Landscape Photography II: Advanced Tools & Techniques | JP Danko | Skillshare

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Landscape Photography II: Advanced Tools & Techniques

teacher avatar JP Danko, Commercial Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Assignment

    • 3. Landscape Photography Gear

    • 4. Image 1: Mobile Phone Forest & Flowers

    • 5. Image 2: DSLR Twilight and Dusk

    • 6. Image 3: DSLR Sunrise and Sunset

    • 7. Image 4: Mobile Phone Waterfalls and Rivers

    • 8. Image 5: DSLR Extra Long Exposures

    • 9. Final Thoughts and Next Steps

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About This Class

In this 60-minute class, photographer JP Danko gives you an unfiltered behind the scenes look at his step-by-step approach to photograph five representative landscapes using a series of advanced landscape photography tools and techniques with both a mobile phone camera and a DSLR.  Learn about composition, camera settings and how to use polarizing filters, neutral desity filters and graduated neutral density filters.  This class is designed to build on the introductory class "Lanscape Photography: Interpreting Place Through Light" and is for anyone who would like to extend their current landscape photography skills to a professional level.

Meet Your Teacher

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JP Danko

Commercial Photographer


JP Danko is an active lifestyle photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. His work is distributed by Stocksy United.

JP also publishes a weekly photography column at, one of the worlds most popular online photography resources.

To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, Instagram and 500px.

