Landscapes Live: Photo Critique


Landscapes Live: Photo Critique


Lesson Info

Landscapes Live: Photo Critique

Welcome, john. Thank you for being here with us. Tell us a little bit about what it is that you're going to be looking for as you go through this critique. Well, I think kind of one of the main objectives is to learn how to take better photos here and there's no better way than to look at may be good and bad examples and figure out, you know, where things went right where things went wrong, and so I'm excited to look at these just because every time I look at a photograph, I learned fantastic, well, let's get started. We've got a lot of images to go through, all right? I want to explain what I'm going to be looking for in this critique, and so this is a two least my definition of what makes a photograph great, and it has two overriding concepts one it's beautiful and too it's interesting to look at so that's kind of, you know, for the heart and soul for the mind brains what this really needs to have kind of working in both of these components is a good quality subject. And so I couldn'...

t tell you that this is something that will come up when we talk about the photographs, is your subject compelling enough? to make for a photograph now things will also be looking at in the photographs is the lighting that they have the composition what little things can we do to improve the photographs there and was this the right moment to be shooting that type of photograph now things that I think are interesting are maybe new places or new styles that I haven't seen before using a different perspective on something that I have seen before and maybe a little bit of mystery and mystery can be embodied in many different ways and I think we'll try to talk about that a little bit as we go through the photos now one more slide this is very short keynote for me folks it's only two slides I do a lot of nature and landscape photos and these air the components that you need to have right and if you don't have him right something's going to fall short in the final photograph so first off you need a camera the better the camera often sometimes the better the photograph but it's the least important of all the components in my mind next is you need to have the right technique so are you doing the right things to get your pictures sharp enough focused right exposed properly and that may come up as we go through the pictures today and we'll be able to take a look at some of the settings that people set in their photographs to see if they were using the right technique now as much as I would like to say that you can get compelling images anywhere you go with nature and landscape you do need to be in the right location and we're going to look at some beautiful locations I'm sure but this is one of those is the subject good enough case is finally tie or not finally one more after this tiny were you there at the right time of day the right time of year being there at the right time the place is very important and then finally once you are there did you compose the photograph the best that it could possibly be done and so these air concepts that will be coming back to and we'll be talking throughout the rest of the class so let's go ahead and switch over to the photos and we're going to start off and this is david gets guts and this is one of the most notable famous locations for landscape photography this is yosemite national park down in california and this is probably the most famous viewpoint who is this was shot by ansel adams and about a million or maybe tens of millions of photographers since then this is called tunnel view it's shortly after the main entrance and there are busloads of people being dropped off to shoot this film to shoot this photo so what do I think about this photo well the colors seem kind of weird it seems very filtered to me it seems like they used some filter to kind of flatten the image it doesn't have much contrast and I'm not a huge fan of the filtering process and it's a it's a beautiful location so you're in the right spot I don't know that it's the right moment we have a lot of white clouds which don't give us a lot of texture up in the sky and so you get high points for being in the right place but I'm not so sure about being there at the right time all right let's go to the next one all right so this one has been cropped and we can see that it's not quite a square and it's not quite the horizontal that we would normally get out of a camera so they purposely cropped this to avoid something on the edges and in general I love the reflection I love I love reflection shots and one of the things we'll talk about in other photographs is getting the horizon line away from the middle but if you have a good reflection like this I think that was spot on for them to do now what I would kind of like to see at the bottom of this is a bit more of those clouds I would like to see the top of the clouds and the bottom as they're reflected in the water now one of the questions that we will be talking about is how much post processing in adjusting your image should you do and can you go too far and in this case I think the whole top half of the photograph could be darkened in fact I'm going to go in real quickly and I am going to darken the top half so that it is a little bit closer I know it's lighter right now but I'm just going to adjust that so let's dark in the top half and get this all the way down to where it's as dark is the bottom but now I'm going to lighten it up because that's a little bit closer to reality and so I'm going to say right about here I think is a more natural place for that toe look before and after so I think darkening that sky helped out a little bit I would like to have seen a bit more in the bottom of the clouds all right next up I absolutely love this I am completely jealous I want to go there I want to know where this is I don't know what can I say see your information about where this is I would like to know where this is this's a