Unfamiliar Light

Many of us hope for good weather when we are photographing landscapes. But, as David Hay explains, unusual weather can add something extra to our pictures and make them stand out from the crowd

Traditionally, professional landscape photography created for use in calendars and postcards was carried out in the summer, in bright sunlight with fluffy clouds in a blue sky. The photographs showed popular views, as they would look if you visited them on a day of good holiday weather. They were shot on colour negative film, which had a good dynamic range. Then, when landscape photographers increasingly switched to colour transparency film, the limited dynamic range made it difficult to capture detail in the shadows in hard overhead midday light. Photographers started to shoot at the beginning and the end of the day, when the light was softer with lower contrast. The market was awash with stock photographs of popular scenes in the middle of the day so these new, more atmospheric images found a ready market.

Earlier this year I visited a landscape photography site that has been on my ‘bucket list’ for years, Bryce Canyon in Utah. When we arrived …

Read this and many more articles in High Definition inside Issue 55 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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