Timing is everything!
There is nothing more exhilarating than capturing a great landscape shot, right out of the camera, that stands alone without any editing. It’s not an everyday occurrence, for anyone. The lighting conditions have to be just right to get the sky, foreground and background all well-lit. The camera does not usually see it the same way our eye does. However, if the clouds and lighting conditions all align, you can get a natural HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect without any editing. For example, in this photo I took while snowmobiling in Island Park, the sky was stormy and dark blue, then the sun finally broke through the clouds behind me and everything was perfect.
I felt the moment, and knew I it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All I had with me, was my daughter’s little point-and-shoot camera with no manual settings, but this turned out to be one of my all-time favorite unedited images. I just had to compose the shot and nature did the rest. This is capturing a moment in time, and I love this pure form of true photography. No flash, no Photoshop, nothing but me and perfect timing. I can’t spend that much time shooting anymore, so unfortunately, it does not happen that often.
The master of lighting, Ansel Adams, would wait for hours to get the right moment with the skies and clouds. I love his shots of the Tetons. Check out the example, below. Isn’t this incredible timing?
Let’s be real, unless you are a full-time landscape photographer, you will not capture very many shots like this every year. So for most of us, who want this effect, I have some tips coming up in my next blog post that will help you “paint the light” into your lack-luster shots. I know you have folders full of images that are just not quite good enough to print or even post on facebook, let alone add to your blog.
Stay tuned… My next blog post will be “One Minute Makeovers” for quick, beautiful images using Camera Raw Adjustment Brushes.