See full profile

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1. Introduction: My name is J. P. Danko. I'm a commercial and advertising photographer. One of my favorite genres of photography is landscape photography. Landscape photography is how I started my career, and it's still what gets me excited enough to get up at four in the morning and hike out to some mountaintop somewhere just to take some amazing photos. This is the second class in a three class landscape photography. Siri's the first class we looked at interpreting place through light. So we looked at how the light changes through the day and how that affects your landscape photography. This class is completely different. What we're gonna do in this class is really get into the nuts and bolts of how to create those landscape photos step by step. What we're gonna do is I'm gonna take five sample landscape photos, and these were sort of the quintessential landscape photo style types that are the foundation for pretty much all landscape photography. So once you know how to do these five photos, you should be able to apply those techniques to pretty much any landscape scenario. And what I'm really excited about is, you know, we're gonna not just use a camera on a tripod for this class. We're also going to get into send really specialized landscape photography techniques. So we're gonna use a polarizing filter. We're gonna use neutral density filters, greenies, graduated neutral density filters, all kinds of really cool techniques that you can use in your own landscape photos to really bring your landscape photography up to the next level. So I really hope that you're ready to enroll in the class and hopefully we'll see you in your camera on top of a mountain somewhere. 2. Assignment: before we get started in the class. I just want to take a moment to go through the assignment for the class because this is a class, so there is an assignment at the end. But I think it's a really fun assignment, and it's very informative and you get away deeper level of learning if you actually take the time in to submit an assignment. So what the Simon is is just to take one of the five photo styles that we're gonna cover in class and reproduce that yourself Now you don't need to use all the gear that we use in class. You don't need to use the same techniques. All I want to see in your finished photo that you submit is that you put it some thought into the technique that used to create it so you can submit just one photo or you can submit all five photo styles or you consume it as many photos as you want and you'll get feedback for me directly, and you'll also get feedback from your class members. And there's one other thing that I want to mention before we jump into the the lessons for the class. It's that you're going to hear me talking about stops of light quite often. Um, as I'm explaining my technique and all I'm talking about is kind of a unit of measure of brightness in my photo. So, for example, if I'm saying that I need to increase my i s o from eso 100 to 400 that will give me two stops, extra brightness, Um, all I mean is that that will make that to kind of standard units of measure brighter. Soto learn a little bit more about that and what I'm talking about. I put together a little bit of a cheat sheet for f stops, and that's in the additional materials. So if you'd like a little bit more information and really encourage you to download that and take a look, and I think it will really help as you're falling along through the class lessons. So I hope you're ready to get started, and we're gonna jump in with our first class 3. Landscape Photography Gear: Let's just take a quick moment to go through the gear that we're gonna use for the class. Now I'm gonna show you all the gear that I use for all the sample photos. You don't have to have all this gear or go out and buy it. But it's just good to be aware of what I use in the class so that if you are interested, you know what it is and you can go to get it yourself. So, first of all, I'm going to show you an adapter ring. So a lot of times, a lot of your lenses or different sizes and what you can do is instead of gloating, going out and buying a whole bunch of different filters, you can just use these adapter rings to, um by, say, a 77 millimeter diameter filters and then adapt those down to any lens that you're going to use. So, for example, in the class, I'm using a lens that takes a 67 millimetre diameter filter, so I buy all my filters at 77 millimeters, and then it just used the adapter ring to adjust them down and use them on my smaller lenses. Next, I've got a polarizing filter, so this is a circular, polarizing filter. What it does is it takes out the glare of any water that you have in your images. So if you're taking images over water, or even if it's just water that's on leaves and things like that, um, the polarizing filter takes out the glare. This is probably one of the more important filters in all of landscape photography, because it really helps to make the colors a lot more vibrant and punchy in your landscape photos. And it's not something that you can really do in post. I mean, if there's glare on the water shot. There's absolutely no way that you can take that in post and the same for the do and droplets and different little bits of water in different photos. There's no way that you can really replicate the effect from a polarizing filter. Next, I've got a Siris of neutral density filters, so these come in Ah, different ranges, 0.3 point 6.91 point two, and each one gives an extra stop of light sensitivity. So, for example, this is a 0.6 neutral density filter. You can see kind of how bright our how dim that IHS. And then this one here is a 1.2. So a 0.6 will give you two stops of brightness correction. So it takes two stops of light out of your photo. This is a 1.2, so you can see how much darker that is, then the 0.6. So 1.2 will take four stops of late Oda's your photo. Now, why Neutral density filters are important is because they let you take longer exposure times than you'd normally be able to take. So, for example, say I'm photographing a waterfall or some running water and I've relatively bright scene and I want to get that silky running water effect. Well, say, I've already increased my aperture to the highest that it will go to, so I'm letting in the least amount of light possible. And ah, I'm at I s 0 100 I can't change that anymore. And I still got a shutter speed that's too fast. Well, if use a neutral density filter that can lengthen the amount the shutter speed that you can use so that you can get that silky water effect. And again, there's no way toe really do that in post. You have to do it when you're capturing your photo, and the neutral density filters allow you to do that. Next. I've got a Siris of graduated neutral density filters. So to use those you need a filter holder. So this is a Koken P. Siri's, um, filter holder, and I've got a series of neutral density filters here for that graduated neutral density filters. So the 1st 1 is just a soft grad. So as you can see, this has just got a nice, even soft radiation from dark at the top, down to nothing at the bottom. And what these do these graduated neutral density filters is they allow you to even out the