The Profesional Web Site Of Landon Blake

Today I’m pleased to introduce photographer Martin Carlisle. Martin has many stunning landscape photos. My favorites are his photos of mountains and rivers from Alaska. You can see examples of Martin’s landscape photos in this post.

Martin graciously offered to do a short interview for my blog. Here it is:

How did you get involved in photography?

Martin: When I was growing up my parents were doing photography and we always had cameras around and were encouraged to use them so I had a chance to see what some of the possibilities were but didn’t
get really serious about it until I was in my twenties. After that I was travelling more often to places like the Canadian Rockies and wanted to learn how to get the best results when photographing in areas like this. Seeing images from Ansel Adams, the Westons, Bruce Barnbaum, Ray Atkeson, the Muench generations and many others was very inspirational in seeing what could be done. I had a darkroom for printing black and whites and used slide film for colour but switched to digital about eight years ago.

What attracts you to landscape photography over other types of photography?

Martin: There’s always something special about being outdoors in the Rockies and many other areas. Trying to make photographs that really show something of this just seemed like a natural thing to try and do.

What is your favorite camera/lens combo for landscape photography?

Martin: I’ve used a number of different cameras over the years. For a long time I had an old second hand Hasselblad for medium format black and white film and an Olympus OM-1 and 4 for colour slides. For
digital I’ve used a Pentax K5 with a Tamron 17-50 zoom or Tamron 90mm macro which worked well. Recently I picked up a discounted Canon EOS M with its 17-55mm lens which is nice to use because of it’s small size which makes it much easier to carry than the larger cameras.

What post-processing software do you use and what steps do you follow in your post-processing workflow?

Martin: Usually Photoninja is used to do the raw conversion since I find I like the results with it better than Lightroom/ACR . Then the saved tiff goes into Lightroom5 where it might get some initial local adjustments and then into Photoshop CC. Frequently the tonal contrast filter of Nik Color Efex is used to adjust the contrast of the highlights, midtones and shadows separately. If it’s going to be a black and white it gets converted in Nik Silver Efex Pro II. After that it goes back to Lightroom for some final local adjustments.

What tips would you offer to the rookie landscape photographer?

Martin: Try and photograph frequently. Like everything else, the more you practice the better you get. The newer mirrorless cameras have advantages since they are smaller and easier to carry and so
can be with you more often than larger DSLRs and lenses. Turn off automatic adjustments and leave them on manual, it makes it better see how all the adjustments work together and how to set them
for best results than if the camera does it for you. Shoot everything  raw and find what software options can give you the results that you want. Look at other photographs. I saw a line in one of Ansel Adams
books once that said something like the scene before you may be exciting but will the picture of it be exciting. No matter what the subject is, when making a photograph of it it’s the final result that counts.

Take a look at Martin’s Flickr web page for more great landscape photos!

Today I’m please to introduce my readers to Tony Immoos. Tony is a landscape photographer with many beautiful shots on his Flickr stream. This post includes some examples of Tony’s landscape photos and a short interview I did with him. I hope you enjoy his work as I did. Don’t forget to follow him on Flickr.

Here is Tony’s interview:

1) How did you get involved in photography?

Honestly, I don’t remember the details. More than likely I had seen the work of Ansel Adams and decided to buy a camera and give it a try, which I did in 1983. I bought a Pentax 35mm SLR with two lenses, a 35 and a 50mm. Within a year I had a darkroom setup at home and was developing B&W film and prints.

2) What attracts you to landscape photography over other types of photography?

I’ve always enjoyed being in the outdoors. Fishing, hiking, golf and many other activities, I guess it was inevitable that I would start capturing the views while I was out there.

3) What is your favorite camera/lens combo for landscape photography?

The Olympus E-3 and the Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm, an excellent lens. A very high percentage of my landscape images have been taken with that combination.

4) What post-processing software do you use and what steps do you follow in your post-processing workflow?

Silkypix and Paint Shop Pro 8. Both a little dated but they do what I need them to do.