a fantastic location so you're in the right spot I love the fog that really gives us great depth in the photograph and one of the little secrets and I was trying to figure out what it wass let me show you on the full screen here folks you see this area of lightness right here at the bottom of the screen that's this great little spit of spotlight coming in but I love shadows right at the bottom of the frame and I never figured out why it was until I really figured out it's just a framing element it's kind of like a vignette that brings your eye inward now the on ly little issue that I have with this photo is way over on the left hand side there is a tree trunk that isn't really included and I think I would have liked to seen a version of this that was just a smidgen wider and included half of the tree trunk now I like the tree trunk you notice on the right hand side there's a tree trunk over there that's kind of split right in the middle and it acts as a border nice dark border I would have liked to seen that mirrored on the left side and so this one is ninety nine percent of the way there but it is beautiful just as it stands okay when I just go okay okay I'm trying to figure out is what is the main subject here and I think this is one of the photographs where the subject material is not strong enough it feels like the cameras pointed up a little bit higher than it needs to be because there's not the most interesting clouds in the sky I would say tilting the camera down another ten percent would help this out but I don't think that this dead tree or branches of a tree or whatever is left of the tree is quite compelling enough to hold our interest in this one it's a beautiful location this is I'm guessing this is probably down in the arizona utah area just I recognize a lot of those cliffs and they have some snow down there which adds an interesting element but I just think our main subject is not interesting enough we are we're not early morning where lot late morning or late afternoon so it's not quite middle of the day and so it might be a little bit better earlier in the day or later in the day but I'm just thinking that this isn't the right place toe stop and spend too much time photographing would I have stopped here yeah I think I would I think it would have tried a few shots I would have looked at the camera and said I just don't know if I can really pull something out of this and I would move on then but you know nothing super wrong with it it's just not strong enough material all right I'm guessing we're down on the oregon coast this just reminds me of the oregon coast and I love it when these little pools of water are in the sand but it really feels like this one is cut off and it would seeing more natural if it was you know one solid pool and we could see around that pool because it's just kind of leads off to the side and I do like the clouds in here the clouds have a very nice texture seems very realistic to me and so I think the exposure level on this is right on but I think the horizon down the middle and the foreground subject I think just needs to be a bit more compelling to have that horizon right the middle and so I think this one needs a little bit of work and a little bit of walking around to improve it all right this looks like we're down in utah again and I'm not not getting it on this one that the tree or the wall is the subject and the tree is just to cut off and I have parts of other trees in the lower left hand corner and so definitely just not not a very strong compelling subject in this case and the lighting really isn't all that interesting it's very strange to have a dark subject in the foreground in a light subject in the background not that it's wrong it's just unconventional but this one just doesn't hit that tree you'd have to be way more interesting or that wall in the background we need to have way more texture on it now this might look really cool this exact location this exact shot very early in the morning with some sidelight casting shadows on that wall and you'd have some interesting chattels and maybe that tree is completely silhouetted that might be a very interesting way to shoot this exact same shot but at a different time of day well john this is such a great start so excited how many images that we're going to be able to get through and I just want to say kudos to everyone out there who did submit images you can check them all out if you click on student work that's where the whole gallery of images that were submitted are so I see people commenting in the chat room about some of the images in there so we would love for you while we're live well while we were filming this if you do see one of your images or you have a question about what john is saying or how he's critiquing these let us know we are live and so you can click on chat underneath the on air tab or just ask your questions for john right there so thank you again to everybody who submitted their photos thank you all right all right so here is a photograph that is the exact opposite well not the exact opposite but an opposite and opposite this one is taken at just the right time if I could put this type of sunset on order and just dial it up any time I wanted it I would love it so you're that you're shooting photos at the right time if you were out with your camera and your instincts drew you to a certain location to go out and shoot it it was it was good instincts but at this point in photography which is something like one hundred fifty years in it takes more than just a pretty sunset to make an interesting photo and so here we need more subject material we need you to find a a boat out in the water we need you to find a tree that's got really graphic branches in the foreground in this case the sky is great okay you got that but everything else really doesn't have much interest there's no real contrast in it and so the right time of day good time to be out there when you see these situations starting to arise you need to find a location that has something