exposure between If you have a really bright horizon, um, and then a dark foreground, using the neutral density filter will darken that horizon. Or, you know, part of the photo that you want dark and then evens it out. So, along with the soft grad, the soft gradation, we also have what's called a hard grad. So and you can see that this neutral density filter this is a 1.2 hard grad, So the top part here that's dark is four stops darker than the bottom part. That's clear. So what the's air good for is if you have a very distinct horizon. Um, you had set this in your filter holder so that the line is at the horizon, and then it makes the sky and the horizon four stops darker than your foreground. Next, I've got a This is called a reverse grad graduated neutral density filter. This is, Ah, 40.9 verse grad, and this neutral density filters specifically four sunrises and sunsets, so you can see at the top that it's darker. But it's not as dark it is. It is in the middle, and then it goes to light and nothing at the at the bottom. So what this reverse grad does is as you're taking a photo of a sunset, it takes to your sky so it makes your sky a little bit darker, and then it gets you lose three stops of light where the sunset or sunrise would normally be. So the brightest part of the sky it darkens the most, and then it goes to nothing at the bottom. So it it evens out that sunrise or sunset shot. And then finally, I've got, um, a nine stop neutral density filter. So this is kind of ah, really specialized piece of equipment here. And what this does is lets you take those really, really silky smooth, long exposures. So this guy, you can see how dark that neutral density filter is. This guy takes nine stops of light out of your photo, so you can go from, um, a really, really bright, seen Teoh. Ah, very, very dark, long exposure which allows you to get, um that was really nice. Absolutely perfectly smooth water shots, running water and things like that. So that's just a quick overview of some of the gear that we're gonna use in the class. And like I said, you don't have to use all of this or growed and buy all this stuff, But, um, as we're working through the lessons, um, and I pull it out, you'll know what it is and how it's used 4. Image 1: Mobile Phone Forest & Flowers: for our first lesson. I'm just going Teoh, take some kind of general four shots and some shots of these trillions here. I'm just gonna use my cell phone and a polarizing filter. So if you remember from thebe ear lessen the polarizing filter just brings out a little bit of extra color in ah, in the in your shots and it also takes out the reflection. So it gives you a bit more of a vibrant look to your images. Remember, back to the first landscape photography session, interpreting location with light. It's about, um, an hour and 1/2 before sunset right now. And I've kind of just been walking around in the woods here looking for a good location, and I find it found this kind of like little patch of trillions here. So I'm gonna work with this. Um, the sun is setting Ah, in about an hour and 1/2 from now. So it kind of shooting into the sun, and I really like how the light looks on the flowers here. And another thing that, um, is really important is the time that you're out to take landscape photography. So the trillions here in the forest right now. Um, they only come out for about two weeks at mid May. So they're in bloom right now, But a week from now, these all begun. Now that I've found my patch of trillions, I really like how the sunshine is kind of shining through the foliage in the flowers that late day sunshine's very directional opening up my app on my phone. I'm using an app called camera F E five. Now there's a whole ton of different camera apps that you can use, but just one that I particularly like I'm going to start with setting my white balance set my white balance to daylight because I want to maximize the warmth in the interest from this late day sunshine. So if I set my white bastard daily, it's gonna give me that really nice late day glow in my sunshine next time, setting the auto focus just to touch focus. So wherever I tap the screen ah, that's where it'll focus to take the picture for the metering mode. I'm gonna send it to center weighted. I might have to play with this a little bit, depending on how the camera meters, but um, most of the time, something like this that's really close. Metering mode center weighted will work quite well for the Iast. So I'm gonna leave that at auto, and right now, the exposure adjustment. I'm just gonna leave that, uh, zero. So if I get in here, I want to get in really pretty close to my subject for flower shots. And I'm gonna also try and get a little bit of sun flare in my photos as well. And with my, um, polarizing filter. Uhm, I'm just gonna hold that over the lens. So by holding it over the lens, it will add that polarizing effect in photos. Basically, the same thing that you would do with the DSLR of the polarizing filter was actually on your camera. So yeah, these look really nice. I'm just shooting into the into the light. I can see the sun flare from the sun behind me and depending on how I I move and position my frame, I can either get it, um, in the picture or sometimes behind a flower behind some leaves. And really, it's just a matter of experimenting with different compositions here. Kind of working with seen on and seeing what I can get. One other trick that you can use, especially with flower photos, is because it's late in the day. It's early evening. Um, if there was some do on these flowers, they would look a little bit fresher, a little bit nicer, but because it's late in the day, there isn't any natural do. But what I can do is I can sort of fake that. So if you have ah, spray bottle little little spritz with some water in it, um, you could just give your flowers a little spray with water, kind of make them look like they have that morning do now. The reason I couldn't get up and take these photos in the morning is because the sunshine would actually be facing the wrong direction for the style of photo that I want to take. So it's a little bit dictated by the scene. If I could get up early and do this with Natural do, I would do that. But, um, I can't really do that in this situation, so I'm just gonna fake it a little bit and give my image is a little bit of extra a little bit of extra interest. So back to my app. So some of these I'm taking with the flower really nice and close in the frame. Others I'm backing up a little bit. And taking more of ah, kind of a general landscape with just just a for escape with the flowers in the foreground is sort of, ah, point of interest. It's with this late day son. It's really interesting how different you can make different shots. Look, just by if the sun's in the frame, if it's not in the frame, Okay, that's pretty good. I'm happy with those. So that's the end of your first lesson with, uh, your mobile phone and a polarizing filter. 