My workflow is mostly just making basic adjustments to an image. White balance, contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness and a crop if needed, which I do with silkypix. Sometimes in high contrast scenes I’ll use exposure blending in PSP8 to achieve a visual that the use of a neutral density filter couldn’t quite accomplish. For the most part I’ve stayed away from HDR. I can almost always get the look I want layering exposures or making a simple gamma adjustment to lift the shadows which might be all that is needed to balance out and image.

5) What tips would you offer to the rookie landscape photographer?

First, learn everything you can about your equipment, settings and capabilities, so when you’re out in the field you can make adjustments as necessary without too much thought.

And second… Stop! Take a look around every once in awhile and enjoy the view. I sometimes get too wrapped up in the photography when I’m at a beautiful location and I ignore the sights, sounds and the smell of nature. I’ll get home with a bunch of photographs but lacking the memories I should have of being there. I was once walking to south tufa at Mono Lake one morning, right after a heavy rainstorm, the smell of wet sage was thick in the air, I stopped for a few moments to really take it all in, I can still smell the sage all these years later.

Today I want to share a few more beautiful landscape photos from Cliff Laplant.

The photo above is a self-portait Cliff took on Volcanic Ridge in the Inyo National Forest in California.  He set his Nikon D800 low on my tripod and captured this scene over Cecile Lake just as the Sun went over the Minarets.

The photo below is of sunset over University Peak and Matlock Lake Sunset in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  This was shot with Cliff's Nikon D800 with a 16-35mm lens.  Cliff used a tripod for the shot and the photo was post processed in Paintshop.

This evening I’m pleased to introduce the readers of my blog to photographer Sandra McMartin. Sandra’s photography is very enjoyable, and I like several of her “painted landscapes” like the one I’ve shown above and this powerful photo. She also has beautiful macro photos, like this one.

Sandra was willing to do a short interview for my blog:

1) How did you get involved in photography?

I have had a camera for as long as I can remember.  I have undeveloped film in a draw from when I was 10.  I have been the family historian, documenting the unfolding of our lives. Truly though my current growth has really been facilitated by the introduction of the digital SLR into my life.  I am a visual learner and being able to see immediately what changing my aperture, shutter speed, and ISO does to my image, has catapulted what would have taken photography school to learn, to learning by playing.

2) What is your favorite camera/lens combo?

Honestly it changes daily.  I have a number of different lenses, one body.  I shoot with a Nikon D7000.  I have the kit 18-105, 50 1.4, 55-300 Nikon lenses.  Then I have the Sigma 10-20 and the Macro 105.  I also have two Nikon D700 flashes and a number of softboxes and umbrella’s.  I shoot a lot with flash.  I like to use the wrong lens usually and see what happens.  I recently went on a portrait shot and shoot with my Sigma 10-20, with me lying on the ground shooting up.  Loved what it did to the perspective of the model.  I truly wish I could have a favorite, then I could leave my bag at home, as it is I always carry everything with me and return home with very sore shoulders.

3) What software do you use for post-processing? What is your post-processing workflow?

I shoot RAW, and start by processing in Adobe Camera Raw.  From there it really depends on the image. I use Photoshop Creative Cloud as my base program and then use a number of different programs.  I may do tone mapping with NIK HDR or I have developed a number of my own presets in Topaz Simplify.  I use all the OnOne modules, as well as Alien Skin.  The most import thing is how you finish your image with the correct sharpening, vignette and sometimes a border.  I blend all the different effects with the goal of no one being able to identify which effect I used.  I don’t want anyone to say, oh I know that filter.  I have all the Nik modules, all the Topaz modules, all the OnOne, Alienskin Snapart and Exposure, and Corel Paint Shop Pro X6.

4) What tips would you offer to rookie photographers?

Get out and shoot as much as you can.  I try to shoot 500 plus images a week.  Join a photo club or meetup group.  Join on-line groups where you have to post images by a theme.  I have found that the people who get better are actually out taking pictures!  The more varied you can be at the beginning the quicker you learn.  Even if landscape is your love, learn macro and portrait.  The skills you learn will make your landscape photographs better.  For example, you may not use a flash in landscape photography, but if you do portrait you may, then you take the knowledge and apply it to your landscape work, and all of a sudden your images are different.  Learn the rules so that you can break them effectively.

