Landscape photographers, don’t overuse these five techniques

Jul 29, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Landscape photographers, don’t overuse these five techniques

Jul 29, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Just like there are trends in fashion, there are also trends in photography. Just remember those overdone HDR images that were all the rage some ten years ago. But trends change, and there are now other techniques that photographers tend to overuse. In this video, James Popsys talks about five photography techniques you’ll often see in landscape photos, and why they shouldn’t be used that often. Are you “guilty” of overusing these, too?

To make things clear, this is James’ personal opinion, and it doesn’t mean that you are wrong for using any of these techniques. The thing is – you shouldn’t stick with them all the time and use them just because you can. So, let’s check out what these techniques are.

1. Long exposures that include water

When you shoot water using long exposure, you’ll end up with a silky, smooth, surreal look. I personally like it, but it doesn’t always work. As James puts it, he finds a photo appealing when he feels like he’s “in the photo,” not just that he’s looking at it. And you’ll agree: it’s hard to make the viewer feel as if they’re in the scene if that scene looks completely surreal. When you shoot water with long exposure, you throw away ripples and waves that can add to the story, or even be the story. So, it’s not a wrong thing to do, but it’s just kinda limiting.

2. Panorama

Another technique James finds overused is panoramas. Of course, they do have their purpose and can look fantastic, but he believes that many people use them simply because they can’t decide what their subject should be out of two or three things. So, they just cram everything into a single panoramic shot.

I’m guilty as charged of this one, or at least I was back in 2015. That year, I visited Corfu. I fell so in love with the city that I wanted to shoot everything at once. That was, as a matter of fact, the first time I shot panoramas. I wanted everything to be in the shot because the town is so darn beautiful wherever I looked. But honestly, even panoramas couldn’t depict Corfu’s beauty.

3. Always feeling like you need foreground interest

Many landscape photographers like to have foreground interest. There’s definitely nothing wrong about it. However, many tutorials treat foreground interest like it’s a must, and many photographers have accepted it as such. And it’s wrong. Simply put, you can create an interesting, captivating landscape photo even if there’s no foreground interest.

4. Golden hour

Shooting at golden hour is like a joker when it comes to natural light. Let’s be honest, everything looks better in the golden light of sunrise or sunset. Again, nothing wrong with it, but many photographers will be disappointed or even skip shooting if they miss the golden hour or if the weather is bad. And that’s wrong. Just like the long exposure I mentioned above, it’s limiting. You can (and should) shoot at all weather conditions and at different times of the day. It gives you more challenges, but also more opportunities and more versatility.

5. Sky replacements

And lastly, the sky replacements. It has become so popular that Luminar 4 will offer the AI-powered sky replacement tool. And to be honest, it seems that many people are doing it just because they can. James finds it disingenuous, and I have to agree. I’m not really into landscape photos that have been heavily manipulated, and I find sky replacement a pretty heavy manipulation. Although, I think it’s fine as long as you’re honest about it. Again, it’s your creative choice, but don’t do it just because you know how.

What do you think of these techniques? Do you also find them overused in landscape photography today? And would you add any others to the list?

[The 5 Most Overused Photography Techniques… in my opinion. via ISO 1200]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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12 responses to “Landscape photographers, don’t overuse these five techniques”

  1. Mike Van Den Berg Avatar
    Mike Van Den Berg

    Let the photographer choose his own style and methods. No matter how, if the picture is great ?

  2. Amanda Rain Avatar
    Amanda Rain

    overused and or over cooked. makes me cringe.

  3. Sean St Denis Avatar
    Sean St Denis

    Think I might have to go do all these in the same shot!

    1. Steve Lafleur Avatar
      Steve Lafleur

      A long exposure landscape panorama, taken at golden hour, with lots of foreground interest, and a replaced sky? Sounds like a great idea! Please post the result here, I for one, would love to see it.

  4. Martijn van Oers Avatar
    Martijn van Oers

    Isn’t 98% of what “photographers” these days do, overused?

  5. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    So what are some usufull underused techniques that is recomended?

  6. Don Wright Avatar
    Don Wright

    art1
    /ärt/
    noun
    1.
    the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

    Documentary photographs should not be manipulated in anyway. However, photography is an artform that should be an expression of the artist’s creative vision and imagination.

  7. Alan C Avatar
    Alan C

    So wrong on so many levels. So Dunja is basically stating, bottom line, your landscape technique is only okay if it agrees with Dunja’s view of what is proper landscape liberal restricted boundary landscape photography. Nothing at all wrong with art of landscape including sky replacements, long exposures, panorama or any other technique. Landscape photography is not pure documentary style as this photographr seems to want to impose on a ll landscape photographers. The only item on the list that is a good a fair critisism limiting yourself to only shooting landscapes during golden/blue-hour time frames. Time to expand out side of any landscape self imposed restrictions, to anything goes, it’s art. Have fun. My new goal is to break every photography/landscape rule I constantly see videos and articles written about what your doing wrong limiting my/your creativity….with respect, anything goes.

    1. Rick Avatar
      Rick

      Second paragraph: “To make things clear, this is James’ personal opinion…”

  8. Dean Nixon Avatar
    Dean Nixon

    HDR…too often badly used. Hurts the eyes

    1. Alain Gaudreau Avatar
      Alain Gaudreau

      Dean Nixon everyone loves a good halo around objects ?

  9. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    James sounds like an idiot
    Don’t be like James
    You do you ??