5. Image 2: DSLR Twilight and Dusk: for our second sample photo. I'm down here on the lake shore. It's a boat an hour and 1/2 after sunset, if again, if you remember back to the first course in the Siri's, um, interpreting landscape through light. Um, a lot of what we're looking for inner landscape photography has to do with the light. So, as you can see, I've got some really great evening late Right now, it's ah, and I can just see the fog is starting to roll in off the lake. So I've got some excellent, really awesome atmosphere is Well, I'm really excited about that. So to get started, I'm gonna be using a DSLR for this series of photos. I've got a 35 millimeter lens on here and to get started. I'm just going to use this without any, um, without any filters or anything, I'm just going to see what I can get. So first of all, when I'm looking down the beach, I kind of want to make sure that I've got something interesting in the foreground. This looks actually really cool with the fog coming in, and I'm gonna try and do this without having to use um, the tripod yet. So I'm just gonna shoot along the lake shore. Uh, let's see. So I'm in manual mode. My ah, I s So I'm gonna try, um, 800 to start. White belts is set to daylight. Now I'm shooting and raw. So if I don't like the word daylight white balance, I can always change that later. Um, and right now I met F 2.8 is the aperture and 11 25th of a second. So let's see, what the camera says is gonna look like So it's telling me that's gonna be just a little bit under exposed. So I'm gonna go down to 1/60 of a second. So my camera settings right now I met F 2.8 1/60 of a second. I s 0 800 The fog's really just starting to come in. It's really nice and atmospheric. It's awesome. It looks really cool. Love it. And again, No, it's worse. Composition wise. Here. I'm just trying to get something in the foreground. That's that's interesting. So I've got the rocks and the stones from the lake shore, and I'm kind of focusing, just not really close up to my camera, just kind of about 1/3 of the way into the frame. As far as composition in these images goes, Um, I'm basically I don't want to put the lake shore, you know, right in the middle of the frame, on account to keep the subjects in my frame off to the side and let the horizon lines lead your eye. And so, in this particular photo, you can see, um, you're looking down the lake shore and there's a little bit of a point right at the end, so the horizon is leading you your eye. In this way. The lakeshore is leading your eye down that way, and then the point, which is a bit of a silhouette off in the distance, is sort of the focal point of this image. Now, I'm kind of lucky that because I have a really calm night here and this is a little bit uncommon. Usually it's kind of wavy and windy, but I'd like to I'd like to get rid of the ripple in the water so I can see in my photos here just a little bit of the ripples in the water. I want that to be, like, perfectly, absolutely come. So to do that, I'm gonna put my camera on a tripod, and then instead of using 1/60 of a second or, you know, a shutter speed that I can handhold So anything faster than 1/60 of a second, you can usually handhold with too many too much problems. So you won't get too much shake in your photo. Anything slower than 1/60 of a second, you really need to use a tripod. So let's get set up on a tripod Here, use the same framing is before I really like how that, uh, how that image looks in the frame. So I'm just gonna frame it with the tripod. I'm gonna set the focus point. He used the same focus point I was using before. So along the lakeshore, I've got a definite thing to focus on. I've got the rocks and the stones, whereas over on the lake there's nothing definite that the focus congrats. So I'm going to use the same, um, focal point is before I use spot focus and ah, single single focus. So? So if I just set the point on the lakeshore there. That looks good. And make sure that the horizon is level. And instead of shooting at 2.8, I'm gonna bring that up too. Now, I was try F F 11 and to compensate. I'm gonna bring the shutter speed down to where we here two seconds and Aiken, lengthen that shutter speed even more if I change the I. So from 800 let's bring it down to 100. So I got the lowest I so and go to and the F 11. And how long of a shutter? Speed can again and get four seconds there. Okay, that sounds good to me. There we go. We got a four second exposure, and that looks really nice. I can see the water is really nice and smooth. We're gonna go one more step further here. I got my polarizing filter because the there's still a little bit of light here. It looks pretty dark in the video, but it's actually in the camera. It's not too bad. So I've got my polarizing filter. I'm gonna put that on my lens, and that should take out some of the glare in the water. Now this lenses Ah, 35 millimeter takes 67 diameter millimeter diameter filters. So I'm just using my adapter to change the filter there from I've got a 77 millimeter diameter polarizer and I'm gonna put it on my my lens with the adapter for a 67 millimeters lens. You got a little bit darker since my last photo. So I got to readjust my settings and also with the polarizing filter, it takes off about two stops of light. So I was at Ah, eso 100 F 11 4 seconds. I think I'm probably gonna be at least 15 25 so I could go to 30 seconds are that looks great. So with a 32nd exposure, the water should be absolutely silky smooth and with the polarizing filter should take some of the glare off the water so you can see the stones and all of the detail below the water level. The last thing I could do is to use my remote trigger because I'm using a long exposure here. Even the act of pressing the shutter button can add some vibration in my camera. If I accidentally nudge it or it moves a little bit so to make sure that my photos air still is absolutely possible, I'm going to use my remote shutter release here. One other thing in the camera settings I don't think I mentioned is that I've got noise reduction on so in camera noise reduction. Um, that's sort of optional. Whether you do that in camera, you can do it after in software. But one thing you should be aware of is, well, the cameras doing its noise reduction algorithm. You're stuck for that length of time. You can't use the camera, so you just have to be aware of that. If you're tryingto take a lot of shots and progression, you might not get the moon if you're doing in camera noise reduction, but with a 32nd exposure, that looks really, really cool. Change the white balance here. It's a little purple, e and blue in daylight. Just gonna set it to auto and see what it Ah, see what it gives me. Okay, so let's take that same photo. My remote shutter release. Um, I'm being careful right now not to touch the camera and just looking through the viewfinder to make sure that it focuses right if I have press on the remote shutter release of half, press the button here it focuses, and then a full press releases the shutter. I think that's pretty good for some twilight photos here. I think that gives you a good overview of an approach to shooting. Um, as you're approaching darkness. 