Personally I prefer to shoot alone.  I like to immerse myself in the environment.  I find I take better pictures when I am not distracted by social interaction.  Plus I can stay until I am satisfied that I have gotten every last shot there is to get.

5) If you could change one thing about your own photography, what would it be?

Wouldn’t change a thing except maybe be more free, experiment more, shoot into the sun, cut the tops off trees!  Having been a part of a photography club for the last three years where we competed monthly, with a pretty defined set of rules, I am determined to unlearn every rule I have ever learned.  I would like to approach my photography more as a painter.  My sister is an incredible painter and she see’s composition so differently than me.  She has painted a number of my photograph’s and it is interesting to see the difference.

6) Are there any new photography technologies that really excite you?

I update my software regularly.   I am always on the lookout for new post processing programs.  I love photography because it gets me outside in nature, but truly I LOVE working on my images.  I love the possibilities of what I can do once that image is on my computer.  So I will throw the question back at you, any programs you see missing from my digital darkroom that I really should have?

Today I’m happy to introduce Flickr Photographer Matthew Youngberg. In this post I’ll share a brief interview with Matthew and will show you a few of his excellent landscape photographs.

1) How did you get involved in photography?

I always enjoyed photography, but never got serious
until last year. I still have so much to learn, but I feel I’ve made a lot of
improvement already.

2) What attracts you to landscape photography over other types of photography?

I love the outdoors, even though I’m a city guy. I
think nature is more aesthetically pleasing than anything humankind can
produce. Plus it’s great to get out in nature, especially places more out of
the way and quiet.

3) What is your favorite camera/lens combo for landscape photography?

My only camera right now is the Sony NEX 5R and I like
using the Zeiss 24MM most of the time. It seems to be the way I see and I
usually only change it because I physically can’t get to the proper position
for the shot.

4) What post-processing software do you use and what steps do you follow in your post-processing workflow?

I’m using Apeture currently and I’m still deciding
on software for HDR or whether I want to use it. I usually tweak the shadow and
highlight sliders along with saturation and vibrancy. I try not to do too much,
as there is a fine line where you can go overboard, especially with HDR. Plus
I’ll crop and/or retouch where necessary.

5) What tips would you offer to the rookie landscape photographer?

  • Tripod, tripod, tripod. It doesn’t take that much more
    time or weight.
  • A circular polarizer and graduated neutral density filters
    are quite helpful and can cut down post production time.
  • Use colored filtersfor black and white.
  • Look out for the smaller scenes as well, nature has so much to show.

I want to thank Matthew for his willingness to do the interview and to let me share a few of his photos. I look forward to highlighing more of his beautiful landscape images on my blog in the near future.

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Today I wanted to share some gorgeous black and white landscape photos from David Gregg. Make sure you check out David’s Flickr page.
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Today I’m pleased to introduce my readers to Photographer Ed Boudreau. Ed features some of his great landscape photography on ViewBug. One of his landscape shots is above, and a couple more are shown at the end of this post. (You can see his ViewBug profile for more examples of his work.) I especially appreciate Ed’s mountain photography.

Here is the interview I had with Ed:

1) How did you get involved in photography?  

My Father used to have a dark room in our cellar and I was always fascinated with how he was able to produce images, but I really did not get too involved until after I retired from the Air Force back in 2010.  Having the free time and living in Alaska has allowed me to get out and explore and learn.

2) What is your favorite camera/lens combo?  

For awhile I was hooked on using my 16-35 L on my Canon 5D MarkIII, I really enjoyed trying to capture the full DOF it offered.  Then I started really concentrating on landscape photography and use my 28-105 L for most of those shots…especially when I produce panoramic images.

3) What software do you use for post-processing? What is your post-processing workflow?

I do most of my post processing in Aperture and use FXPro plug-ins (color,b&w and sometimes HDR) as well as noiseware and I am just getting the hang of masking through CS6.

4) What tips would you offer to rookie photographers?

Great question and kinda hard for me to answer as I feel I am still that rookie…Best advice I would give is… Shoot what you want and be honest with yourself, and when setting up a shot, take some time to look behind you.  Some of my favorite shot are those I did not intend to get.

5) If you could change one thing about your own photography, what would it be?

Stepping out of my comfort zone (landscape, as I’m usually the only one out there) and try shooting more abstract, macro and people.