interesting in the foreground because if we can have both an interesting foreground and a great sunset that's going to be an awesome photograph all right I know where this one is this is moraine lake up in bam canada and this is considered to be one of the most photogenic lakes in the world which pretty obvious yeah iss and they have these fantastic I think I don't they're like seven brothers or seven seven mountains kind of all on the back side of this lake and so you got the nice reflection you're in a great spot I'm not a huge fan of a little debris in the bottom right hand corner I think with a slight reposition you could use that rock in the foreground to block that or maybe just a slight risk moving of the camera little bit to the left that I'm also seeing if you'll notice way over on the left side let me get my cursor over there see if we can zoom in there's a bit of the edge of the lake over there and I would probably crop that out or include mohr of it I'm not sure what it looks like at this point in time to the left side of it now there is a red canoe I think there's a doc let's weaken be nosy weaken come over here and zoom in they have a doctor this is where they keep all their kayaks and canoes and there's a great shot over there as well you have all these colored things in the foreground and so I think you can move around a little bit just to clean up that bottom right edge of the frame the sky's not too bad one of the things that I I dislike is a solid cloud cover the next I don't like pure blue sky what I want is some nice looking clouds these aren't the best look in clouds in the world but they're better than nothing and I really like the clouds around the tops of the mountains that's really nice and so you know this is a type of place that it might look really good earlier in the morning at sunrise but it doesn't look too bad right now and so this one's this one's doing pretty well but there's a few little things we can do to clean it up all right what do we have here we have ah hotel I'm guessing is we have a hotel in a fairly scenic area but I got a bunch of houses and cars that's not quite as interesting this might be kind of an interesting photo for that hotel on their web site to show the greater location that there had but the main foreground subject just isn't strong enough as what I would expect in a nature photograph we do have some birds up in the sky that had a little bit uh but I think it's just it's the foreground material it's not strong enough ok so we've got a great subject this canoe in the water it's okay it's a little bit cliche ish and and I'm not a I don't like to criticize people for cliches because she whatever you want and a canoe makes for a fantastic subject and that's why it's been shot so many times my issue with this and let me see if I can pull it up on the data nope don't have the data here this is a fish islands look at that horizon that horizon is a bent horizon and I am not a fan of fish I nature shots bending water like this it doesn't really hit me I mean if I had to improve this image let me just do a little crop in and actually mean reset this I am going to try I'm working in light grown folks just in case you're wondering I'm going to try a lens correction but to straighten this out and I'm going to have to go manual here okay so that that does not what I think looks good and so I'm going to bring it back and try to straighten the horizon and I'm going to come in and I want to I want to re crop this this is how I would shoot it potentially now let's see what do I think that's a little bit left dish for me let me get it over here now there's still some fish I effect going on and I'm not going to be able to get rid of it but I think something like this makes me much for a more interesting image we have a stronger foreground element and we're not playing games with lenses I love the fish islands don't get me wrong I love I have owned a fish eye lens for more in twenty five years I just think it's a very specialized weapon that you should only bring out at certain times and this is not the right time I think one of your more basic lenses would do this subject just fine all right we're working very close to a square image here so this is probably under see if I can find out any technical information on this this is a twenty second exposure at f four so this is this is interesting because you see that light on the mountains that is not sunlight I am going to guess that that is the moonlight that is going down that's just why we're doing a twenty second exposure and we can see those stars and so nighttime astro photography is very very fun thing to dio now on this one I'm not sure about the crop I love the reflection in the water I love the mountains I love the stars I got some trees poking in on the left hand side I have a really strong start in the upper right which I like and I would probably just go with a vertical so I'm going to re crop your photo I'm sorry to lose the star on the left and I'm gonna lose those trees on the right and maybe that's too much dark foreground so I'm going to bring it up a little bit and so something like this I think cleans it up from the original start and so this is probably going to be my choice for for how I would work with that images we usually when I do the nighttime shots what I'm doing this I'm shooting verticals in most cases so that I can reach up to the middle of the sky where it's the very darkest and so technically I think everything was done right here just a little bit different on the composition all right we're up in the mountains here so I'm not sure where this is this I mean this could be up in mount rainier this could be east coast united states or it could be over in europe for us I tell him not sure and I love this kind of missed and at hayes in the atmosphere because this is one of the ways that humans are able to tell distance between mountains and so those layered mountains are awesome and there could there's a great photograph right there let me let