The official start of summer is barely two weeks away, and with the new season come some unique challenges for nature and landscape photographers, as well as just about everyone else who shoots outdoors. The tutorial below presents several solutions for solving the most common difficulties you’re likely to encounter.
One obvious problem has to do with the early sunrises that occur this time of year. That’s because of what follows the sun peaking over the horizon; namely long days of really contrasty light. These conditions can be a serious impediment to capturing photos with pleasingly balanced tones when dealing with both very bright highlights and deep shadows for much of the day.
British pro Brian Northmore has been shooting landscapes and other outdoor images for the best part of 30 years. He’s also a popular instructor who says, “It’s my mission to inspire the photographic community by passing on my knowledge and skills.
In this behind-the-scenes episode you’ll watch Northmore hike through a forest and shoot three very different photos while battling contrasty light. As you’ll see, he employs three equally unique methods to tackle the trio of challenges and capture some really nice shots.
Northmore admits that the destination he chose, along with very harsh lighting conditions, don’t lend themselves to great imagery. Nonetheless he’s not one to give up easily, because of an attitude that impels him “to do the best job I can with whatever I have in front of me during any given moment in time.”
He adds that he’s always determined to return with images he likes, “making the best use of conditions in the field.” As you watch Northmore work some summer magic you’ll learn how “going with the flow and concentrating on intense colors” is one way to capture compelling photos in less-than-ideal light.
He takes a different approach at another challenging spot, with equally nice results. For this scene the trick is to concentrate on graphic shapes in a river to capture a very strong monochromatic image.
When all else fails, Northmore searches for “a quiet shady corner to make something really special of wildflowers in the scene. And while this lesson doesn’t specifically focus on gear, Northmore has this bit of advice: “You may be interested in using a telephoto lens to bring out details in the small pockets of art to be found all around us in nature.”
There’s much more to learn about outdoor photography on Northmore’s YouTube channel, so pay a visit when you can. And be sure to check out the tutorial we posted recently, explaining why every landscape photographer needs a polarizing filter and the proper way to use one.