6) What type of photography technology most excites you?

Though way out of my price range, I would love the chance to try Gigapanning.

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Today I’m pleased to post a short interview with David Gregg. I enjoy the beautiful landscape photography that David posts on Flickr. Check out David’s Flickr page for yourself.

Here is the interview:

 1) How did you get involved in photography?

I’ve had a fascination with cameras and photography as long as I can remember. I was still in my single digits when I was given my first film camera. In my late teens, I bought a Minolta SLR. I soon after I became addicted to capturing images of the mountains, deserts, and coastal regions here in southern California. I spent much of my time taking road trips and hiking; so the outdoors became the primary subject of my photos. I loved being able to capture the sights and feelings I experienced at these places because, in essence, the photos allowed me to relive the experiences as often as I desired.

Over the years I also gravitated toward abandoned, deserted places (probably because they often tell a visual story). Southern California has a lot of desert land. And there are a lot of dry, barren locations where people have tried, for some odd reason, to set up homes, only to be driven away by the harsh elements. I’m fascinated by what compelled these indivduals to move to such unfriendly environs. There’s also a sense of comical irony. For example, the fact that a surprisingly large percentage of these pioneers brought boats with them to the desert. I love roaming along lonely highways that are peppered with deteriorating dwellings, rusted appliances, and other abandoned dreams.

As a result of these quests, I’ve developed somewhat of an obsession with photography. And it gets stronger every time I capture a photo that evokes new feelings.

 2) What is your favorite camera/lens combo?

A little over a year ago I purchased a Nikon d800 and I love it. It’s an amazing camera! When I go on a shoot, I typically use 2 lenses, almost exclusively. My default lens is the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 wide-angle zoom. It produces images that are very crisp and sharp. The quality of the glass provides vivid color; and there’s very little distortion considering the range. Then, for close ups and tighter shots I turn to the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Lens. Both of these lenses perform very well with the D800. Of course I still keep mid-range and telephoto lenses within reach, but they don’t get used nearly as often as the other two.

 3) What software do you use for post-processing? What is your post-processing workflow?

I do all of my workflow processing in Adobe Lightroom. It’s very intuitive; and the program’s adjustment and editing controls have evolved very nicely over the years. Lightroom does a great job of fine-tuning and processing the heavy-duty RAW files that the d800 puts out. I import the RAW files into Lightroom from their original folders and rely heavily on the available filters and labels to quickly and easily determine which of the huge files get developed versus being placed onto the B or C lists of pending files that might eventually be migrated over to tiffs or jpgs.

I own a number of additional Lightroom plug-ins for post-processing. The programs I use most frequency, by far, are Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro (originally by NIK—now owned by Google). I’m amazed at the excellent job Silver Efex Pro performs when it comes to emulating the look and feel of film. It also provides very nice toning features.

For colored shots I really like using the tonal contrast feature in Color Efex Pro. It allows me to fine tune dynamic range in subtle ways that can give photos the clarity and depth of HDR, without the super-saturated overkill to which so many photographers fall prey.

 4) What tips would you offer to rookie photographers?

There are 3 things I’ve learned in recent years that I wish I had known at the beginning of my photographic journey:

1] Allow the picture to present itself. In 2013 I participated in a 365 project. Every photo was not a masterpiece. (In fact, most of them have now been permanently removed from public viewing.) However, I learned a lot during that year. The best lesson I learned was that there is a photo in almost any setting; you just need to look for it. Whether you’re hiking through a forest, driving home from work, or sitting on your livingroom sofa, you are surrounded by a multitude of photographic possibilities. I found if I open my eyes to new and sometimes unconventional perspectives, worthwhile photo subjects will inevitably present themselves to me. I learned that great photos are lurking out there—we just need to uncover them. More often than not, they’re right in from t of our eyes. Once you find them, applying some photographic skill, patience, and discernment can give you the ability to create a hidden masterpiece.

