Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. Adams was very much a Landscape photographer of the American West, particularly Yosemite National Park, using his work to promote conservation of wilderness areas. His iconic black-and-white images helped to establish photography among the fine arts. He died in Monterey, California, on April 22, 1984.
Adams used a slow shutter speed here to capture the moving water, which slows the flow of the water in the viewers' eyes, producing the creamy, mysterious, floating, ghostly feel and look of the water. The fallen tree trunk is a leading line through the photograph. I can see two directions in the flow of the water. The water in the foreground seems to merge towards the waterfall, where both flows meet and head off together to the bottom right corner.
Ansel has composed the photograph with the trunk positioned centrally. However, the water is the subject in my eyes. Ansel must have been stood quite close to the water's edge of this rocky river, positioning himself quite low. The location reminds me of Grizzly Bear films I used to watch as a child…… ‘The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams’.
I have created this look and effect to moving water in some of my photographs, by using a Neutral Density Filter, allowing longer shutter speeds, producing some gorgeous effects and some of my best photographs to date.
Melting snowpack sluices down Shadow Creek.
Yosemite Park Mountains.
This photograph is my personal favourite of Adams, using his trademark large depth of field to keep everything in focus. What inspire me are the shapes, frames, shadows and patterns. When I see the ladders in the distance, promising access to the higher levels with the prospect of infinite views across the
desert. The doorway pulls me through the photograph and framing other geometrical shapes. For me, the wooden crosses are spectacular. Although it looks in ruins, it is still in regular use.
The shapes and outlines of the surviving walls are like a staircase of steps. The massive Church Bell, still in situ, leads you through another frame, another window. The composition is perfect, and even though according to Adams “there are no rules in photography”, he has adhered to the rule of thirds here. I prefer the side angle from which Adams has taken this to the head on version through the entrance gateway, which I have seen in another one of his photos.
It’s inspiring because it‘s peaceful, remote and makes the viewer wonder who prayed there, who lived there, where it is, what happened and how old it is.? The lighting is perfect too, a sunlit entrance through to dark blacks at the rear .
I enjoy photographing remote, derelict ruins. The feeling of not being rushed and the quiet aura allow me to think and rethink different angles to capture . I then produce several images and experiment more.
Church of San Geronimo, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. Still an active church, it was built in 1850 after the destruction of the old San Geronimo Mission 1706. 1942 photo by Ansel Adams.
The weathered tree leans across the frame, suggesting certain environmental conditions: the tree will lean this way due to prevailing winds and sometimes where the sun dominates. Adams used a slow shutter speed to take this photograph. The black and white again shows great contrast. The lighting appears quite bright and midday from the strong shadows of the trees branches on the rocks directly underneath.
I am drawn into the photograph by the twisted trunk squirming its way through the rocks to lean upon them as it grows heavy.
I have found that since learning to work with the camera, I am drawn to capturing photographs of trees, especially where I can see that the effects of the environment have manipulated a pattern or shape.
One of the favourite pictures which I have taken is of a remote weather-beaten tree at the top of Caerphilly Mountain which shares certain aspects of Adams Dome Tree here.
Sentinel Dome Tree, Yosemite National Park, California
St. Theresa's Catholic Church At Bodega, California
The Spire of the Church is so precisely positioned, almost touching the top edge of the photograph. I like the photo because of its simple but high black and white contrast. Adams has broken the rule of not putting the subject in the centre. However, it works as he has somewhat followed the rule of two thirds in a slightly different way, by placing his horizon high, which is one of his frequently-used styles.
He has used a large depth of field, again another of his best qualities. The leading line, the track way, draws the viewer into the photograph, making him feel and think that he is actually standing there.
Adams' primarily black and white work has inspired me to experiment. It might be interesting to shoot in a different forward to Adams and create square format images.
In addition, I have also identified some pathways in the landscape locally that might be relevant for my images of 'human impact on the landscape'; and have photographed some of my landscape photography project with this in mind.
Terri Weifenbach. Born 1957. BA 1978 Fine Arts Photographer, New York
Short depth of field photographer.
Vincent Borelli said this of Terri Weifenbach; "Sometimes a whole picture is shot out of focus, or perhaps just one detail -- a leaf, a bud, a blade of grass -- is sharply focused, commanding attention, while the rest gently recedes into a soft and mellow blur. The results are breathtaking as, dream-like and entrancing, they evoke gentle memories of hazy summer days."