me show you a great photograph right in here let's uh get the's coming down and so there's some great photographs with a stronger telephoto lens just simply these hills right there but with what we have I think this could work totally fine with potentially some advertising or like if you wanted to put text over that sky because that sky is not super interesting on its own but it makes for a beautiful background and so if this was going to be the poster to your hiking club I think it could work out really well one little issue and I don't know folks one of the things that's really hard for me to tell from my position just looking at the final image is what were you encountering and what was this place really like and to me it feels like it's sloping down to the left it just feels like it's that way and you may have totally leveled your camera and got it perfect but it doesn't feel right to me and I think I would want to a level it just a little bit to more like this and then I think it's a fairly nice shot you might be able to increase the contrast a little bit let me go ahead and see if they saw is I want to make sure that you're seeing what I'm seeing so you could potentially increase the contrast a little mitch little bit which will enhance the distance between the mountains and that contrast out in the hills ok so I'm feeling open prairie land and I think a couple of things on this one I'm loving the general look of the clouds I think this is a potentially good afternoon to be out photograph and this is one of the times I'm not going to criticize you for photographing towards the middle of the day I think these type of clouds are good but I don't think you timed it right I think that big old cloud to the right and the big open blue spot right in the middle of the top of the frame I would like to have seen the sea there's a nice cloud a little bit off to the left I would have liked to have seen that cloud a little bit more center so if you can see where my cursor is I think that cloud is kind of interesting and this big white cloud kind of throws your eye off to the right hand corner and so potentially sitting in this exact location to get better clowns but then let's talk about the foreground and everything below the horizon it's not really sure because I got this grassland on the left which is it's super interesting and these hills that have multi colored layer into him which looked very very cool I would want to find a position that has those hills much more dominant in it and so those two main hills down to the right hand side the bottom right of the photo I think those look fantastic and maybe shooting a vertical and waiting for the clouds to come over just sometimes it's hard for me to sit out there going I'm gonna wait for good clouds how long they were going to wait you know I might have a long drive that I'm going to be doing that day and I just wanted to take a quick break and get some photos but if it was really me I would I would give myself a time limit I'm gonna wait half an hour I'm gonna wait one hour and I'm going to eat lunch here and I'm gonna wait for the clouds to come over and be right because I just bet anything that those clouds are blowing and constantly changing in that environment so little reposition a little better timing all right I'm guess and I'm feeling ah death valley here and so one of the concept is should you have people in your photos or not and there are certain times where I definitely do not want people in my photos I don't want them to destroy the the imprint on nature and in some regards but in this case I like him because it lends scaled to the size of that sandy now at the very bottom of the frame there is some light hitting those bushes down there and that kind of breaks the photo it breaks the magic trick if you will it reveals a little bit where it is so you can see the difference between including and just slightly excluding them and so I'm not so sure about that big background I think another potential is to bring in the top right hand side of the frame too try to figure out where exactly do I maybe just a little bit to make those people a little bit more prominent and so that might be another good version of this let me go ahead and just reset it so you can see where we started off and I would say definitely I would want to get rid of those pushes in the foreground now another option is I would want to include more bushes I think you you gave us a taste of him but it wasn't a satisfying taste it wasn't the right amount and so maybe just excluding them and if you could just you know call over to the people on the the sand dunes and tell him to get in a little better positioning there at the top of the hill which is good but I don't maybe more evenly spaced or the ones over in the corner feel like they're up to simpson and against I'm feeling like there's those kids over there I don't have enough resolution to jump in there but I think it's a good place just waiting for the timing in a slight composition change all right let's see where we had here all right I'm feeling like joshua tree how'm I doing on the geography folks and me pretty good john into a number of these places okay so we've got a fairly nice sunset that's not spectacular but you know pretty nice and I have struggled down in joshua tree I know some other photographers who've done super well down there but I've had I've struggled down there finding a good looking tree to photograph and so this person was correct and having one tree that was dominant so that was a good instinct what I'm questioning is there's kind of a a fawn of some sort on the left hand side that's partly cropped off and that feels a little a little awkward in there and so I don't know I think you'd be better without it so let's just try it without it in there and so I think that looks more natural normally the out of focus for ground isn't a real common technique in landscape photography but I'm okay with it here because it draws your eye to where it's sharp which is the tree and