6. Image 3: DSLR Sunrise and Sunset: morning, everyone, Welcome back. It's Ah, but 5 30 in the morning right now. As you can see, you've got just an amazing sunrise shaping up this morning. If you remember back from the first course in the Siri's um, landscape photography one interpreting place with light, how important it is to be at the right place at the right time. So I'm appear before the crack of dawn to make sure I'm in the right place at the right time. When I was walking up and down the beach here, a couple of the things I was looking for was sort of a flat area of stones where I could include some of the stones in the foreground. So for composition with a landscape photo, I really want to get some of this nice stones in the foreground of the photo. I don't want to just put my camera towards the lake and shoot the sunrise just strictly sunrise, because it takes away a lot of the interest in the foreground. So, um, I had to look for a spot that had sort of, ah, flat area. Most of the beach is pretty steep now. Other than that, there's a little bit of morning fog it this morning as kind of hoping for a bit more. It's still early spring right now, so the lake is really cold. Um, in the summer, normally, if it's a cool morning and the lake is warm than you get quite a bit more fog. But it's a little bit this morning. Um, now, as faras Sunrise photo goes, I've got quite a few options for this, so I'm gonna shoot it with my DSLR. Um, it's in, uh, raw. So I'm shooting raw files. Um, there you go. There's six clock sunrise. Should be any minute now. I'm gonna start. I s a 100. My camera goes down to isa 100. If yours goes down to 200 sometimes that's the lowest. Just go with that, but I'm gonna start with eso 100. I'm gonna set my white balance on daylight because I'm taking photos of the sunrise. It is daylight. So we're gonna use daylight. And I'm also gonna shoot in manual mode. Um, no. You know, I can change my mind. I'm gonna shoot in aperture priority. Um, I do shoot most of the time in manual but for something like a sunrise where the light changes very quickly, so assumes that sun comes up over the horizon. The lights gonna be, ah, super bright all of a sudden. And I don't wanna have to be fiddling with my settings. Um, every five seconds as it gets really, really bright, So shooting in aperture priority should take care of that. The only thing I have to watch is that my foreground balances my background. So in a landscape photo, that's actually really hard to do because if you think about it, um, the sky and the sun are all gonna be really bright, whereas the foreground, the rocks are relatively dark. And I think you can see that in the video there, where the foreground is relatively dark in the sky is relatively break. So if I try and balance those, there's no real way that I can balance that on camera. So what I'm gonna use for this shot is something called a reverse graduated filter. So this is the This is the filter right here. And if you can see that, there we go. So you can see that on the video. Um, so this filter. It's clear of the bottom. And then the darkest part of of the neutral density graduation is in the middle, and then it gets a little bit later up to the top. So this filter is specifically for sunrise and sunset photos, because what it allows you to do is get the most late for the bottom. And then it blocks the most late right at the sunrise sunset spot at the horizon. And then it keeps this guy a little bit darker than that. This is Ah, 0.6. Ah, Reverse graduated neutral density filters. No, Sorry. It's a 0.9. Um, so I'm gonna use that. And I'm also going to use a polarizing filter because I'm shooting out over water. It just takes all the glare of the water. And it also will help to see some of the detail through the water. I hope so. Let's get that set up. I can see the sun just peeking over the horizon. There behind me. Kind of. Hurry up here. So I'm using Ah, Koken, um P size holder with the with my neutral density filter here. I just slide that down. So the the horizon line is about halfway down the lens, You know if you can see that. But so that's all set up. And like I said, I've already got my circular, polarizing filter on there as well. I mean, aperture priority. I s 0 100 on the white balance. Is that daylight? So I think I'm almost ready to go. The only other thing that I gotta do is get this on my tripod here as faras aperture priority goes, I want to kind of keep my exposure, Aziz long as possible because what I want is this the waves in the water here too, be a smooth as possible. So a longer exposure will let me do that. And I also want to set my arbitrator to something that's really small because for photo like this, I want most of the scene to be in focus from my foreground interest all the way to the horizon. Um, I want all of that in between to be in focus as much as possible. So I'm gonna use this smallest aperture that this lens will allow me to use, which is Let's see, I can go upto F 16 a lot of lenses a let you to go even, um, smaller than that. You usually or f 22 or sometimes even even lower? No. What I say kind of funny when you're talking about aperture because, um the higher the number of smaller the opening in your lens. So when I say I'm going to a smaller aperture, F 22 is actually smaller than F 1.4, although it sounds the opposite. So if I just shoot out over across the lake there, I'm not quite low enough right now to get my my foreground interesting. But it's going to drop this neutral density down. So it's right on the horizon. I can see that. It's really cool focusing. I'm just gonna set this in in the 51 point focus. Now I want to focus on the foreground because if I focus on the horizon, well, it looks awesome. This lake just looks fantastic this morning. It's really, really nice day. Um, if I focus on the horizon and my foreground iso to focus, you're really gonna notice it. But if I focus on the foreground and everything in the foreground is nice and sharp and the horizons just a little bit fuzzy because I'm shooting at F 16. That's usually not the end of the world, but by shooting at Thea the smallest aperture possible on this lens f 16. Um, that kind of guarantees that most of my photos gonna be a focus. So what I need to do is dropped this tripod down a little bit too, too high here, the perspectives Not quite right. So I could drop that guy down. And I also put on my, um my remote shutter release because I want to make sure that I don't get the minimal amount of camera shake in this shot. So by using the remote shutter release that that really helps to cut down and he sort of, Oh, vibration that I would otherwise get by accidentally tapping the screen. So a lot of times when I'm doing this, I got to be really careful that a wave or something doesn't come up and get me a wet. But this is quite a nice morning here, so I don't have to worry about today. The water is really, really super calm. Mary so recomposed that this first composition goes for landscapes and especially something that's really obvious. Like a sunrise or sunset where the sun is like directly in the middle of the frame, usually want to kind of try and avoid putting it directly in the middle of the frame. So right now I've got my, um I've got my horizon about 1/3 of the way up. I've leveled that as well as I can in camera. And then I've got my interest point kind of doubt the bottom. It's gonna check the fix, the focus here, all right. And then I'm gonna just where my from my neutral DNC filter comes in. Take a few photos there like that, I'll set up. So just half press to focus and then pressed to take the photo really is a nice effect that this reverse graduated