Landscape Photography

Cousin TinaBurbank reminded me that I need to post to my blog this month. No blog last month- February 2014. She provided the picture and here it is.

Mermaid in Kenneth Hahn Park
Mermaid statue was photographed in Kenneth Hahn Park and Hollywood Hills are in the background.

It was taken in Kenneth Hahn park and Hollywood Hills are in the background. I’m always interested in new vistas and California’s Hollywood Hills are new to me.

I have been listening to some photography instruction DVDs by Joel Sartore, a National Geographic Photographer. The DVDs are titled “Fundamentals of Photography”.  Just finished the lecture on ‘landscape.’ He has some requirements for good landscape photography.

Firstly, you have to shoot in good light. That would be early morning or late afternoon. Secondly, use a tripod and a cable release. This allows you to get everything in sharp focus. Thirdly, remember compositional techniques such as ‘rule of thirds’ where you divide your image into thirds vertically and horizontally. Where those lines intersect are the power points–and that where you place the most important focal points of the scene.  Finally, think about layering the scene. Think about arranging your landscape shot with something of interest in the foreground, middle ground and background.

So, lets look at Tina’s shot again. This is definitely a landscape image. It’s not pure nature, it’s got a man-made statue in the foreground, but it is surrounded by grasses and you can see hills in the distance. Lots to look at. The Mermaid statue on the tree stump is the main point of interest in this image.

Mermaid in Kenneth Hahn Park
Mermaid statue was photographed in Kenneth Hahn Park and Hollywood Hills are in the background.

She’s got good light. I can’t tell if it’s early morning light or late afternoon (sunset), but the sky is overcast giving the scene even lighting–no harsh shadows, a definite plus.

Although she probably did not use a tripod or cable release, she got down to get a lower perspective, probably knee height. This lower viewpoint gives the viewer an original perspective. It’s not a scene everybody sees.

As far as composition, the mermaid, her main point of interest is on the lower left point of intersection, a power point. The mermaid is the focus of the foreground. The road runs diagonally through the middle ground, and the hills are giving interest to the background.

If I were to make some suggestions for improvement, I would I would suggest that she clear some of the grass that is in the way of seeing the face of the mermaid. I like how some of the grass is in focus. But the viewer wants a point of focus and that would be the mermaid statue. It needs to be in focus and the viewer wants to see the face of the mermaid. I would turn the statue slightly so that you have a better view of the face. Another suggestion would be to use a small aperture, such as f/16 or f/22 to bring the hills into focus. I love the clouds in the sky and your eye seeks out something of interest in the background. It’s hard to see because it’s blurry.

The mermaid statue sitting on a stump next to a road in a park near the Hollywood Hills is the story of the image. No other people around.

Thanks for getting the blog started again, Tina.