the hills in the background and so you know there's a lot of blank blue sky up there if we just keep cropping stuff out that we don't like and I'm gonna bring up a little bit on the bottom here and so I think this is another nice version of that shot as well and so you know this this is one of the things that we're constantly doing our photographs is were cropping things out and so let me give you something to think about for a moment okay have you ever seen a movie where the lead character is getting off their job they're walking back to their car and their crowded parking lot and they reach in their pocket and they grab their keys and they go to open the door but then they dropped their keys all right what happens next we've all seen this in the movie a dozen times I'm sure you have what happens next well I can think of a couple of scenarios one is somebody sneaks up on him and surprises them either for good or for bad right or maybe when they leaned down to get the keys they noticed something that they wouldn't have noticed if they had just got in their car right now there's a dozen other things that could happen but there is one thing that will not happen when they drop their keys and that is nothing the director put that in the movie for a particular reason it is there and has meaning and leads to something else and so what we can learn as a photographer is that you are the director of your one picture story and you don't want to include things that are distracting or not part of the story that you're trying to tell and so usually what we're looking for are those distractions and trying to avoid them out in the field and or crop them out later on okay folks look at this photo really carefully do you see it do you see the problem raise your hand if you see the problem all right so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go in and I am going to fix the horizon which is ever so slightly off and it was off by what light room calls point three nine let me let me reset this ok do you see that horizon slightly tilted down to the left now was this intentional I doubt that the person decided you know what I need to tell this point three nine by light room standards I don't that's point three nine of a degree but humans are very not susceptible on they can easily detect any time the horizon is off by about one degree and so if you're going to get it straight make sure that it's absolutely straight so that's something that you can very easily fix afterwards I'll be honest with you I have a problem with that myself out in the few well so here they've got a less than spectacular sunset but I do like the clouds the clouds look interesting and I'm thinking it's a long shutter speed let's see if we can figure out the shutter speed like one hundred and thirty five seconds so it is indeed a long shutter speed it's about two minutes and fifteen seconds on that and so that is what's giving those clouds a little bit of motion and we got just a little bit of color you know of course as being a photographer I would like to see more color but you know what the little hint of it is enough for me I'm fine with that and they found some relatively interesting foreground they just didn't go to the nearest outlook and stand there they got their camera down really low to the ground and so I think they did a very good job on this one just that little final horizon and so that's one of things you want to be careful of in your photographs and make sure they're good in all respects ok so we've got another got a nice sunrise here and just a nice value like the little clouds out there I think this is pretty good as it stands on its own on a little little drawn off by the brightest most dominant color is way off on the left hand side of the frame and so possibly but I don't know what was there swinging the camera to the left getting that hot spot for eyes to look a little bit more towards the center of the frame not that we wanted in the middle of the frame but just not way off to the left hand side my feeling is that if we did that we would lose some of the nice foreground grasses and trees which I really like which means you may need to run fifty yards over to your right hand side in order to keep those main two trees at the bottom in the frame as well and so after getting the shot I would move on over to the right hand side to see if you can get that bright spot more towards the middle of the frame while still keeping your good foreground okay so here it looks like we're in some sort of national park this is nice big open beautiful area I'd love to go for a hike here I don't know where this is but this was like a great place to go for a hike and this is you know it it just doesn't have a strong foreground it doesn't have a strong subject the clouds are interesting they seem a little overly dark I mean it I guess there are clouds that air that dark but that seems like it's been something that's been darkened up and this feels just a little gloomy which is ok in a photograph you can have gloomy photographs we do need gloomy photograph from time to time but I don't think we have strong enough interest in the foreground so what I would do is I would find a good looking tree or a nice rock or find a good bend in that river that you're standing here and have that maura's a dominant element in the foreground oh boy here we go folks here we go folks so this looks to be an hd our image and I don't know that I can confirm that with any other information up here I can't s o if you're not familiar with this process it's called high dynamic range it's where photographer will shoot with multiple photographs and combine them in post processing to create something that would be impossible in the camera and the idea is to grab highlight information and shadow information from varying different exposures so that you can see kind of everything in one shot and this has brought a lot of new capabilities to photography and this feels like it's gone too far um this in my opinion it's it's kind of like