodate as many people as we can.

3. Mentors are volunteers with jobs and/or families. They're human too, and may make mistakes on occasion. If you feel the burning need to criticize them, point out a mistake, or point out your own infinately greater knowledge in they subject they are teaching, please do so in a PM to the mentor, not in this thread.

4. Have fun learning!

P.S. To see updated group information, see my profile.

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 16:53:24.
07/10/2005 01:43:18 PM · #2
Allright guys, lets get this started.

first a little about me. My name is Topher. I am 18 years old and have been a student of photography for 8 years now. I am currently a student at Ohio Institute of Photography and Technologies and run my own freelance business. I am also an appritence for Pat Brown of Browns studio photography. I have spent the last few trips around the sun studing landscapes and I currently working on a callender that hopefully some day I can get published and wont be poor any longer. You guys remember college life, 20 bones is a lot of money to me. I will be able to post some landscapes I have allready on my hardrive today, but for the most part I have to do all my editing at school due to lack of photoshop on my computer.

I hope that is enough about me, if you are member of group and have the time we would love to hear a little about you too. This is ment to be a learning experence for all of us. If any problems arise in the group, either with group members or myself please feel free to talk about it in pm's. I have made an email adress for the soul purpose of this group, dpclandscape@yahoo.com. Please feel free to use the forums, pm's, and e mail. I think these groups are the next big step for dpc and as always keep shooting no matter what!

07/10/2005 05:46:41 PM · #3
Ok a little about me. I am a 34 year old Journeyman Ironworker, married to my best friend. We have 2 daughters. We live on the south end of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.
I took up digital photography primarily to record the moments of my kids & relatives lives. It has transformed into much more. I look forward to learning a lot from this, as well as offering encouragement & critique.
07/10/2005 07:10:53 PM · #4
I`m a 43 year old, living in London UK. I like hiking/backpacking; so a lot of my pictures are landscape/scenery. I also have a interest in castles. I have also just started playing with Digital IR using a Nikon 950 and R72 filter.

Hopefully I can learn form this mentorship program, plus help the other members.

[thumb]202323[/thumb] [thumb]202322[/thumb]

[thumb]202321[/thumb] [thumb]202319[/thumb]

Here are four of my most recent landscape pictures.

07/10/2005 08:33:59 PM · #5
Hello, my name is Neil and I'm a photoholic. I was into photography in high school back in the 70's, shooting with SLRs and twin lens reflex cameras. I did my own darkroom work as well, through college, shooting mostly black and white film. But I was in Psychology and Computer Science, and shooting was mainly a passion, which I sort of lost after college. Until the introduction of digital cameras. I bought a Oly 450Z about 5 or 6 years ago and really started to enjoy photography again. Later I bought a G2, which got me into doing things even better, shooting only RAW, and the ability to do filters.

The G2 broke this past August and I finally went back to an SLR, the 300D. I was a bit unhappy with the size of that so recently sold it and now I have a 350D. But to make sure I can carry a camera on my bike rides and hikes, I also bought a Canon S1 IS. I am torn between SLR and prosumer cameras (though the S1 IS is a little low end) because you can take some really nice landscapes with big DOF using a small sensor camera. That's a real advantage--but my G2 took much better pics than my S1 IS, partly because it could shoot RAW. I have spent a small fortune on lenses for my Canon, I have the Canon 10-22mm for landscapes, the 70-200/F4L which I sort of "replaced" now with the Canon 70-300 IS DO. It's just more practical for hikes. I also have the 50mm 1.8 and the Sigma 18-125 as a flexible walk around lens.

I think I'm decent at doing landscapes, but I've never had any formal training or did enough reading (yet) on landscape photography, so I do kind of wing it. I read/stared at Ancient America by David Muench a few times and it's awesome. Got me thinking about doing more landscapes with foreground objects and perspective. I am also a big fan of Freeman Patterson, and read his book which has a number of exercises to help one see. One reason this is important to me is that I find I often don't see the best "picture" when out shooting landscapes. We don't have the most dramatic scenery, though we are not far from the adirondacks, and we have the beautiful mohawk river, which is pretty scenic. But not like out west!