I am particularly inspired by Weifenbach's style of photography, and I enjoy taking photographs in this style, having been experimenting with Landscape photography and two new lenses. This has involved opening the aperture as wide as possible and taking alternative, close-up, landscape photographs.
This is one of Weifenbach’s photographs from her ‘Mother Earth’ collections
My research into some of her photographs reveals that her style is a shallow depth of field, creating some dreamy landscapes. This particular photograph draws me to the mountain in the background. The sky is a deep blue, suggesting that she took it during the golden hours. The white bud flora looks like cotton. The photographer may well have taken this from a seated or kneeling position. Some parts of the photograph are pin-sharp (the higher parts of the cotton bush which frame the top left and right of the picture). She has used a pathway as a leading line to draw the viewer from the foreground to the backgroun
This picture is from the collection 'Hunter Green'
The blurred leaves/flora at the top of the frame, carefully used as a shade, cleverly mask what would have been bleaching sun rays. I particularly like the round red roof of a building in the background. Again, I believe Weifenbach would have positioned herself kneeling or maybe sat within a tree/bush to take the picture. The cloud in the centre balances the composition. The flora that is sharply in focus creates texture. The photograph exudes the warmth of a summer afternoon, inviting the viewer to walk the path.
The peeping branches creeping into the frame from the right hand side is a technique I have learned to use quite a lot when Im photographing in the landscape. I love the effect it gives, creating a sense of distance , wether it be sharply focused or in the bokeh areas.
The largest aperture on my lens is 2.8f stop. Which creates a beautiful bokeh , very much like Weinfenbach's style.
This picture is called the 'Bird' from the collection Snakes Eyes.
It is not until you learn/train to be a photographer that you can really appreciate the skill in a photograph like this. Weifenbach has positioned the pin-sharp bird and branch just below central point with everything else to be out of focus. The glossy bird almost looks unreal. The photographer has skillfully used the sunlight to make the subject bird stand out with the light reflecting off his glossy/waxy breast.
I researched this picture and photographer some weeks ago and - perhaps subconsciously influenced by it - have been taking / making more and more close-up intimate landscape photographs. I have a very similar photograph of a robin, perched on barbed wire. Whilst most other students were photographing wide open spaces, I was zooming in and using a shallow depth of field.
Her Books/ Portfolio Collections Titles
Woods, Secrets, Snakes Eye/Lana, Hidden sites, Hunters Green, Between Maple and Chestnut.
Within these portfolios are a series of relaxing, dreamy photographs, to take your mind and eye elsewhere.
This picture is from the collection 'Between Maple and Chestnut'
It took me an evening of research of Weifebach’s work to find an appreciation, this picture of what appears to be a red Japanese Maple bush which is not in focus, however there is a section of grass in sharp focus which is positioned in the shadowed area. It gives me hope not to delete some of my failures.!
I find myself inspired by this style and the pleasant results I get when experimenting with my own shots.
I used to concentrate on wanting to make sure all parts of my photographs were pin-sharp but now realise that is not really a true representation of how we view what is in front of us. The soft, bokeh areas have developed into pleasing my eye.
1970Tees Colour Collection
I am inspired by this photographer for the bursts of colour he uses, the contrast and texture in this picture is almost three dimensional. The grain and granite texture in the rocks works well in surrounding the little bright japanese tree . The contrast in colours and textures brings life to the photograph.
Maeda 's style of photography is very much a cropped, intimate piece of the landscape, rather than a wide , vast view of the landscape.
I have taken this approach and style when taking my landscape shots. Allowing chance for the viewer to see more texture and life in the photograph as a subject can be isolated and focused upon in more detail.
Made published 46 photography books, over a career of 20years of photography. His collections were focused around the four seasons, where he created photographs of beautiful vibrant colours
This photograph is my favourite of Maeda's, it is my goal and dream to be able to make a photograph like this. I realise it is heavily edited, however I love the tips of the trees emerging from the sea of mist. The cloud has swallowed up the town, and the element of mystery is just magical. I mentioned earlier that I love photographs of spiers. The Spier Tower peeping above the forestry is beautifully composed and positioned within the frame.
This is probably one of his most wide angle landscapes, boasting a distance of miles from his focal point. This photograph is from a collection Maeda called 'Peace and Quiet'. 'LittleThingsIlovemost' blog states;
his photos are beautiful enough to fool you into thinking they are paintings.