going to a cooking school and somebody's just learning how to cook and they decided to dump way too much sugar into any particular product and it's just it's way too sweet now this is art and everyone can have their own opinions and we can call everything beautiful and just walk away but for me this is his way ever done this is not any sort of cloud that I have ever seen on planet earth and there is a really good discussion to have about how should nature photographs look let me just go to the next one because these clouds seem much more realistic I mean I believe these clouds here let me go back I do not believe these clouds at all now this picture I bet you if you were to put this picture side by side with this one and I don't know if I can I can't put him up side by side with what you have but I can go back and forth if you were to put the two of them up together this image here with the overly dramatic clouds would get more clicks than the other image this one has that very sweet look at this type photo and weaken season our photos to a couple different flavor and so let me give you a couple of options number one is it is exactly the way you saw it with your own eyes this is really hard to do because unless you're processing the image out in the field looking at the same scene at the same time it's hard to know exactly what it looked like you can try to do it the best you remember it you could try to make it the look look at the best that it can you could make it look at the most spectacular you can and all of these air kind of different on that sharpening and saturation scale that you're going to have to decide where it looks good you now for myself once it becomes unrealistic which is this image here it's lost it for me just sorry I just don't get it it's like a movie that you just like I don't get it I don't like it it just doesn't work for me when it's like ok yeah this totally looks like it's ah rainstorm coming in and on itself I love the clouds here I love the white buildings I would say that you could maybe go more dramatic with the positioning and move those buildings maybe even mohr down to the bottom like this here it really emphasizes the sky and so that would be my slight tweak on this one okay I'm feeling the hdr twinge again here and so we have a water fall out in bright sunlight and we have the trees in the shadows and I have to tell you I like the composition for the most part I think I love putting that waterfall up in the right hand corner to be honest with you I think the standard frame that we shoot with and let's see not sure which cameras in a serious since might be a sony siri's camera is a little bit tall oh and I will occasionally I'm going toe my favorite this is kind of my personal favorite I like five by sevens and verticals and so what I'm going to do is I'm gonna crop off just a little bit of that bottom let me reset this there's the original and here's my cropped version we just had some dirt in there that we don't need I think this looks compositionally I think it's perfect I love it I love it but it just seems a little over processed here the trees in the background below the waterfall just are unrealistic in there lighting in my mind it just it doesn't look quite normal and so great composition on this one love the sky is with a little bit of clouds in there all right getting a lot of photos from the yosemite valley and so half dome with snow on it I'm loving it I like the trees the winter is nice there I prefer to have some more interesting clouds it's just not cloudy on the left and we have done a lot of just open water in the foreground I would find remember that picture a few pictures back where he found some rocks right at the edge of the water I would try to find some rocks here or something more interesting in the foreground then this kind of muddied water flowing out and so I think the top half is really strong and if we wanted to make another one of my favorite which is a sixteen by nine and just crop in on the top part of it now I think this is a better image here and so let me reset it there's the original and here's our little bit mohr horizontal so the water is less important in fact I can I'm going to bring it in from the left side just a little bit more so there's just a hint of water down there it's mostly on the trees in the mountains now so what was best about this I told you at the very beginning and I was just speaking off the top my head I wasn't thinking ahead I like the mountain and I like the trees I don't like the water I minimize the water ok down on the water line you know we're looking pretty good on the horizon line here and so I wanted to see if I could adjust it but now it feels right to me I love the directional I love the symmetry in this but I'm not a huge fan of the two posts on the corners they have bright sunlight on him and one of the things is that your I instantly goes to what is brightest in the photograph and it's drawing your eyes awkwardly to those corners let me crop this image in how I think it might look better and so just using a little bit longer of a lands I think there's look this cloud see if we get this cloud framed up there see we wouldn't want to do this we want to include the cloud in there right there so I think this is another version of that image that's a little bit more refined let me reset this there's the original and here's my cropped version of it now I'm seeing he'll make it my cursor over on the right screen I'm thinking I see something over here yeah ok so there is what is this hold on folks folks look at this right here they tried to clone something out and they did a bad job I think that's what happened here all right and so I'm thinking that this is a siegel over here and you've got a potential for a really nice shot with the bird kind of landing on one of those are flying across so that would be like this bonus element I would love to have in a photograph because as this stands right now despite the cloning error uh this is a nice clean let's just arguably