Anyway, enough of an introduction. Here's what I think are some of my best landscapes so far. I hope to be able to submit some of the ones I don't think quite have enough. I take a lot of pictures, and I many I just don't see the spark. I'd like to get better at recognizing the best ones myself.

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and going through my older G2 pics, I am finding some more I really like like these:

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And going back to film:

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What would I like to get out of this group? Some formal knowledge of what elements and compositions "work" best in landscapes (for example, does a landscape need a focal point? I thought not, but others have said yes), some critique of some that I have sitting around but not confident enough in them to have posted them to my regular portfolio, and how to figure out how to revisit my local scenes and take great shots!

Here's my DPC Landscapes Portfolio
07/10/2005 08:37:52 PM · #6
here are a couple that I allready had on my hard drive.




I will give you cats a detailed write up on each of these includeing what I feel is their strong points and their weak points in the next couple of days

Message edited by muckpond - changed large images to link.
07/10/2005 08:54:07 PM · #7
George, and other members of this group, I left comments on all four pictures you posted directly in the comment area. Hope you find them helpful.

Please feel free to leave comments on any shots in my landscape portfolio you think can be improved, or any that just touch you (always good to know). I will later post some of my "iffy" ones too. The ones in my portfolio are generally best of breed, but I also have many I ahave questions about.
07/10/2005 09:15:57 PM · #8
friendly reminder to keep the large images down. :) we try to stay dial-up friendly.

if you don't have a membership, you can make your own thumbnails and then post those and make them links to the full-size images. it takes a little bit more work, but it's an option.

or... buy a membership. :)
07/10/2005 09:18:22 PM · #9
Hello, my name is Colette. I have been dappling in photography since the mid 80's with film and now digital for the past 2 1/2 years. Below are some of my examples of landscape/scenic photography. Some I've tried to use objects in foreground/background to provide depth whereas others I've tried to use lines in the scene to lead the eye through. Feel free to comment.

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[thumb]69076[/thumb] [thumb]106501[/thumb] [thumb]198592[/thumb]

These you may consider more travel photography rather than landscape.

Message edited by author 2005-07-10 21:20:35.
07/11/2005 07:16:43 AM · #10
I would like to join this group as I have just picked up a camera again after quite a few years of not taking any pics. I would love to learn all the little tricks.
07/11/2005 09:23:33 AM · #11
hey guys, I'm at school right now and really shouldn't be on here so I'm going to make this quick. I am in the middle of typing up some basic rules for landscapes and should have them posted tonight when i get home, but that wont be to late I have class until 10:30 but I have a huge break from 12:30 to 6 so I hope I can get it posted then
07/11/2005 06:09:38 PM · #12
Lesson one??? (we really need to figure out what to call these)

What makes a landscape good?

That is a good question. With landscapes unlike some other genres of photography Itís really up to you what you like. For instence if you are you on vacation you will want to take a completely different kind of landscape photograph then if you were trying to take a picture worth selling in an art gallery. Itís all about your audience. Here are a couple rules of thumb thoughÖthis is some very basic rules I have learned.

(this is a brief overview, as the weeks go by I will add in depth writings on most of these)

1. Where is your horizon line?
-Horizon is a very important part of a landscape, and itís key to creating mood. A mountain is going to create a very different mood than a cornfield.

2. What is inside your shot?
-This is kind of a duh thing. Are you cutting anything off? Is there a tree branch covering something important? We very rarely want half of anything in a landscape.

3. Depth
-All good landscapes have depth. Depth is what makes or breaks any picture. I like to split this up into three areas. Foreground, Mid ground, and Background.
-Foreground is the thing closet to you. Usually anything within 25 yards of you.
-Mid ground is the middle ground from about 25 yards to 125 yards.
-Background is where your horizion and sky is.

