Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Be A Modern Ansel Adams
Top tips to create high-drama landscapes
6 Seek Bold Color Opposites For Drama. Adams is primarily known for black-and-white photography, but if you prefer color, you can still put his techniques to use. Where he used contrast, you can use color contrast by shooting color opposites. Think of the color wheel with red at the top, green on the lower right and blue on the lower left. Yellow hues would be roughly opposite the violets and blues, magenta is roughly opposite the greens, and cyan is roughly opposite the reds. For dramatic color contrast, look for these color opposites and frame accordingly. In this photograph, the bold yellow aspens contrast with the azure sky and dark green conifers.
7 Shoot The Moon. Adams often included the moon in his photographs, most famously in Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. In addition to adding a point of visual interest, as in this image taken at Mono Lake, the moon lends cosmic perspective to a scene. The trick is having a moon in the shot and not having a textureless white disc. To get the exposure right, use this simple rule: Take the reciprocal of your ISO and ƒ/8. If you're set at ISO 400, make your shutter speed 1⁄400 sec. (bracket at 1⁄320 and 1⁄500 sec.) at ƒ/8. Adjust this basic exposure for depth of field or handholding as necessary.
8 Print Big For Big Drama. Size always makes an impact. In his darkroom, Adams made prints large and small, but he made frequent use of an enlarger that was built on tracks so he could make especially big enlargements by projecting the negative to a piece of paper on the wall. Today, high-quality inkjet printers give you the ability to make big 16x20-inch and larger prints. A dramatic photograph looks best in a big print. It's really that simple.
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