call it a perfect shot but that bonus element is that one extra element that you wouldn't expect which would be a really nice bird in the right spot flying through the frame that would be really nice okay so I think we're maybe in the grand tetons um I like the mountains that kind of like the trees and the reflection off to the left I don't really care about the foreground in the bottom right I'd like the birds but I really can't see him so they're kind of small and the sky on the very top edge of the frame just doesn't really have much color doesn't have any texture to it and so I think you got your camera out early in the morning and you really want to shoot photos and these air these air warm up photos folks these these air you're getting your camera you're making sure that everything is clicking and and you got to start looking for subjects because I don't think we have a strong enough subject the mountain in the background doesn't have a clean enough reflection to really make it stand out among from everything else and I don't think cropping this is going to help this in any way and so I think a new position for this one and just kind of working with it but I think moving moving on too new areas is probably the best choice in this case all right vertical shot I love those trees in the bottom that is fantastic I don't know where that is that feels like it's miami or dubai I there's some stuff going on in the upper right hand side and we could have discussions as to whether you should photoshopped that out of there or reframe it let me just do there's that one person that's in the upper right which I'm not a big fan of and I would love to see this without the let's take a look in here what it is this's these air car tires and there's a fishing net and a surfer dude out there ah and there is there I guess there is somebody else out there walking between the fishing nets okay so those air distractions those are the keys that are being dropped for no reason but I love the trees I love the color of the water I love the composition so very well done in most cases and I would say they're probably up in a building so the opportunity to move a little to your right is it in there but at least timing it so the people aren't in there or maybe get up even earlier in the morning before the san buggies have come out and destroyed the sand in this that's what you want to wake up first thing in the morning ok moving on alright tree backlit I'm like in this I would like to see more upon top but my have my feeling is is that they didn't include it because it goes really bright and it gets away from it but this is I love the fog when you see this fog out there get out there I love the backlight all right this feels a little like wyoming and this is a great picture for showing whether where it's bright and sunny in one case and it's a really dark stormy sky but the foreground subject you're not close enough to and I don't know if you're allowed to get closer to it but I would want it to be more dominant in the frame and so I'm going to do the only thing I can do from this position afterwards is cropping in and now I don't have enough blue sky so let me fix that over here to the side and so now we have a more dominant foreground subject and let me just show you the original image too much too much dirt in the foreground get that subject in there close keep it in the bottom right hand side keeping it away from middle I think that's an improved version on that all right I have been to many a desert and I have never seen color this saturated so you have you've lost to me you lost to me at saturation and so I am going to take this and I'm going to reduce the saturation all the way down to black and white who that could be an interesting image there but we're going to go back and we're going to make a color and so realistically this is probably what's natural I would except this which is just a little bit and so I rarely will go in and ad saturation I think that's one of the cheap tricks to make your photo look spectacular because this looks spectacular and spectacular isn't always good this is this is too good this is too much saturation at least on my screen all right nice looking waterfall it's very difficult to shoot waterfalls when there is bright sun shining anywhere in the frame and I see bright sun in the upper left in the top part of the frame down in the bottom middle of the frame and so I think this would be better on a cloudy day and they've done a reasonably good job finding interesting four grams so the rocks with the moss on it I think they've done a pretty good job and I like the way that the water comes in at the top right and flows out at the top left and so I think there's some interesting lines and having that tree along the top is another part of the composition forming a bit of a triangle which mimics a bit of a triangle I'm seeing in the bottom part of the frame and so compositionally nice job but timing wise I think either a better time a day or a different day would make this even better all right out in the woods in the winter time I like the trees I liked the waterfall I like the ice over on the right hand side it's just not all completely working I could very easily see myself shooting this exact same shot but I wouldn't finish here this would not be my last shot I would want to continue working the scene I'd want to see if there's some rocks down in the lower left that I could use is a foreground the left side of this image is a little weak let me see if I can just bring the left side in a little bit and because I really like the textures in the bottom right hand side And I don't know where this is going to feel quite right because I do like some of those trees up above this is one that I love these this is a puzzle that you need to be in the field to solve and I would love to be there because I have a feeling that there's ah better version of this there and you just need to keep working I don't know how many shots you shoot when you find something