Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography

Lesson 18/21 - Photographing Landscapes


Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography


Lesson Info

Photographing Landscapes

I firmly believe that we need to keep going back to the same place again and again because every time you go back there you can see it in a different way and you become much more intimate with that particular area. It could be someplace close to where you live. It can be bouchard gardens where you keep going back to every april or every may. You go back there or you try to go that several times a year I was going back to yellowstone every every year for many, many years. And there was an area out by with lamar, but what's the other hidden valley and there's this one tree out there in hidden valley, actually that's amore trees right over here. But there's this one tree and I found this on a snow machine one one year when I was out there, when they allowed us to go out with snow machines and I kept coming back to photograph the same tree. And I kept getting it in different ways in different times in different years and different amounts of snow. And I always wanted to have some bison wal...

king up through here, and the crazy thing was that somebody told me that there is such a picture and of course is its mendelssohn who has the picture, um I think he's got blowup bison that evening he blows them up when he puts him where he needs them he's going to see this and he's going I'm going to get an email you watch or somebody's going toe call him on the phone and say that I said this I forget that I'm talking to a lot more people than these people right here but every year it's a little different and treat it looks to me like something has been eating around the base of the tree and I'm wondering if it's getting girdled by the bark being eaten around the base of it and it might be that bison themselves that are doing that and someday maybe that tree will die and then this picture would be more valuable but a lot of people have photographed this tree and they have seen these pictures that I've shown over the years and I've seen it win contests the same angle on view and everything but every year is different and you could make this picture your own go to yellowstone go in the wintertime nowadays you'll have to rent a track machine to go out there because it's forty five miles from from the nearest place to stay but it's just beautiful and this was the best of all the times I was there I had god raised coming down into it we had good snow on it and I converted it to black and white so you khun change it any way that you wanted all the black and white images you see today are actually color images that have been converted because I think there's only one or two cameras that should only black and white on there's no reason to you just convert it to black and white and it's fine another similar type of story I was photographing in the tetons looking around late in the afternoon and somebody had told me about this secret place schumacher landing I think was the name of it and I said wow that would be good that be perfect to a photograph with the reflections in the water and everything so I went over there I found the spot then the next morning when the sun came up I was going to be right at that spot and I made note of it went back the next morning before it was any light it was pitch dark I went back to the spot and I couldn't find a parking place there was forty some photographers and you can see them all around the outer edges of here there was a couple of workshops and everything else going on down there I finally thought that the place that I had figured out I wanted to shoot from there was already three people in there all set up to go and so I found a place along the outer edge here and as the sun came down and lit up the tetons and the reflections were right there in the water I was taking my pictures but what you see here is a you don't see if I can make this thing go away I can uh so we've got this nice reflection we've got the trees we've got the light coming down onto here so this is a panorama this is about four or five vertical pictures and it is an hdr as well it's a panorama hdr so every time I would take it I would take fifteen pictures I would take or three fifteen pictures and you would hear my you'd hear made my camera going t I mean, it was just crazy and then I'd look around me and they would be click click, click and I'm thinking to myself, what are they getting and how are they going to open up the shadows and how are they going to get enough image there to blow it up fairly good sized by not doing a panorama so there's a way that I mean you see this all the time somebody got the cameras set up and you say you look and say, what are you photographing? We do that a lot and in my case I think they missed it I could be wrong but I think they missed it this is a little intimate landscape and I remember this taking this photograph very vividly I found it was in the last day that I was in yellowstone it's a little creek coming into the lamar valley and the little ice formations we're just and I saw a way off in the distance I had toe walk through the snow and everything to get to it, and it had these beautiful areas of ice, and I took this panorama of it. And remember, we talked about when we did the panorama of the sunflowers every time we moved a bit further, we changed the focus, changed the focus, changed the focus so that it was a gradual movement as we went through it. So there's a lot of distance from the top here down to here, and the reason that it all is in focus wasn't because I had stop that way way down or used it uh uh, tilt shift or anything like that is changed by focus slightly and each one of those shots, but there's pictures within pictures, and you could imagine what I'm going to do with the fifty megapixel camera where there's pictures within pictures uh, always now, and they're going to be a reasonable quality when we do it. But I remember this because just before I left for yellowstone to do these images, I read by sons little motorcycle, and it crashed it and I kind of hurt my wrist and smashed my glasses whatever didn't think much of it and it was hurting more and more as I was there and buy that last day it was where I could hardly even move this harm this arm and I found out that I had broken my wrist and I was working out there for a week with a with a broken risk so I remember this because of the hurt, but this is the ultimate nature photography in my mind you're out there all by yourself, you have found something that nobody else has found you're able to photograph it in a number of different ways there are pictures within pictures it just doesn't get any better than this unless you don't have a broken roof but here's just some more I just loved to do optical extractions we use that term earlier on to that you're looking for pictures within pictures and you can spend a number of hours in one spot and you have it to yourself and I've gone back to that same spot year after year it's never been there and if you didn't shoot it that day, you're not going to get it to think, well, you know it's my last day I got to get home, I'll it'll be here next year when I come back, I don't want it just won't be there

Class Description

It takes some serious skill to capture the magnificence of the great outdoors in a single still photograph. Find out how the pros do it in Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography with George Lepp.

George is one of North America’s best known outdoor and nature photographers. He is a leader in the rapidly advancing field of outdoor photography and digital imaging and in this class he’ll share innovative techniques for shooting outdoors. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create dramatic panoramas – from start to finish
  • Shoot with macro lenses
  • Achieve extended depth of field
  • Portray action like lighting strikes
  • Work with tele-extenders and HD video
  • Produce cinemagraphs

George will discuss the techniques behind some of his best-known photographs, sharing the secrets behind his celebrated images from Namibia, Chile, and more. You’ll learn about lighting, shooting, and editing high-quality images of wildlife, flowers, snowflakes, and landscapes.

If you want to create truly stunning images that capture the depth and complexity of a landscape, join George Lepp for Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography.



George really prepared a lot of information for his class. It is true, he does have a lot of expensive equipment and we may not be able to do some of the things he does with a smaller budget, but it is good incentive for us to plan for the future. He seemed to share new information constantly and stay focused and I was able to take a lot of notes. He talked about many kinds of equipment as well as software and websites he uses. I am pretty impressed that he is so up to date with recent technology. He especially loves macro/micro and stacking hundreds of images for minute focus on really large enlargements (for example, over 600 photos for one butterfly wing). That can get boring if you are not interested in doing that. I can take those tips and apply them to landscape photography though. I think it is more helpful for someone already doing outdoor photography and looking for new inspiration or new techniques as opposed to someone new to photography in general.