This is my third post in an occasional series of recommend reading for landscape and nature photographers. In this list, I share a diverse mix of 13 resources ranging from highly practical to inspirational to thought-provoking. If you have any resources you would like to share (your own or links to others), please include them in the comments. And, as always, please feel free to share this list if you enjoy this post.
I have been following Darwin Wiggett's photography since my first trip to the Canadian Rockies years ago (back when I was using an old printed copy of his excellent How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies book to guide my trip, a book so well done that it served as a model for our own location guides). Darwin, along with his partner Samantha Chrysanthou, were among the first photographers I remember reading who spent time talking about the importance of personal expression through photography. Darwin and Sam are taking that message and seeking to fully infuse it in their own photography, making some big personal changes along the way. If you are looking for some guidance about how to do the same thing in your own photography, you might find these posts to be quite insightful.
In this article, Charles Cramer talks about how photographing after peak autumn color can produce compelling photos. I am including this article because of a comment I saw on a photo forum today. A photographer posted a really wonderful photo of trees in autumn, with some bare trees mixed in. In viewing the photo, I really liked the bare trees because they added texture and helped tell a story. The first comment on the post said something like, "This photo would be so much better if you caught those trees at peak." Well, maybe not... While "peak" fall color might be more perfect, it is not necessarily better.
Of all the articles and books I have read on photography, Guy Tal's blog posts have probably been the most influential. Guy has pulled together many of these essays with a wonderful sampling of his photography into this new book (also available as an ebook). For photographers who are looking for guidance on forging your own creative path and helpful views on many other topics related to nature photography, this book is a must-read.
In this Outdoor Photographer article, William Neill offers some good tips on photographing smaller scenes, including abstracts and patterns. This article also includes a wonderful set of images from his very deep and inspirational archive.
I recently shared a blog post, Leave No Trace, about how the landscape photography community could be more cognizant of our impact on wild places and in turn become better stewards of the places we visit and photograph. After posting on this topic a few times, I continue to find some of the negative responses to be disheartening (mostly falling in three categories: 1) you are making a big deal of nothing, 2) it is public land and I'll use it how I want, and 3) I am only one person so my impact doesn't matter in the scheme of things). Maybe the views of a Grand Teton National Park ranger/landscape photographer will have some weight among those who still think this discussion is making a big deal of nothing.
The author of this article from Outdoor Photography Magazine Canada talks with Paul Zizka, Patrick DiFruscia, and Ken Kaminesky - all photographers with massive social media followings - about how they have used social media to grow their photography businesses. Regardless of your feelings about social media, their observations and personal experiences offer a window into what it takes to grow a massive online audience and some of the pitfalls that come along with doing so.
In To Swap or Not To Swap, Josh offers a thoughtful discussion about adding a sky from a different (as in more interesting and colorful) time to a landscape photo and how doing so affects the power the result. If you are mulling over questions about how much Photoshop is too much Photoshop, you might find this post to be helpful.
Kurt's history as a teacher comes through in his writing, as he always offers insightful and practical advice. Although fall has passed for 2015, Kurt still offers good tips that can be applied to photographing trees or other small scenes throughout the year.
THE GRAND LANDSCAPE BY IAN PLANT
I have been looking forward to this ebook from Ian Plant since I first heard him discussing the concept. Although I have not read the full ebook yet, the sections I have read and a quick scan of the full book suggest that this is an excellent resource for those interested in building a stronger portfolio of landscape images. In addition to practical advice, Ian includes a wide variety of inspirational photographs that bring his insights to life. This new ebook is available as part of the InFocus Deals mentioned above or on Ian's website.
This book has been sitting in my Amazon wish list for years and I finally purchased it at the urging of a friend (thanks for the push, John). This book features a variety of discussions and exercises to help improve your ability to see and expand your creativity when photographing. Ron and I are reading this book together and plan to spend a lot of time practicing some of the exercises next time we are out photographing.
I always enjoy reading about how other photographers create their photographs. In this post, our friend Michael discusses how he created a film image during a trekking trip in Nepal years ago and how his photographic process has changed in the digital age.
This personal essay does not have much to do with photography but might still be of interest to photographers. The writer talks about how his experiences with nature have changed dramatically over time due to the evolution of our society over the last few decades. His last paragraph summarizes how I often feel about landscape photography (example: seeing a snarky comment from a long-time, well-established photographer about how he visited Mono Lake years ago before most people knew about it; newer/younger photographers wanting to see the place for themselves have turned a special place into nothing but a cliche). Even if you do not agree with the author's points, this essay is an interesting read.
This photography essay shows how nature is taking over the Fukushima Exclusion Zone in Japan after the nuclear disaster in the region resulted in its sudden abandonment.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR ADDITIONS TO THIS LIST
If you have read (or written) anything that you think is a good resource for landscape photographers, please include a link and brief description in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
Note: Aside from the link to the InFocus Deals, an offer that includes our ebooks for sale, we do not have any financial interest in any of these items. We are recommending them because we find value in all of these articles, ebooks, and physical books.