interesting but you should probably shoot at least ten shots you should probably try to shoot it from a least three different points of view all right so we're gonna go panoramic I'm feeling like a golf course here so I'm not sure how that fits into the nature but yes it is a golf course but it's a it's a it's a fun little panorama and I would be real careful about the road on the bottom I would I would back up a little bit further and just totally include the road or go up to the edge of the water and get it straight from up in the water kind of this road leading down to the bottom and out and then back out of nowhere into the frame I'm not a huge fan of the composition but it's a beautiful location and a good time of day I think just repositioning the camera all right so more astro photography member we talked about it before getting your camera pointed mohr vertically up so they did this right here I think they're ah well they got the northern lights in here which is really nice and I'd like to see even more of those off to the side let's see how long of exposure this is if it's in here so this is a ten second exposure at ice so twenty five thousand oh my smokes let's look in and that's looking pretty good so they're working with a camera that does quite well under low light conditions and so this is a very nice image here you know you can't move your camera during a twenty second exposure you're not sure where the northern lights are I might take my next shot a little bit over to the right hand side but this has a wonderful mix of color and star points in it so nice job on this one all right so this this just okay this is like new to me this just looks very different and I I have a feeling that the sky looks like it's been hand dark and if you look at the way that that beautiful rock which kind of has a ah duck tail to it has a very beautiful shape to it and I like the reflection in the water the sky looks overly manipulated here and it kind of destroys you've lost me here that's kind of the magician tricked you kind of just it doesn't look like reality and so I think going back to the original image you can end up with something a little bit more realistic in this case it's got a number of elements that I'd like I love the main rock in the center I love the curve on the left I like the hills in the background the big old rock on the right hand side isn't doing anything for me and so maybe we just crop it out and I'm losing a bit of the reflection but maybe there's something and there's some bright color over there so I can't really say that that works and so I can't solve this problem right here but I think this is another place where you need to keep working the situation and shooting more photos don't you love it when you're told to go out and shoot more photos I love it when you need to go out okay so we're going to include people in the photograph and this is pretty good um I like this this is this could be a cover of a magazine this could be a title of an article this is just a nice little photograph on its own it's gotta person that has very interesting body posture which is a good element a good gesture and for me the whole bonus is the snow in there and so having that snow falling we don't normally see that this is the first photo we've seen of that and so you know kind of from hitting on all cylinders I think this is one of the better images have we've seen this is one that I really like ok a panoramic image here we've got a very beautiful location but a less than spectacular foreground kind of that main foreground in the upper right there the lower right hand side find something more interesting because we got great waters and we might need a graduated neutral density filter for that sky if you're not sure what that is I think we have like one hundred nature and landscape classes that I'll talk about it all right another night scene very well shot here to get all those stars in I'm not sure if this is a multi shot this is interesting let's see if we can see you don't have any information about what lens was used here and so there's some light on the foreground left that I'm not a super big fan of but well done night shot and so let me uh I think we have time for just one more image and let's go to this one okay here is somebody who really took to heart the fact of getting something interesting in the foreground getting close getting low to the ground and so I like the fact that they've done this because this has a very otherworldly effect there there at the right time of day that is a beautiful sky let's see if we can find out how long I'm gonna guess I haven't seen this I'm going to guess at least a ten second exposure it's a sixty second exposure there is a bit of a flare spot in the upper right you can clone out I don't give it tomorrow I'm not going to mark you down for that but nice interesting foreground beautiful shapes beautiful colors I think this is a great place to call it a day this is this is a job well done so nice job too denny and nice job everybody else thanks a lot for sending those in

Class Description

Join CreativeLive and 30-year photography pro, John Greengo, as he critiques your landscape and nature photos. In this free, one-hour session, you'll get expert insight into improving your work, honing your craft, and creating unforgettable images from the world around you. 

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  • Upload your images to the 'Student Work' tab by April 26th and tune in at 1:00 p.m. PDT to see if your images have been selected.

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Christian Ruvolo

I find John Greengo a really super teacher, Photograph and a real pleasure to hear!! I learned a lot from his Video Training!!! Thank you!

EMily M. Wilson

Great session John, I really appreciated your comments and suggestions to improve work shown....I learned things I can apply to future shoots!. Emily M Wilson Seattle

Bonnie Marquette

Thanks John for the great suggestions on making the images better!