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The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography

Book Description

The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography teaches photographers how to convert their visual peak experiences-moments of extraordinary natural beauty that evoke a sense of wonder and awe-into stunning images that elicit the same awestruck emotion in their viewers. Randall is an experienced wilderness photographer, and whether you want to venture into the mountains for once-in-a-lifetime shots of raw nature, or simply hone your landscape photography skills from the safety of your back deck, Randall explains the art, science and craft of creating astounding images.Randall begins by focusing on the art of landscape photography. He describes his three-step process for composing a photograph and shows how good composition is an organic process that begins with rules but ultimately transcends them. Randall then explores the science behind successful landscape photographs, which requires understanding key concepts from geography, optics, vision, and psychology. These concepts include:

  • Understanding how the position of the sun at sunrise and sunset varies throughout the year, which will help you plan when and where to shoot.
  • Understanding optics to predict where rainbows will appear, how polarizers will interact with reflections, and where to find spectacular light.
  • Understanding how to use topographic maps and computerized mapping tools to help you find the most promising shooting locations in the wilderness.
  • Understanding how our visual system analyzes images and the psychology of how we view art. These insights will help you produce successful photographs.
Exposure is a central aspect of the craft of landscape photography, and Randall tackles the challenges of this topic from every angle-from tips on calculating exposures in the field, to achieving correct exposure in high-contrast lighting situations, to the best digital darkroom techniques.Great landscape photography can be mastered with practice and by applying the techniques taught in this book. The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography is intended for those who already understand the basics of photography and who are ready to master the finer nuances of creating magnificent landscape photographs.

Foreword by Reid Callanan
Director, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
    1. From Peak Experience to Well-Crafted Image
  8. Chapter 1: Landscape Photography Looks So Easy
    1. Viewing a Print vs. Viewing Reality
  9. Chapter 2: In Search of Extraordinary Landscapes
  10. Chapter 3: Visualization
    1. Using a Map to Help Visualize Photographs
    2. Shooting Moonset at Sunrise
  11. Chapter 4: The Art and Science of Light
    1. Lighting Fundamentals
    2. Blue Skies and Red Sunsets
    3. White Clouds and White Haze
    4. Rainbows
    5. Rainbow Position Chart
    6. Rainbows and Polarizers
    7. The Rarest Light of All
  12. Chapter 5: The Art and Science of Composing Compelling Images
    1. The Essentials of Graphic Design
    2. Balance and Depth
    3. Focus Stacking
    4. Color
  13. Chapter 6: The Perfect Exposure
    1. How Light Meters Work
    2. Exposure Danger Zones
    3. Histograms
    4. The Four Basic Exposure Strategies
    5. The PhD Strategy
    6. The Limiting Factor Exposure Strategy
    7. The Rembrandt Solution
    8. Which Split ND Do You Need?
    9. HDR
    10. The Universal Exposure Strategy
  14. Chapter 7: Digital Capture and Processing of High-Contrast Scenes
    1. Countershading
    2. How our Visual System Processes High-Contrast Scenes
    3. Capturing Rembrandt Solution Images in the Field
    4. Merging the Images in Photoshop
    5. Smart Objects and the Masks Panel
    6. Final Thoughts on the Rembrandt Solution
    7. HDR: Great Potential, Many Pitfalls
    8. Setting up an HDR Image
    9. Tone-Mapping in Lightroom
    10. Keeping it Real with HDR
    11. Final Thoughts on Realism and HDR
  15. Chapter 8: Take a Walk on the Wide Side
    1. Setting up a Single-Row Panorama
    2. Finding the Nodal Point
    3. Camera Settings for Single-Row Panoramas
    4. Stitching Panoramas
    5. Shooting and Processing High-Contrast Panoramas
    6. Multi-Row Panoramas
  16. Chapter 9: The Landscape at Night
    1. Photographing the Milky Way
    2. Depth of Field for Selected Lenses Focused at Infinity
    3. Focusing and Composing at Night
    4. Maximum Shutter Speed Chart
    5. Holding Detail in the Land
    6. Processing Milky Way Images
    7. Shooting Milky Way Panoramas
    8. Photographing Star Trails
    9. Removing Jet Trails
    10. Closing the Gaps
    11. Photographing the Aurora
    12. Can Night Photographs be Authentic?
  17. Chapter 10: The Psychology of the Compelling Landscape
    1. Landscape Photography and Evolution
    2. On Culture and Creativity