Landscape Tips – Explore the possiblities


Landscape Tips from photographer Edward M. Fielding

How does one shoot landscape photography like a pro?  It seems obvious, but one of the most important things is to put yourself in front of compelling, intriguing, beautiful landscape subjects.  The other part of it is composing that landscape and capturing it using well practiced technical skills.

Know your subject, Explore your subject

To create a great landscape photograph (notice I didn’t say “take”), it requires knowing your subject.  You want to know what time of year is best, what time of day, when the light looks best, what time of year the angle of the sun hits that barn just right, when the leaves glow with the brilliance of autumn foliage.

The good landscape photographer also doesn’t just take a snap and jump into the car on to the next place.  The good landscaper photographer explores the scene from various angles and various view points, exploring all sorts of composition possibilities.

Take the following photographs of one of the most iconic farms in Vermont – the Jenne Farm, which is well known to photographers who often line up in a line, jockeying their tripods into position at the break of dawn in peak foliage season in order to capture the same shot as the guy they are bumping shoulders with as the sun comes up.  Sort of like sports fishermen lined up on a fishing pier or off a fishing charter.  Or at least I’ve been told but I visit the site every once in a while and have never seen another fisherman, just the occasional cow.  The little red box in the left bottom corner of the first photograph “Winter in Vermont” is actually a donation box.

Art Prints

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Art Prints

The above photographs of Jenne Farm are just a few from my portfolio which illustrate a variety of angles, views, and times and seasons in which I’ve explored and investigated the possibilities of this single landscape.  Sure its easier to know a place when its in the neighborhood rather than a place you might be visiting on vacation but the ideas of exploring and learning about a place still apply.  You can revisit a special place at different times during a day.  You can also so your homework ahead of time to explore a place a various times of the day.  With the Internet a popular stop like Jenne Farm will have tons of photographs online.  You can explore the area and various compositions as well as time of day from the comfort of your arm chair.  Your challenge when you actually visit the location is to find your own special take on it.

From Wikipedia: Jenne Farm is a farm located in Reading, Vermont. It is one of the most photographed farms in the world, especially in autumn. The farm has appeared in magazine covers, photography books, and a Budweiser television advertisement; it has also served as a setting in the films Forrest Gump and Funny Farm. Photographs of the farm have appeared on posters, postcards and wall calendars.

Despite its fame, the private farm is located along a dirt road and is not heavily promoted. The only sign indicating its presence is a tiny board along Vermont State Route 106 advertising maple syrup.

The farm became noted for photogenic scenery about 1955 when a photography school in South Woodstock discovered it. Later, it appeared as an entry in a Life photo contest, on the cover of Yankee magazine, and in Vermont Life.