Phil Koch is a fine art photographer who has won numerous awards and over $350 with his landscape photos on VotoArt. This blog post features some of his excellent work and gives a few tips of where to start and what to consider if you want to be a successful landscape photographer. To see more of Phil Koch’s photography, visit Phil Koch Fine Art Photography Portfolio
Shooting at Dawn
Shooting during the Golden hours is known for producing award winning landscape photos and dawn is one of the Golden hours. At first the light of dawn is a cool blue then just before the sun starts to rise the light is flat and almost colorless. As the sun breaks the horizon the magic starts to happen. The landscape is bathed in beautiful hues of red and orange illuminating everything it touches with its glorious rays. Unless you are naturally a morning person, trying to capture this beauty may mean work and persistence. You must be willing to head out in the gloom when there are lots of reasons for staying in bed at 3am knowing that there is a risk of it being cloudy and cold. Some landscape views may only work well at certain times of the year, depending on the position of the sun. You can determine where this will be by using a sun compass or an app that shows you where the sun will rise each day.
Things to consider
If you pre visit and plan your shot it will help maximize your success during the limited amount of the best light.
When shooting just before the sun is up, the best color is usually in the eastern sky. Try to find a focal point to set against this. Perhaps a silhouette of a tree or landmark.
To shoot the sun as it breaks the horizon, set the aperture to f/16 to get the optimum sunburst effect. It also helps if you partially hide the sun behind a tree or rock to reduce the intensity of light and overcome problems with flare.
Once the sun gets too bright to usefully work with, turn around and shoot in the opposite direction to catch the warm light on the landscape. Any surface that is angled towards the sun will catch the light.
Choose your position carefully to avoid your own shadow creeping into the picture!
Seek out mist Keep an eye on the weather forecast and look out for high pressure with cold clear nights and little or no wind. Mist often appears over rivers, lakes and damp ground, so it’s always worth visiting such locations to increase your chances of successful shots.
Don’t restrict yourself to low level shooting. If you’re visiting hilly locations, the valleys will be cast in deep shadow until well after the sun is up – so head for the hilltops instead to catch the first rays of sunrise.
If you truly want to create great landscape photos then the best thing to do is get started. set a date to get up and give shooting at dawn a try. Take your best shots and enter them in the weekly cash contests on VotoArt. You will not only put yourself in a place for the potential to win cash but you will receive valuable feedback from your potential market. You can receive all of the voting history of your photos by simply becoming a Pro Member so get started today.