Instructions for better images

May 17, 2021


Life and photography are an emotional roller coaster with no instructions. Nothing on how to start, stop, change the speed or direction. You just sit there getting caught up in everything on a daily basis and then you wake up one morning and wonder where the past few years have gone.

In a photographic sense, this includes looking at and buying “better” and definitely more expensive equipment. Stupid O’clock starts and ridiculously long hikes in the vain hope that something good comes from it.

Pleasure and pain

The ecstasy of getting a good shot then the several weeks of producing, at best, mediocre work that does not stand the test of, well anything at all really. You certainly wouldn’t show it to anybody. No matter how much you play with it in photoshop it will only ever be poor. Finally, it is left festering on your hard drive.

I have done this myself. Been up at 4 am walked for several miles looking to where the sun should be and it’s not. Waited patiently for something to happen. A blast of the sun from the clouds, a gentle mist over the water. Nothing. Yet another overcast and pitiful start to the day. Let’s hope things get better.

Ok, so this particular day was a bad day. You learn to roll with the punches. I have sat for hours next to a location waiting for the light to emerge and it doesn’t. This does not mean it was a bad day. It just means the light didn’t come. It’s part of being a landscape photographer. It’s all dependant on the weather and no matter how much you look at forecasts and try to gauge what is happening it still might not work.

You know what should work but the light might not be in the right direction. Basically, you have come at the wrong time of day, oops.

What are we looking for?

Warm low light. Brilliant softens the landscape, enhances shadows makes them log and diffuse, gives texture to the landscape. Removes harsh contrast while keeping some

Fog and mist. Creates atmosphere. I love mist on the river the way it swirls and moves. Thicker fog gives an eerie feeling and, otherworldly sense of mystery.

Rain. Patterns in the water. Rainstorms. Brilliant clouds. All these add character to the image. It shows the true nature of the landscape

Clouds. Constantly changes how the light falls onto the landscape.

We are looking at all these factors and bringing them together to create a story of that time and place. Even so, this is not a comprehensive list and they are not a set of instructions as to what you really need. They don’t exist

There are no firm instructions on how to use these things. There are just guidelines as to where individual items should be put and how they should be used. Even if you have the perfect combination, it still may not work because you have either followed the guidelines like instructions or not followed anything at all.

I almost forgot what worked last time may not work this time.

Having said there are no instructions


Instructions for getting good images: –

  • Take your camera with you when you go out

Thank you so much for reading. If you want to comment or criticise, please feel free either on here or in my Instagram feed which you can find by clicking HERE


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