S E E I N G VERTICAL Landscapes

L E N S   10-20 Wide Angle  |  C A M E R A 5 D mkii  

I wanted to create thoughtful, dynamic images and I challenged myself to use my wide angle lens and shoot VERTICAL Landscapes.    

To create a dynamic image I needed a foreground, middle ground and background to create depth.   I looked for and angled myself with leading lines to draw the viewer's eye to the subject.  Using the Rule Of Thirds, I thoughtfully composed in camera.   

As I would approach a scene, I would look for leading lines in my foreground, find an interesting point of view, position myself and study the light adjusting my camera settings.   

I've only been to the Wildlife Preserve a few times and it seems I can only make it there during the 1-3 p.m. harsh sunlight.  This day it was partially cloudy which allowed me diffusion of the sun.  Timing is a crucial part of a creative image and today I would wait for the clouds to roll over my subject creating softness,contrast and rich hues.  

Using the wide angle lens, I chose to shoot as low as I could which most of the time it mean't I was lying on my stomach and shooting up toward my subject.   

The real challenge was shooting vertical landscapes.  In the beginning, I would approach a scene and automatically without THINKING start to frame up my  subject Landscape/Horizontal.   A large part of this exercise was to make me THINK about what I was doing.  Instead of quickly seeing a moment, raising the camera and taking a shot I wanted to make myself SLOW down.  Become part of the process of creating an image.   By challenging myself to shoot vertically I instantly became aware.  

Earlier in the year, there was a fire started from lightening at the Preserve and because of this there are a lot of burned trees and limbs on the ground.   I tried to use them as leading lines and interesting subjects.  

NOTE:  My wide angle lens creates a vignette when I use it on my 5d mk ii full frame camera which I cropped in Photoshop and by doing so, it does change the overall composition.  I tried to take this into consideration when I was framing.  There is some barrel distortion which I could fix in Photoshop but I kinda like the clouds being distorted.    And, I really should have taken a small tripod, because this lens NEEDS a tripod to focus sharply.  

 Overall, I'm happy with my images and I look forward to going back to the Preserve with the experience I gained shooting Vertical Landscapes.