Another cropped, intimate, magical landscape shot. Maeda has waited for sunlight to beam through the trees, the light being quite bleached, would suggest a mid day shot. The beauty with intimate landscape shots, is that you have a larger window of flexibility with lighting. It is not as crucial to wait for the golden hours to create the perfect horizon. The horizon is not a factor in this shot. However the lighting would allow a handheld shutter speed in this case.
The photograph is soft and it appears that a large aperture has been used to allow light into the camera , this may well have been to accommodate the shadowed shooting location.
There are many locations close to my home that are similar to this setting, which I have photographed . I usually struggle with a handheld shutter speed and have to support the camera as if on a tripod. I have simulated the sun shining through the trees and this helps with warmth and the ability to use a faster shutter speed.
The frozen trees are tremendous in creating texture in this shot, the cold frozen branches framing the golden sunbeams. The composition follows all the guidelines. The frosted foliage almost looks like an infra red camera or filter has been used. Like a scene from Narnia. Magical.
This photograph is sharp and I would imagine an aperture f stop of f16/18 would have been used to create the star burst in the sun beam splitting through the tree trunks.
Maeda was from a family of forestry industry workers. After the difficulties of the war he retreated to the wilderness to escape trauma, where he made these beautiful landscape photographs in the 1950tees.
I have a plan to convert my old SLR to infra red, as it will help me to create these ghostly, frost covered, magical trees.
The photographer Robert Adams was a hand-picked member of the 'New Topographics' exhibition in 1975. He used a 35mm Reflex film camera to photograph the American West Prairies.
His photographs reflected how industrial and urban growth had transformed American Landscapes.
This photograph boasts the element of light. The light has been used very well, firstly highlighting the peak of the mountain and the trees in the background. Then the shadow below creates a mysterious depth in the mid-ground. Cleverly, Adams uses the light to then softly contrast the foreground where the grave headstones lay.
I think to myself the gravestones will soon catch up in numbers to match the amount of trees on the hill. A sombre thought, but a reality and impact on Landscapes.
I have taken some Landscape photographs with graveyards within. Aberfan in particular comes to mind when I look at this photograph, because of the size of the mountain in comparison to the small graves shadowed beneath. They should not be insignificant.
Adams presents this graffiti in the foreground of the photograph to show the sheer man-made destruction of a beautiful Landscape.
Adams has used a large depth of field to capture such distances in focus. The hills in the background seem to keep getting farther away, until the eye tires out of focus range.
The winding path slaloms and weaves from the foreground to the background, leading the viewer through.
I notice that the contrast is quite bland in this photograph. However, it is a true example of unedited Landscape of its time, the 1970s.
The reason I've picked this photograph is to illustrate the foreground subject, and how is works well in Landscape photography to incorporate a foreground, mid ground and background. This helps reflect the distance captured in the photograph. It also brings texture to the photograph, creating a dimensional feel.
Adams has also used the element of light skilfully, waiting for it to fall upon the giant nut shaped rock.
I have practised this technique in my landscape photography. I have seen a great improvement in my photos since adapting this simple but effective skill.
These trees would not appear so tall if Adams had not subtly used a human element which illustrates the massive sense of scale between the two.
It is not deemed traditional to include the human element in Landscape photography, however this is an example of how and when it does work well.
Man is small in comparison to nature, yet man is most dangerous.
The focal length used to take this photograph would have been a wide lens angle and the camera turned to portrait to capture the elongated tree trunks.
I have adapted this technique when taking similar photographs. I have included a similar photograph under my section of 'additonal landscapes' portfolio.
Rhos Hoddinott is a wildlife and landscape photographer. He won Landscape Photographer of Britain in 2009. He is a writer and one of the leading natural history and landscape photographers of the UK.
I love his work, in particular his more intimate landscape style. His style of landscape photography has been described as evocative by the National Trust. (http://www.nationaltrustimages.org.uk/photographers/ross-hoddinott)
The picture opposite is called 'Beechwood on Dartmoor'. The conversion to black and white is beautiful. His composition has created a 3D effect, set off by the way he has waited for the light to cast upon the farm gate and stonewall.
The use of cloud has given a dramatic eerie feel and look. The singular tree is almost unreal but balanced well between the subjects that stand out in the shot. The large depth of field used has kept the image sharp throughout.
This photo inspires me for many reasons and in particular the movement in the clouds. I have made an attempt to capture dramatic moody clouds in some of my photographs. It has worked well in my photo of the Groeswen Graveyard (see Portfolio).
This photograph is called 'The Windy Post'. The cross is at Beckamoor, in Dartmoor.