2] Find the intangible qualities in your subjects. It’s easy to point a camera toward a subject and click the shutter. However, what makes a photo truly memorable is not the result of capturing the tangible objects you see I the viewfinder—it’s the emotion and feeling you capture in the frame. Think about how your photo subject makes you feel. Then use elements like exposure, composition, and lighting to translate that feeling into a photographic image. Granted, this is not an easy task; but I believe that once this skill is developed you can create truly powerful photos that will differentiate your work the other of images that are out there competing for the attentions of the masses.

3] Forge friendships with others with similar photographic skills. I have a couple of photo buddies for whom I have a huge amount of respect. They’ve played a key role in my personal improvement—and I believe I have in theirs. Friendly, constructive competition is extremely helpful when it comes to spurring people to reach new milestones. During photo shoots with friends, they will frequently take shots that I am extremely jealous over. I will then raise the bar for myself which often results in capturing images in which they are envious. It’s a healthy cycle. It also is very educational because I’m constantly asking them, “How did you get that shot?” I’ve gained great insights and new perspectives on our photo excursions by looking at photos my friends have captured that I missed entirely at the time.

5) If you could change one thing about your own photography, what would it be?

There are actually two things that I would change; and they’re closely related. If possible I would increase the available time and resources that I can dedicate to my photography. If I could I would spend all of my time traveling (with my wife, of course) to scenic locations armed with a battery of photographic lenses and equipment at my disposal. Currently, photo trips are definitely too few and far between for my liking. And in terms of equipment, my wish list is way to long to ever be obtainable.

6) Are there any new photography technologies that really excite you?

I suppose the most exciting changes are associated with the rapid acceleration of quality among “prosumer” cameras. Until recently, cameras with the resolution and sophistication of my Nikon D800 were religated only to professional photographers and/or very wealthy hobbyists. The fact that Nikon, Canon, and other camera makers are placing these new, high-performing cameras on the market at somewhat affordable prices is very exciting. I can hardly wait to see what will come out next!

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Today I’m pleased to introduce my readers to Photographer Luke Mackenzie. Luke features some of his great landscape photography on ViewBug. One of his landscape shots is above, and a couple more are shown at the end of this post. (You can see his ViewBug profile for more examples of his work.)  Luke has some great wave photos!

Here is the interview I had with Luke:

1) How did you start in photography? What got you involved?

I was in the Navy for 4 and a half years and when I started to travel overseas with work the best advice I got was “take a camera”.

I had a point and shoot, but when I got over to the Middle East for the first time my little camera just couldn’t do the amazing scenery justice. Nor had I any idea at the time how to take a photo.

A couple of years later when I went again, I bought a better camera which was my first SLR (Canon 600D) and started to take more and more photos.

When I returned to the Middle East, I kept taking photos. People seemed to be like the photos. At the start of 2015 I really started to take my photography seriously. I upgraded to a Canon 7D Mk II and began taking a lot of photos.

2) Is there something that attracts you specifically to landscape photography?

When I started traveling I wanted to be able to capture what I was seeing and bring it back home or post it online for people to see.

I love the challenge of trying to get a shot and making it appear how I saw it at the time.

3) What is your favorite lens and camera?

My favorite camera is definitely my Canon 7D. I also recently purchased a 14mm f/2.8L II lense. The difference in that compared to my other lenses was insane! When you take the same photo on that lens then another lens you can straight away see the difference in the colours, lighting & crispness of the shot.

4) Can you offer any tips to other photographers for a great landscape shot?

Take your time! Walk around the area, look at things from a few different angles then set up your shot and use the rule of thirds.

Also, I’ve realised lately how important good lighting is for a good photo. Going out at the golden hour at sunrise and sunset just makes the photo so much better.

5) What is your typical photography workflow? What software do you use for post-processing?

The software I use for my post processing is Lightroom and also a program called Affinity for the Mac.

6) What is your secret to the curling wave photos?

No secret really, I have a pair of fins, a wetsuit, and a housing for my camera. I swim out and get in the right spot where the wave will break over my head.

It takes a lot of practice though. When I first started out, I kept getting waves to the face and thrown over the falls. But it’s what made that type of photography more fun and challenging.

Today I’m pleased to introduce my readers to Nina Irvin, a photographer I found on Viewbug. Nina kindly agreed to do an interview for the blog. Here is the interview:

1) How did you start in photography? What got you involved?