neutral density filter Bring it up a little bit. So it's just on the horizon. Now, I would actually like this exposure to be a bit longer. So what I'm gonna do is take this filter holder off and then I'm gonna put on another neutral density filter under not underneath. That's going to stack another neutral density filter on top of my polarizing filter use. Ah, Let's use a 1.2. All right, so that takes quite a bit of later the scene so I can get a much longer exposure now and then Screw this, uh, the other neutral density filter the graduated neutral density filter holder back on the front here. And instead of shooting this landscape, I'm gonna shoot this, uh, portrait orientation Here. I get more of my foreground in the photo. If I shoot a portrait orientation. Put my reverse grad back on. Now. The sun's come up over the horizon is just just peeking over the horizon. But the sun is fully up now, so I don't have a lot of time left for a true sunrise photo. You can see how quickly that seeing changed. So again, I'm trying not to center. And what the sun right in the photo I got about Ah, we'll get a lot of horizon in here. Normally, I would probably center the sun on the third points, but in this case, I'm gonna keep my horizon up. Sort of this highest possible just because I want to show you the effect of this first graduated neutral density filter. So I'm gonna just that to be just over the sun. That's perfect. Looks really good. Take a couple photos like that. Cool. But you know what? I don't have a distinct horizon here. So what you mean is when I take this photo because the water is so calm and so reflective, the horizon isn't a distinct line. So using the this reverse graduated neutral density filters which does have a distinct line , actually, kind of looks kind of funny. Um, normally, it works really, really well for sunrise sunset, but in this case is just I need to get the water to be darker as well, so that I can balance it better with the sky. So just going to use another neutral density filter here. So this is a hard grad, neutral density filter. I don't want to use that one either, because as you can see, this site is clear. The site is my graduated neutral density, but it's got a distinct line. So again, that's for when you have ah, specific horizon. The one I'm looking for is more of a graduated neutral density filters. So So this is a soft grad, so you can see the neutral density graduation on there is much more. Um, it's much softer as much weren't even. So you try that one slide that in the purpose of using its the same that I want to get this sky to be a little bit darker, which allows me to light my foreground a bit more. So my photos more even. So let's just ah, gonna slide that down. Excellent. I think these could be actually a little bit brighter. So, you know, change my aperture priority setting there to be use exposure correction to go plus one. It's still use a bit more late in the foreground. It's still kind of exposing for the really bright background. So I'm gonna switch this over to manual mode in manual mode. I got full control over what I want the camera to do. So before I switch to manual what I'm gonna look at what it was sitting it out. It was setting it at F 16 and one second exposure. So in manual, I'm going to start with F 16 and let's try a two second exposure that gives me a little bit of out of bonus of getting the water of it smoother Yeah, I think that looks nicer. Get a lot more late in the foreground. I think it could be even longer, though. Let's try a three second exposure. It's going to readjust. My AM composition is, well, cameras not quite level nice. That looks perfect. Oh, I really like the the washing, the clouds, the rocks in the foreground. Let's change your composition up here. I know I've got that photo. So there's no point in taking 5000 of the same picture. Let's change our composition up a bit. Now I'm gonna put, um I'd like to get my camera down, even lower if I can. I'm not using a really wide angle lens here. This is Ah, 35 millimeter. So I think I would have been better off with him with a more wide angle lens. But it's not bad. I'm just gonna put the horizon about 1/3 of the way. Actually, no, it I've got the horizon just peeking over the top of the photo in my foreground, my stones just of the bottom of the frame. The sun is almost exiting the frame. It's an about 1/3 point at this side, so I don't want the sun right in the middle. Just this neutral density. Make sure it's in the same place in the right place for this scene. Once again, I'm at uh oh, yeah, that looks really nice. Lake looks really perfectly smooth because I'm using a three second exposure. The polarizing filter really helps to cut through the glare on the top of the water so I can see the stones underneath in the reflection of the sun. Just looks great in this. Ah, this image really happy with this Now I've got the shot. I think the shot looks great. There's no point in continuing with this. I've already got the shot. I'm happy with it. So let's move on. I can see looking down the beach It looks really nice in this bright morning sun. And again, if you remember back from the first class in this series, we don't always just want to shoot out towards the sunrise or sunset. You also want to shoot about perpendicular to it and use Take advantage of that early early morning directional light or early evening. Really warm golden directional Internet directional light. So I really like how the lakeshore is actually looking here. There's a bit of missed off in the distance. Keep my camera down low, keep my camera down low, so that I catch is much of the, um, foreground in the photo is possible. Incidentally, this is kind of the same photo is taken last night. Just adjusting my neutral density. A soft grad. Okay, Looks good. And I think this exposure could probably be even longer because I'm not shooting out into the sun. I'm shooting perpendicular to it. The scene's still pretty dim, especially with that I've got a polarizing filter stacked with a 1.2 circular neutral density filter. Plus my 0.6 soft graduated neutral density filter on top of that so I can use a pretty long exposure here, shooting it of 16 from in manual mode. I'm gonna try. Um, no, I can try 10 seconds. So I've composed my scene. I've got some really nice leading lines in this scene where looking down along the shore leads your eye down and into the photo. And then if you're looking along the horizon, it kind of intersex. And there's a nice point down there with the trees coming down on an angle. So you've got three leading lines in this photo, That sort of director, I all to the same point, which is really cool. And I wish I would have kind of realized this shot a little bit earlier. Um, now that the sun's come up, I've lost some of the color in the sky. It's still a nice looking photo, but it would have been better. Um, about 1/2 an hour ago when the sky was really, really red and vibrant. Okay, guys. So hopefully, um, that goes over shooting at sunrise. You've got a couple extra tricks there with the polarizing filter with the two neutral density filters, Um, and also the camera settings that I used so hopefully can try that. If you have any questions, just leave. Ah, comment in the, um, in the forum, and I'll try