Confessions Of A Lanscape Photographer

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

Well – we all flocked back to Whitchurch-on-Thames eager for the new season – and what a great way it was to start!

We had a presentation ‘Confessions of a Landscape Photographer’ by one of the best – Paul Mitchell FRPS. This wasn’t so much of a confession – more of a masterclass as Paul took us behind the scenes to talk about the creation of his stunning images.

Firstly, he took us over his planning stages for a photoshoot – books, internet, maps, tide tables – you name it, he uses it! Then there’s the equipment and Paul took us through the contents of his rucksack together with his outdoor clothing. Oh yes – there’s the tripod and filters (Paul especially talked about the merits of polarisers for reducing reflections and saturating colours; hard and soft grads and neutral density filters).

However, the main part of the evening was concerned with getting out there and capturing landscapes. Paul aims to achieve his end results as far as possible in camera – so he took us through the processes for creating eye-catching and breathtaking images. Foreground interest, lead-in lines and how to achieve front-to-back sharpness were all covered. He explained that the ideal f-stop is f8-f11 to avoid nasty things like colour aberrations creeping in and went on to talk about hyperfocal distance – focussing about a third of the way into the scene (good to find a convenient rock/tree or two then!).

And as for his images – well – stunning comes to mind! So atmospheric! Paul talked about this and about the optimum times to capture the best shots. He’s obviously a morning person – anyone who drives across the country to capture a sunrise over Southwold has my admiration! Images taken in snow giving a high-key effect (plenty of that in Scotland apparently!) and in misty conditions for an ethereal feel.

This was a superb and inspiring evening – thank you Paul for sharing your expertise and we look forward to seeing you at Whitchurch again!



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