Chasing The Light - The Essentials of Landscape Photography - DVD
David Noton is one of the U.K.'s top landscape photographers. He has travelled the world taking classic landscape shots. In this DVD tutorial David takes you through the entire landscape photography cycle. He starts the process with finding locations for your shots. Next up he takes you step by step through the picture taking process. In the final piece of the jigsaw David runs through how you can improve your photos with a few simple post production steps.
Who is the DVD For?
I would say this DVD is aimed at anyone who is relatively new to photography or someone who over the years has taken lots of pictures without ever feeling truly at home behind a lens. So if you have a new Digital SLR and are not sure where to start then this DVD is likely to be a big help to you.
I thought David came across very well in the DVD. He seems as natural in front of the camera as he does behind it. He has a friendly easy going style. This helps to give the DVD an unhurried feel. This is underlined by the patience he shows while waiting for the light to be just right when setting up a number of the shots on the DVD.
In addition to and introduction and summary there are five chapters to the DVD.
This covers the critical skill of location finding. This is the starting point for great landscape photography as the whole process starts with finding great scenes to photograph. This section also talks you through pre visualisation and planning. You will learn why planning your shots is one of the key elements in producing attention grabbing landscape photographs.
As you can see from the title of this DVD lighting is such a key element to taking landscape photos. This is discussed in detail in the Time chapter. It covers the direction of light, colour temperature and its impact on your photos, plus the time of day when natural light is at its best for landscape photography.
This section of the DVD talks you through the importance of composition of your photos. All of the sections of the DVD play an important role in building your knowledge of how to produce great looking photos, but this section in particular gives vital information. The bottom line is how you position key elements in a scene can make or break your photos.
The section on tones covers the colours and contrast to look out for in the scenes you are photographing. Making the most of what is naturally available will further improve your skills.
Post production could easily be the subject of a DVD on its own. Therefore David keeps this part of the DVD to the essentials. He discusses the packages he uses and you watch him work on some of the images he captured in the DVD. This gives you a clear insight into the key changes you can make to have the greatest impact on your photos.
The DVD comes with a small leaflet. This has thumbnails of 54 pictures and gives details of the camera, lens and filter used when taking the shot.
What I Really Liked
Quite simply, if you sit and watch this DVD for an hour and a half you should be on the right path to really improving your landscape shots. Lots of information is given out throughout the DVD and the DVD itself is very watchable.
One simple method I use to judge the success or otherwise of this type of tutorial is asking if it is enjoyable to watch and does it make me want to get out and about with a camera. In this case the answer is yes to both questions.
Where It Could Be Better
Now and again I would have liked a little more explanation. An example of this was when David was setting up a shot he explained that he was setting the focus manually at about a third of the way into the scene. I would like to have known why he felt this was the ideal point of focus. I would also like to know if that distance should be used for every landscape shot and what are the advantages of doing so.
I really enjoyed watching the DVD. I felt the subject was explained very well and David has a way that really works when it comes to putting information across. Items such as cameras, lenses and filters are discussed briefly in the DVD, but on the whole are not given a great deal of airtime. The emphasis is rightly placed on improving vision and seeing more creatively, plus the lighting fundamentals to enable you to greatly increase the quality and also your enjoyment of landscape photography.
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