and answer them. 7. Image 4: Mobile Phone Waterfalls and Rivers: for our fourth sample photo in the series. I'm going to be taking photos of obviously running water. Now, As you can see, I've got a great waterfall behind me so I could grate from really, really nice running water shots. If you remember in the first class in this series, interpreting landscape through light, we talked a lot about the importance of being at the right place at the right time. So it's about five o'clock in the afternoon now, and it's partially cloudy day, so the sun is just coming in and out from behind the clouds, but it's relatively bright out here. So I've got my phone set up on my tripod and you have to use a tripod for this. And I'm just going to use my app. My phone app Camera FB five Just in completely automatic. So it's auto. So matrix mode, auto focus, auto everything. So if I just take a photo like this because it's so bright out, the shutter speed that is gonna use is gonna be really fast, which means it's gonna freeze the motion of the water in mid air. And that's not really what I want. I want to see the water more of a flow emotion. So to change that instead of using auto. So I'm gonna try to set that down to the lowest. So I can. So I'm gonna set it down to 100. If you're using a DSLR, you do the same thing here in aperture Priority. First, take the photo again and auto in s A 100 see how that changes. I get a little bit of motion blur in the water there, but not nearly what level that I want so we can go one step further. Hair. We're gonna use our neutral density filters. I've got to neutral density filters. I've got a 0.6 and a 1.2. If you remember from the gear lesson a 0.6 neutral density filters takes two steps of light so I could get my shutter exposure two steps slower with a 20.6. So if I just hold that over the over the lens, take the same photo and I get just a little bit more motion blur in the water. So that's starting to look really, really nice. Weaken. Go another step further than that. We'll try our 1.2 Neutral density filters. So again, if you remember from the gear lesson a 1.2 neutral density filters will take a four stops of light from this photo. So that means that my shutter speed will be four stop slower. So I'm just gonna hold that over the lens, the 1.2 neutral density filter, and that slows down the shutter speed that much more So I get that much more motion blur in the water. Now, of course, you could do the same thing with DSLR, so I'm gonna switch this now, and I'm gonna take the same style of photos with my DSLR. Got my camera set up its in program Otto. I don't have a neutral density filter on because it's relatively bright. Sunny day. If I take this photo, it's gonna freeze the water in mid motion. Now I can kind of lengthen my exposure out with camera. So if I change this the manual I set my eyes so down to 100 slowest it'll go. I set my aperture to the highest. It'll go. So it's the smallest aperture and that tells me that I could get a shutter speed. Um, about the 15th of a second. So with that, I could get a little bit of motion blur in my water, but not quite as much as I want. If I go ahead and I put that 1.2 neutral density filter on here, I can go from 1/15 of a second to four. Stop slower. Let's set that to 1/2 2nd see what we get. And as you can see that a huge difference in the final photo take a few more photos like that at 1/2 2nd So it 1/2 2nd I think that that looks just a little bit too fuzzy the waters a little bit too unrealistic going back that off to 1/4 of a second, I'm gonna bring my aperture down to F 11. Even there, it looks a little bit too fuzzy. So instead of 1/4 let's try an eighth of a second. Bring my aperture down to try. I think it's a little bit too great. So saying F 10. There, Go get some really nice movement in the water there. All right, that's the end of the fourth lesson. I hope I've given you enough information to go to take your own running water and waterfall photos, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of those in the assignments for the class. 8. Image 5: DSLR Extra Long Exposures: the last photo style that we're gonna cover in the class is using this nine stop neutral density filter. And if you've ever seen some of those fine art photos, they're usually of appear or a Seascape where the water is, like, perfectly misty com, Um, perfectly, absolutely smooth. And then you have something in the photo that stationary, such as appear some rocks or something like that. They're usually black and white. This and give you a really nice black and white effect. Um, and it kind of gives you a bit of a fine art. Look to your landscape photography as well. So what the what this nine stop neutral density filter does is it allows you to take a photo that with an exposure shutter speed, that's much much longer than you normally take. So in this case, if I if I frame my scene here, I've got down pretty low. I'm looking along the lake shore along the along the rocks, and I picked kind of open spot where there's some water coming in because I want to see that, um, against my rocks in my final photo. And right now it's early morning. It's pretty bright and sunny right now. If it was darker, like early evening yourself of that, I'd be able to get a longer shutter speed. But if you combine that with this nine stop neutral density filter, you can get shutter speeds from 30 seconds to several minutes. In this case, I think we'll probably be limited to somewhere around 30 seconds. But let's see. So if I framed this scene, normally I've already got my camera set up on a tripod. And that's important because you absolutely a tripod for this. And I set my eyes so down Aslo is it'll go. So I'm at ESO 100 now. If your camera goes to 200 that's fine, but just set the I so down to the lowest that you can possibly take it. Um, next I want to look at my aperture, so I'm in manual mode and I'm gonna set my aperture to as small as it can possibly go. So on this lens I'm limited to F 16. So again, with aperture, the higher number means a smaller opening. So at F 16 this lenses living in the minimum amount of light possible next, I want to see set my shutter speed. So I s o my shutter speed is that it's telling me in the meter here, that 1 25th of a second is the optimum shutter speed for this photo. And just before I take it, the last thing I want to look at is the white balance. So I'm gonna set that to daylight because it's a bright, sunny day right now. So set my white balance to daylight and of course, I'm shooting in raw. So let's take this photo at 1 25th of a second F 16 daylight White balance ISO 100. And I just got that in auto focus Checking the history Graham there tells me it's a little bit under exposed, maybe looking at the back of the camera. So I go down to maybe 1/60 of a second and try that. All right, that looks pretty good to my eye. Now I'm gonna use this nine stop neutral density filter. Now, a couple things with this is you can't see through the lens what you're going to be taking a photo of with once this is attached, which also means you can't meet her and you can't focus. So before I put this on, I'm gonna take a peek through here and focused my my camera first. And then I'm gonna on my lens. I'm going to switch off auto focus, so it's in manual focus. Now, I have to be very, very careful that I don't touch the focus ring. But as of right now, this cameras in perfect focus, it's on a tripod. It's not moving. So I know that no matter what I do now, this camera's already and focus. So now I'm gonna carefully screw this onto the front there. And because this is a 77 millimeter filter and I've got a 67 millimeter diameter lens, I need to use an adapter ring. So screw my ah adapter Ring onto the filter onto my lens. Be careful not to touch the focus ring. Okay, good. Now, if I look through the viewfinder, it just looks completely black. It's I can't see anything. So we were at 1/60 of a second before. I'm not gonna touch the ah, the aperture and believe that f 60 not gonna touch the I. So But I get it. Lengthen the shutter speeds Let's manually count our stops here. So I am at 1/60 of a second. I'm not going to touch the aperture or the I S O. So if I half that to 30th of a second, that's one stop. 15th 2 stops. 