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Top Tutorial: Dynamic Landscape Photography

December 26th, 2012 No Comments

What Everybody Ought to Know About Landscape Photography [Best of dPS 2012] is one of those year-end roundups.  Obviously, it is about landscape photography and is actually a Top Ten list of tutorials.  They are listed “in no particular order” with Composing Dynamic Landscape Images at No. 1, the top of the list.

And, boy, is it a ‘Number One’ ‘Top of the List’ tutorial!  Photography is primarily an art, not a science, a method, or a mechanical approach.  To the great credit of Todd Sisson, he manages to show the scientific, methodical and mechanical underpinnings of ‘an art’, or how to create a work of ‘an art’ (i.e. a fine dynamic landscape photograph).

Sisson modestly states “It must also be stated that what follows is not a recipe for creating great images” but if so, then what he provides is and ‘almost recipe’.  The ‘almost recipe’ has seven ‘ingredients’, from “Leading or converging lines” to “Suggestion of movement”, listed right up top.  Sisson dissects and explains the purpose of these factors, and illustrates them with numerous superb images. 

The author’s insight and understanding into how most persons interact with and react to a landscape photograph, and how the eye responds to lines, light/dark areas, intensity/saturation, foreground/background, perspective, etc. and his ability to get concepts and facts across lucidly, is unparalleled.   

This knowledge, and the ability to communicate it effectively to the reader allows one to go ‘aha!’ and grasp the nebulous principles of just what makes for a top-notch dynamic landscape photograph.  There is little doubt that this tutorial will take many intermediate landscape photographers to the next level.

Readers of this blog will know that we’re not given to superlatives here but this tutorial is quite exceptional.  What’s more, Sisson’s quirky sprinklings of humour make an exceptional how-to highly readable.  (“Try scrambling up banks, standing on cars and sitting on your wife’s/husband’s shoulders (sans tripod)”; “run around like a deranged prison escapee,” “mind-control experiment deployed by shady branches of the US intelligence community!”)

 

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