The slow shutter speed has mystified the stream water, which gives a gorgeous cottonwool look. The composition is exemplary, the way Hoddinott has positioned the Cross in the frame. There is a foreground, a mid-ground and a backgound in this intimate landscape photograph, which work and flow together to make an impact on the senses.
The foreground creates a fantastic contrast between light and dark as the looker's eye is drawn through the photo.
I have bought a neutral density (ND) filter and achieved this effect in the water movement. Combining the ND filter, the slow shutter speed and large depth of field is key in making an effect like this.
The shallow depth of field sweeps into the distance, the carpet of strikingly beautiful snowdrops weaving like waves into the distance. The composition has cleverly isolated the subject by opening the aperture wide. The camera must have been positioned on the floor to create this tunnel effect. The portrait aspect is a refreshing alternative.
The contrasting fresh colours represent a new spring season. Hoddinott has placed the camera on or very close to the ground, slightly angling the lens downwards, to create this scooping photograph. The results are inspirational. It is so much easier to stabilise the camera on the ground instead of setting up the tripod.
I have taken this approach with my close-up intimate theme.
The fresh simplicity of this photograph is a very different style to that of the other photographs I have chosen of Hoddinott's.
I would imagine that a long exposure was used to capture the mist and shadows. The negative space creates a calmness for the viewer to spend time absorbing the view: no clutter, just the simple pure beauty of nature.
The focal point of the photograph is the trees, perched on a hill in the distance. Even though the trees are small and some miles away, the foreground floats the viewer's eye to them, the background subject.
This picture calms me. It is not very often an uninterrupted landscape like this appears.
Historic through to Contemporary
These 4 Salgado images I have chosen to include, are from a project, named Genesis, in which, over a period of 8 years Salgado focused on landscapes untainted by modern life. His message and theme represent "the silent drama of photography." (The Guardian)
1974-1994 Historic through to Contemporary. Brazilian photographer.
This is truly inspiring and I hope one day to be able to create such a beautiful image. The leading line from the foreground takes the viewer throughout the image . The textures and contrasts created by the mountain peaks, almost look like waves on the sea. The stormy sky creates the very powerful background. The clouds top left appear to be a tornado. The black and white conversion enhances all this drama and mood.
The image appears to have some strong post-editing technique: for example, the stream almost popping in 3D white. It has a fine arts, painting effect look, which complements the final image.
Salgado has either climbed a very high mountain or taken this from an aircraft.
Unfortunately, my current Landscape portfolio does not have examples of such vast and wide views of my own work. However, this reminds me of Landscape views I took of the Blue Mountains in Australia in 2003 with my very first DSLR. The camera in automatic chose to use an ISO 1600. Which I now know not to be the optimal setting in landscape photography . I wish I had known how to use manual settings back then.
Salgado has brought many crucial elements together in this image to make a traditional landscape. Light is the fundamental element in Landscape photography. Other key elements are light, subject, angle and sky. Patterns and textures are supporting elements which enhance the image.
Throughout this module I have learnt that it is best to wait for the golden hours to photograph Landscapes. The hours before sunrise and sunset can produce dramatic skies, light and warmth, which can transform a good image into an exceptional image.
This image is not an easy shot to achieve. I would imagine Salgado has used a very large zoom lens to capture such a close up of the seagulls in the foreground. An alternative possibility is that a remote camera has filmed the wildlife and the image taken from film footage. The presence of the seagulls and the views of the sea make this more of a wildlife or seascape image than a traditional pure landscape one.
The photograph has inspired me, and I have taken some seascape photographs during this module. The cloudy sky in this image is balanced well against the rocky mountains emerging from the sea. A cloudless sky would not have created such a balanced composition.
When I photographed the seascape at Southerndown, the sky was cloudy. However, it was outside the golden hours and a graduated filter was needed to control the overexposed mid day sky.
The composition and lighting in this photograph taken in Northern Siberia of the nomadic Nenets are inspirational.
This is an exceptionally atmospheric photograph in which the contrast of the light and the wind-blown snow contribute to the spectral vision of a hard, traditional lifestyle, suggestive of a long-distant past in human history. The harshness of the contrast picks out the human figures and the tent as the main subjects but the low-lying sun also exercises a mesmeric attraction.
It is essential to be well travelled in order to achieve such an extensive collection. I am inspired by his work and hope to apply and reflect the emotional beauty that I see in his work. During this module I have visited many local areas to create my Landscape shots which you can view in my Portfolio section. Maybe one day I will be fortunate to have a perfect collection of elements to capture as Salgado has here in this image and his collection.