Next time Iím going to break depth down and talk about the three regions and what belongs where. I have got to go change the breaks on my car but I may be able to get one day tonight. This is a good start for you guys though.
07/12/2005 08:40:45 AM · #13
Hi everyone. My name is Tobey. I have been into photography off and on for years. I took a few classes as a kid. Mostly self taught though. I am looking for other peoples insights and thoughts on improving my skill. I am better at the technical side than the art side of things right now. I want to even the score a little. I see from the examples that there are some good landscape artists here. Here are some of mine for you to look over.
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07/12/2005 11:45:35 AM · #14
Tobey, I left you detailed critical comments on each photo.

I know this "class" is just starting, but to me it doesn't look like we've really set a direction.

I've taken it upon myself to critique every photo posted here, and I know Colette has done some too (thanks).

I can see there is a lot of talent in this group already--I don't think we are much in need of the basics, it seems to me this group would learn a lot from practicing critical analysis of landscapes. Can I suggest that to improve our own landscapes, we practice:

1) Critiquing. As detailed analysis as you can do, at your own comfort zone of expertise, or even fully subjective aesthetics remarks.

2) Reading and commenting on classmate's critiques. Read what we are writing for the photos. Critique the contents of the critique (ie., agree, disagree, augment). Reply either in this thread or in the photo comment area itself (but then leave a message here so we know to look at the commented photo).


Edit: I see I recalled incorrectly, I have yet to critique every photo posted here (other than my own). But I will...

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 11:54:25.
07/12/2005 12:05:15 PM · #15
Thanks Neil for the comments on a few of mine. I have a question. I'm not asking for an explanation of your opinion just more insight.

On 'Across the River' you stated the following ...

...it misses the beauty/peaceful/wow mark one can assign to the greatest landscapes

Is this due to the choice of subject matter, placement within the composition or is it just that 'je ne sais quoi' that one just can't quite put their finger on?

Maybe we can open this up for discussion as a group as to what does hit the mark.
07/12/2005 12:19:17 PM · #16
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

Thanks Neil for the comments on a few of mine. I have a question. I'm not asking for an explanation of your opinion just more insight.

On 'Across the River' you stated the following ...

...it misses the beauty/peaceful/wow mark one can assign to the greatest landscapes

Is this due to the choice of subject matter, placement within the composition or is it just that 'je ne sais quoi' that one just can't quite put their finger on?

Maybe we can open this up for discussion as a group as to what does hit the mark.

It's more "personal" feeling than the rest. But if I had to break it down I'd say because the main focal point is the lampost and then secondarily the clouds. The rest is there IMHO for balance and support. My beauty/peaceful/wow assessment was my way of saying, while this is technically very good, I couldn't see it making it to a gallery wall, which is a subjective criteria I apply to all photos (it would perhaps only apply to a gallery run by me).

My apologies if you found my words too harsh. I think we need to be very critical in our assessments, and honest. I always try to be tactful in wording the critical parts of my critques, but sometimes that can be extra time consuming, and sometimes the point is lost. So again, my apologies to you all for anything I've written if you find it offensive--it wasn't meant to be mean.

Does anyone else do this as part of analyzing a photo? Do you do the "gallery" or my own wall test?

07/12/2005 12:44:26 PM · #17
Here's another exercise that comes to mind, perhaps even more valuable than looking at our own work:

Exercise: Find a landscape photo on DPC or the web (a famous one in a book would be ok, but then it might be hard for us to see) that illustrates "what you aspire" to shoot. In other words, something that would be nirvana for you if you had taken int. Or more down to earth: one that inspires you to want to take better landscapes.

Post the thumbnail link or link here for us all to see.

07/12/2005 12:51:26 PM · #18
Let me describe first what I am looking for in a landscape photo (at least one of the things). When I find an image that represents this view I will post it.