I’ve had a love for photography most of my life as my mother was a wonderful photographer in her own right during the 35mm film days. When I was a child our family spent many vacations traveling around the country enjoying beautiful vistas, particularly in the southwest…so I grew up knowing the difference between “snapshots” and “photographs”. However, it wasn’t until about 4 years ago when I was finely able to afford really decent camera equipment that the quality of my photography dramatically improved…that and the addition of good editing software.

2) Is there something that attracts you specifically to landscape photography?

I love to travel and to be outdoors, so landscape photography fits into that niche nicely. There are beautiful landscapes almost anyhwhere, and I pride myself on seeing things that perhaps others might not. Photographing landscapes allows me to capture the wonderful things I see so that I can take them home with me. I have a particular love for ocean and sunset photography, mainly because the “mood” of those subjects is constantly changing. And even better, landscapes usually require no special lighting equipment or makeup, and most of the time they stay in one place!

3) What is your favorite lens and camera?

I recently upgraded to a Nikon D750 DSLR and absolutely love it. Despite the infinite buttons, dials and menus, it’s intuitive and fairly easy to master. I just recently purchased what I consider to be my “all around” lens: a Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. It has the versatility to be a great wide angle lens and powerful enough to zoom in on that elusive animal off in the distance.

4) Can you offer any tips to other photographers for a great landscape shot?

Landscape photographers often have the advantage of returning to a particular location at different times of the day (or night) in order to capture a scene under different lighting or weather conditions. However, since you can’t always count on a sunset, or beautiful clouds in the distance, or a sky that isn’t dull and gray, there is a lot of luck involved as well, not to mention patience! Shooting ocean scenes either in the early morning or late afternoon almost always, in my opinion, provide the absolute best lighting, which in turn reduces the amount of post processing that would otherwise be required to make an average photo into a great photo worthy of hanging on a wall. It’s also important to note here that when shooting in low light conditions, a tripod is an absolute must. It is virtually impossible to get clear, good quality photos if you are trying to shoot handheld after the sun has gone down.

5) What is your typical photography workflow? What software do you use for post-processing?

After downloading my photos (always onto a 2 tb external hard drive), I always cull my photos and delete those that just aren’t good candidates for editing, usually due to poor composition or other factors. The ones I feel to be of “editable quality” I put into a separate folder of their own. I almost always start editing in Lightroom where I adjust for exposure, contrast, clarity, shadows, etc. (I am still currently using Lightroom 4 which I feel does everything I need it to do). I then send the photo into Photoshop (I use CS6) where I do most of my final editing. Lately, I’ve also been experimenting with compositional layering and photo artistry, so depending on the photo I might go a step further and do some fine tuning using the Topaz filters. The Topaz modules are powerful editing tools that I feel are worth mentioning because oftentimes they can help further elevate your post processed image.

6) What is your secret to the beautiful beach photos?

The photo of the foamy waves was taken late one afternoon on a small, infrequently visited beach near Santa Cruz, California. The beach is surrounded by high rocky bluffs on both sides which force the waves onto the narrow sandy beach area, often creating an opportunity for some wonderful surf shots. On this particular day, we just happened to be there when the surf had created wonderful sea foam. The harmless foam, we later learned, was caused by decaying organic matter (and most likely the dead algae blooms that have plagued the Pacific coast for several months) that mixed with the salt water and was then churned up by the heavy seas from recent storms. It’s a phenomenon that isn’t very common and was a sign that the ocean ecosystem was returning to a healthy state. It never seemed to do the same thing twice. It was just by chance that I was able to capture this “angle” shot of the foam when the retreating water was forcing it back to the surf line. The photo was taken handheld without a tripod. There was still plenty of light so with my ISO at 1000 I set my camera on manual an used an aperture setting of f/11 and shutter speed of 400. The sky was still a bit stormy looking but I was pleased when some natural light rays played on the rock stacks at the surf line. I did some minimal post processing in Lightroom with this shot to bring out the hint of color in the sky, and to add a bit more contrast and clarity to emphasize the foam.

