On Photography by Yasmine Kateb

Posted March 08, 2013, at 7:12 a.m.

Is there any amongst us who has not clicked a landscape photograph at some point in time or the other? And yet, how many get it right?

We take a holiday to some exotic location and see a breath-taking view; pull out our camera and click, click and click. The result, to put it mildly, is usually not ideal.

Beautiful as they are, landscapes are notoriously difficult to photograph. I’ve seen thousands of landscape photographs taken by amateurs and in 99% of them, either the light is against the lens or it is too harsh or there isn’t enough of it or the wrong shutter speed or focal length was used. And to think that these were pictures taken with digital SLR’s!

A good quality digital SLR’s can and will take superb pictures provided you follow a few simple basic rules while photographing a landscape.

What’s your photography style honey?

Each person with a camera has his or her own style of photography be it contemporary lifestyle portraiture, couples fashion photography, wedding photography, fashion and professional model photography or whatever else. Each person has a personal style of photography because our interpretation of what we see or what we want to capture differs (except of course for corporate, business and models photography in Houston where we are given a brief as to what is required).

Secret ingredient – light

The secret to any photography be it landscape or portfolio or family fashion photography or even other favourites such as couples fashion photography, self portrait photography, newborn photography and maternity photography is, LIGHT.

In the days of early photography, a photographic plate was a rectangular material on which a light-sensitive chemical was coated. Light sensitive meaning, it reacted to light and in doing so, created a near-permanent record of whatever was in front of it.

Today, the world has gone digital but the way a camera captures the scene in front of it hasn’t changed. Chemical has given way to digital imaging and lenses have become sophisticated and the lens housing may even interact with IC chips but the method of capturing a photograph hasn’t changed. For this reason, no matter how sophisticated the camera you are using, when it comes to landscape, the best time to photograph a landscape is within 2 hours of sunrise or sunset, or in fog, mist or rain. This is the time when the light is not harsh and the play of colours can have a phenomenal effect on the photograph.

The ‘character of the light’ therefore, makes all the difference between “just another photo” and a classic. To be honest, the ‘character of the light’ rule applies to all the photographs you intend to take. For example, soft lightning highlights the facial features of the person in front of you. Light placement can be used to create shadows (or no shadow) effect for the product or machinery you are trying to photograph and so on. The advantage of indoor fashion photography (like that in a photo studio), is that you can control the lighting anyway you like.

About the author:

Yasmine Kateb is a fashion photographer and has just announced the grand opening of her photography studio ‘Neil Jou Productions Inc.’, located at 11319 Olympia Dr., Houston, TX.

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