The images that grab me the most are the ones that I feel that I can just step into the frame and instantly become part of the landscape. To me the depth generated by the image is very important since we are trying to portray a 3D scene on to a 2D medium.

edit: to add examples from John Shaw
//www.johnshawphoto.com/landscape2.htm - Garden of the Gods
//www.johnshawphoto.com/details3.htm - White Sands dune
//www.johnshawphoto.com/pan4.htm - all

... and especially this one (New Hampshire Morning). I like the layered look of the background but even when I see something like this I can never get it to come out right.


Message edited by author 2005-07-12 21:05:52.
07/12/2005 01:52:17 PM · #19
I can't post any of his pics, but David Muench is my inspiration.

The book Ancient America contains 80% AWESOME JAW DROPPING images.

You can also go to //www.muenchphotography.com and check out the gallery there. (I had to "register" in order to enlarge the thumbnails, but free and worth it!) If I could take shots like those...

07/12/2005 01:57:54 PM · #20
3. Depth
-All good landscapes have depth. Depth is what makes or breaks any picture. I like to split this up into three areas. Foreground, Mid ground, and Background.
-Foreground is the thing closet to you. Usually anything within 25 yards of you.
-Mid ground is the middle ground from about 25 yards to 125 yards.
-Background is where your horizion and sky is.

Well lets rip this bad boy apart.


Foreground can be many different things. It can also take up many different portions of a photograph. Some foregrounds make for a better picture than others do. For instance sand that has been molded by the tide or has a trail of footprints in it will draw your eye into the mid ground and a large tree branch or chain link fence will only get in the way of the mid ground and background. Foreground is the most important component in a landscape to create movement. Small bodies of water are my favorite subjects to place in the foreground. If the wind isnít blowing at that moment itís even better because then I can control the direction of the water by simply throwing a big rock into it. If your foreground is very interesting donít be afraid to tilt the camera down, that is include more foreground in your picture and less mid ground and background. The opposite is also true, if your foreground is boring either include little or none of it or move. If you do end up moving be careful where you move too, I donít know how many times I have seen great landscape shots completely ruined by the shadow of a big tree of the tip of a branch. If you are including a roadway in your shot be careful not to get half a car hood or set of tail lights in the photo either. I think landscapes more then any other genre of photography fall into what I like to call snapshot syndrome. So many people think that just because itís beautiful where they are standing all they have to do is hit the shutter button and they will get a beautiful picture, nothing could be more wrong.

A good foreground is only one part of a good landscape photograph, but nothing can ruin a good landscape faster than a bad foreground.

07/12/2005 02:28:45 PM · #21
07/12/2005 02:35:42 PM · #22
allright, this is wonderful. I am at school right now so I can't c and c until I get out of class. I may have my instructor look at these also if you don't mind. His name is Rod and he is the best landscape photographer I have ever seen. Most everything I know he has tought me and everything I have been typing up is simply what he has shown me. I talk to him everyday after class so I'm sure he wouldn't mind writing something up for you. If he can't I will for sure when I get home tonight.

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 14:42:36.
07/13/2005 02:02:41 AM · #23
Here's a landscape that is also an abstract.

Ink Blot

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Comments and critiques welcomed.
07/13/2005 08:38:50 AM · #24
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Here's a landscape that is also an abstract.

Ink Blot

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Comments and critiques welcomed.

allright well, first of all a couple of quesions, This is a group activity so everyone who is a member of this group needs to do this if you have a moment. Includeing nshapiro.

1. what do you feel is the strongest point of this photograph, that is what is the best part of it.

2. what do you feel is the weakist point of this photograph.

3. What, if any, editing can be done to enhance his photograph.

4. If this could be reshot, what would you suggest doing different.
07/13/2005 06:19:03 PM · #25
Hi group

I`m starting to look through the pictures posted a leave a comment or two on them. One of my biggest problems this trying to express in words what I see or feel in a picture, so sometimes it can end up being a ramble :)

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