8th 3 stops 1/4. That's four 1/2 2nd That's five one second That six two seconds. That's seven four seconds eight and then eight seconds is nine. So I should get a perfect exposure with in eight second, um, exposure right now before I take this photo. I'm also going to use my, um, my remote here because I'm taking an eight second exposure. I don't want to touch my camera. So let's take that photo and see what looks like. Okay, with an eight second exposure, that looks pretty good. You look at the history Graham here, and I can see that it's a little bit shifted to the left. So that means that this is just a touch on the dark side. So to fix that, I'm gonna try brining that up, buy a boat another. Let's try one more stop first. So was that eighth of a second? That means I need to go to, Um, Their story is at eight seconds, so I'm gonna change that to 15 seconds. Let's try that. Right. So with 15 seconds, that looks quite a bit better Looking at the history, Graham. You know what? I think it could even be longer. So I'm gonna bring that up one more stop. So 30 seconds. So this is a 32nd exposure in what's pretty much a daylight seat. Let's take that photo. Do so Looking at the finish photo, their water looks silky smooth. The hissed a gram looks really nice. I'm not clipped at either end its boat in the middle. And I think that looks like a perfect exposure for this scene. The last thing I can do here is add on a graduated neutral density filter. Um, on top of my nine stop a neutral density filter. So this will just kind of even out the exposure. I want to try making the rocks at the bottom of the frame a little bit darker than the sky . So the sky, I'll kind of fade out toe white and my rocks will be nice and dark and properly exposed. So that's kind of the backwards toe How I've been using these so far. Normally you have the dark side darkening the sky in the light side, keeping the foreground bright. But in this case, I wanna try something a bit different here. So I'm gonna slide that in and then put that on my from my camera here again, being very careful not to, um, touch the focus ring. I don't want to change the focus of the lens now, because I can't see through the lens. This is a bit of a guess. So I'm just gonna take a peek at the front and see where that gradation is in the photo. Yeah, I think that's about even halfway down and move it up. Just a touch. True that. So again, I'm darkening the foreground, which is kind of the opposite that you'd only do. But let's see how this looks so again, a 32nd exposure in what is otherwise a daylight scene is pretty amazing. If you're to use this une evening or overcast day when it's actually a lot cloudier, you could get even longer exposure times in that. Yeah, so it's really good. I'm gonna try to lengthen this out just a little bit more. I think the sky could be a bit brighter. So do that. I'm gonna put my camera into Goldman and then on my remote. I'm also putting that in bold mood. So with my camera and bold mode in my remote and bald mode, I just hit the shutter release and then it gives me a countdown for how long the shutters been released for. So I'm gonna let it go for a full minute and see what I come back with. Looking at my finished photo with a one minute exposure. Now it's pretty amazing that I can take a one minute explosion. Is this bright out? Um, but looking at the photo that's been produced, it's a little bit bright on the bright side, and I could see a little bit of color cast here. The rocks in the background look a little bit magenta, and that's kind of a danger of using such a heavy, neutral density filter is that sometimes the the color of light that's coming through can be a little bit distorted, so you'll have to touch that up in post. Or if you just convert your final image to black and white. And fortunately, these styles of photos look fantastic in black and white. Um, then you don't have to worry about that color caste. So that's the end of the last sample photo lesson for the class. Um, I'm really excited to see what you guys have come up with for your assignment photos. Remember, you don't have to use the exact techniques or the exact year that we covered in class, but I just want to see that. You know, you've put some thought into your final photo. And don't forget there's 1/3 part to the ah, this landscape photography Syriza's well on post processing your photos, which is another very important part of landscape photography. So get those assignment photos in, and thanks for watching. 9. Final Thoughts and Next Steps: Hey, guys. Just a quick wrap up to the class. Hopefully you've found the lessons informative and interesting. I know. I certainly found it really interesting trying to explain my thought process as I was actually working through each sample photo. And hopefully you found interesting to see the photos that I was taking right out of camera as I was taking them. Um, I'm just going to take a quick minute to go through the before and after photos, because at the end of each example, lesson did show you sort of my finish photo with full processing and everything. So here we are with our mobile phone with the in the forest with the flowers. So there's the before and after, and then our twilight and dusk photo. So there's our lake shore. And then there's the fully process Lakeshore sunrise with the DSLR down by the lake, um, clears the before and then the after with some post processing Um, I really, really like the waterfall photos. I think that's probably my personally my favorite session. So there's our before and after for that. And then the last one, which was really interesting as well is Thea long exposure on the lakeshore. So there's the before of that one and my finished, fully processed photo. So once again, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave those in the discussion board for the class. And once again, this is a three part class. So if you haven't taken the first part interpreting landscape through light, that's sort of more of a big picture approach to landscape photography. If you excuse the pun and then the follow up classes, of course. Ah, professional post processing workflow with Late Room and Photoshopped. So thanks again for watching, and I'm really, really looking forward to seeing your class projects. Good luck.