(Last Updated on : 31/12/2015)
Landscape is a section or portion of scenery as seen from a single viewpoint, where the scenery is the subject of a landscape image. Landscape, nature and wildlife photography done as an occupation, art, or simply as a hobby, it tends to create indeed a large hole in a person's pocket! Large amounts of money are spent on equipment, film processing, and travel. The term "Urban Landscape" describes photographs of the city taken in the manner of a landscape, using buildings and other man-made features as graphical elements of composition that are treated in the same way the photographer would treat mountains and trees. Typically, people and animals are not shown in a landscape, unless they are relatively small in the image and have been included in the composition to show scale.
Most people think of landscape photography as a quiet and contemplative art. But infact, it is a very rough art, since, it is about the ever-changing nature of light as much as it is about location and the photographer is always in a rush to capture the fleeting moment of the best light.
Most landscape photographers put away their cameras at night. Mostly photographers do not shoot more after dark is that when shooting film it is very difficult to judge how the results are going to turn out and the experimentation takes time, effort and good note taking. Photographers might try a few different exposures, noting all of the variables, only for a day or two, or even a week or more until one sits down with the results and see how things have turned out.
But for those impatient photographers, Digital cameras are the answer for this problem! Nowadays, one can take long nighttime exposures and immediately explore and take note of the variables, such as colour shifts, and of course the proper exposure needed. Apart from the way the photos are shot, it is also very important to concentrate on the way, a shot a taken. There are hence, three styles of landscape photography that are recognized and these are as follows:
a) Representational Style:
This style is also known as the straight or straight descriptive style. It results in pictures that show scenery at its most natural and realistic state, with no visual manipulation or artifice. It is a straightforward style. Although the photographer adds no props or other components to a scene and does not try to "bend" reality, great attention is paid to composition and detail, hence the famous images seen are taken keeping the element of light, timing and the weather in mind.
b) Impressionistic Style:
This style employs photographic techniques that result in images that have vague or elusive qualities. They are less tangible and more unreal, while still retaining their values that make them landscape pictures. The viewer is given the impression of a landscape rather than the clear reality of one.
c) Abstract Style:
Also known as the graphic style, as the photographer treats the components of scenery as graphic elements, arranged for their compositional values. Natural elements may be rendered as unrecognizable and the shape and form take priority in this style. Elements may be juxtapositioned for comparison or contrast, isolated by extreme close-up, reduced to silhouettes by severe underexposure. Design is more important than recognizable representation.
However, before filming in the challenging landscape in India, one should try to keep in mind some valuable basics to get the best from one's endeavour. Firstly, one should understand to see the light and look for interesting colour combinations - light, shadow and texture. The best light is normally morning light (warmer yellow), later afternoon, or evening light (warmer, a hint of red to full-red). Mid-day light can make shadows and bright contrast that are difficult for the film to handle. In India, due to high level of dust, smoke and water vapour in the atmosphere, beautiful light is seen rarely; hence, the rainy season is the best option. Thus, one should make use of the best opportunity available. Secondly, one needs to travel extensively, because the weather here can be quite arbitrary. The best photo opportunities present themselves only during certain times of the year, so it best to be ready every time, and capture the idyllic landscape to the fullest. The Valley of Flowers is the place to visit within August and September, Bharatpur in winter and Kanha forest before the rains. It is best in such situations to develop a portfolio of one's own collection. The other necessary guidelines are - to get as close as possible to one's subject, to use a tripod whenever possible, to take a lot of photographs, to practice with the camera, enjoy one's photography and to read books as much as possible.