The photo of the beach with the shell was taken in Maui on a very warm September morning…I purposely got up early so that I could photograph the beach without having to worry about any people wandering into my shots. I took this opportunity to use my tripod so I could use a slow shutter speed and my circular ND filter in order to get the best light, color and the soft, almost ethereal mood of the breaking waves in my photo.  This shot was taken at f/22 at an 1/8 of a second using an ISO of 100.  For effect, I layered the seashell onto the beach during post processing as I felt it made the scene more interesting.

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Today I’m pleased to share with my readers an interview with photographer Kathy Kuhn. I’ve admired several landscape photos that Kathy has posted on Viewbug, including the one you see above. You can view Kathy’s Viewbug profile here.

Here is my interview with Kathy:

1) How did you start in photography? What got you involved?

I started photography when I got my first film camera at age 10.  Because I got the camera right after my youngest sister was born, for several years I thought I was only supposed to take pictures of her!  I learned the basics of composing a shot and the importance of being close enough to get subject’s face and expression.  Of course, I was parsimonious about how many pictures I took since it was film and I had to earn the money to pay to develop it.  That also meant most of my photos were on black and white film (this was cheaper).  When I was 18, I met my husband who had a Nikon F Camera.  I immediately adopted his camera, which was a big jump up from my box camera.  That is the camera I used as we raised our family.

About 12 years ago, my youngest sister got me to start trying my hand at digital photography, joining her on various on-line sites.  It took a year or 2 for me to really convert, but by 10 years ago, I was only shooting digital.  I loved taking macro shots of the many small and large spring flowers in my garden.  I had always carried our old Nikon on backpacking trips & hikes, and so also moved to landscape photography with digital.  Basically I live to be outside, and photography gave me another excuse to be out and about.

2) Is there something that attracts you specifically to landscape photography?

As I mentioned, I just love being outdoors.  I love the play of light through the clouds, the trees, the leaves, the mountains, across water and snow.  I love the curves, lines and repetition of shapes in the natural world.  I love finding patterns in apparent chaos, finding a means to compose a shot that brings one particular aspect of the landscape into center stage.  I love the colors, light and dark, shadows and the flow of the land, water and sky.  I am alive outdoors, and there is always something I can find to shoot.  The possibilities are endless.

3) What is your favorite lens and camera?

For most of my life I’ve shot one Nikon or another, going back to the old Nikon F Camera.  I love my Nikon D300 — just a great workhorse of a camera and very versatile with the 18-200mm lens.  But a little over a year ago I wanted a camera that was lighter than my Nikon D300 or D610, so I decided to try the Sony a7ii (mirrorless).  I love it!  It’s much more portable than the Nikon, has great color, is intuitive to learn to shoot moving from the Nikon and is a great all-around camera.  My favorite lens with the Sony is the 24-240mm, which like the 18-200 for the Nikon, gives me great variability of range, from very wide angle to a good zoom.  I just used it as my primary camera on a trip to Costa Rica where I was routinely shooting at ISO 6400 and it performed wonderfully with very little noise.

4) Can you offer any tips to other photographers for a great landscape shot?

The best way to get good landscape shots is to first choose early morning or late afternoon/evening light.  Mid-day is harsh and won’t show any landscape to advantage.  Besides lighting, you want to scout a location to try to find a good composition.  I look for diagonal lines drawing your eye to your chosen main subject, or repetition of objects (leaves, branches, trunks, rocks etc.), and always try to find a way to convey depth by having a foreground as well as middle and far distances.  Sometimes the foreground will be the subject and sometimes it will merely set the stage for the subject.

5) What is your typical photography workflow? What software do you use for post-processing?

Generally I download after a shooting expedition and do a cursory run through the images, tagging those that look promising to work on.  Then I go back and zoom in on ones I’ve tagged to make sure the crucial areas are sharp.  When I’ve chosen an image, I open in RAW, make my adjustments, then open in Photoshop.  I often use Nik filters.  Sometimes I use texture layers, though less often for landscapes.  Very occasionally I use Topaz filters.  Occasionally I use a couple of exposures and manually create an HDR image, or I use Photomatix.  But generally, I prefer the simpler work flow of non-HDR images.

I'm a hard core Star Wars fan. (The new Han Solo movie was definitely the best so far!) In this post I want to share my favorite Han Solo images from Artstation for January 2019.

The images are from the following artists:
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