Landscape Photography | Things I Wish I Knew Earlier



well hello everybody good morning I think today's video is gonna be a bit of a lazy one for me and a bit different because I'm on my way on a very brief say three-day photography trip and I have dear I have about a six-hour drive ahead of me followed by a ferry crossing because I'm going to the Isle of Mull in Scotland so I thought today's video would be all about the mistakes I made as a beginner landscape photographer not necessarily mistakes I suppose were just think I've can't get out with his book he's things I didn't know and that is what we're gonna talk about on this drive today but first I need to get out of this parking space right onwards and upwards today's video has been sponsored by Squarespace so if you need a website at squarespace.com forward slash Heaton so suppose the first one would be sort of the understanding of light and subject it's bit of a funny one this because when I first started you know when I first realized that landscape photography was a genre and that I could go out photograph nature like I think I understand it I know that might sound daft but I think there's a lot that we take for granted as photography's landscape photographers technical things with cameras but also just the understanding of how an image looks good and what makes a good image you see I got some really cheap kokin filters back in the days decades ago and they were those ones that put a purple cast on everything and I remember have a very very specific memory of going down to the beach with a I don't know like an ND filter maybe it was like a three-stop ND filter and a graduated filter and him again of before in the morning going down to shoot sunrise on the beach set up with no idea of no the stamping of lights and no understanding of composition just an assumption that by getting up early and going to the beach I would get a good photograph and I had a friend a friend who was a really good landscape photographer and all of his seascape stuff load awesome is nice light nice clouds good composition and I failed to recognize those things within the photograph I just assumed beach sunrise jobs are good and that's not the case and I remember taking this photograph and the weather was gray and miserable the photograph was really dark it was a long exposure I was using a really cheap kit lens and when I got the image back I was incredibly disappointed because it was bland flat gray soft it was just horrible image and I remember asking my friend the question like why doesn't this image look good how why doesn't this image look like yours and it was because I didn't have the understanding of the basics which is light subject and Composition and I really think we take that for granted yeah least I suppose this videos about anybody who is brand new to photography brand new to landscape photography we should never take for granted the simple things such as well I guess just the understanding of light and the components of an image and I didn't know that when I first picked up a tripod on a camera so I mentioned before that's disappointed that the imagery was soft and I was using a cheap kit lens and that's another thing that took me a while to understand and not after no not necessarily understand but it it was a difficult pill to swallow and that is the fact that the quality of an image is hugely hugely down to the lens now I notice that an argument for gear doesn't really matter if to an extent it doesn't also to extend it does the thing that matters more than anything is a good quality lens narimasu in images with really cheap kit lenses and remember once again we must be going back to the early 2000s I bought a really cheap they give us something like a but I wish I could remember out whichever having it was a sigma and I think it was something like a fifty to three hundred or fifty to four hundred something like I was so long ago and it cost me ninety nine pounds it was dirt cheap and it had macro feature on it I was really excited by this lens but at the same time I was always incredibly disappointed because the images didn't look as good and as Christmas all the images that I was seeing fellow photographers and friends at local and it did it took me a while it is such a difficult pill to swallow the fact there okay so you've just got the shop and you've just spent oh eight hundred or a thousand pounds on a camera you think that's where the us where that money needs to be spent is on the camera and then it's like I'm gonna bet it you know to get the next level of quality my images I need to double its bet the other single lens that is a tough pill to swallow not to be a good few years to really understand and accept so yeah I guess number two is the quality is all in the glass it's all about those lenses it's not an easy one to take it an easy one but yes I have another one for you something that I didn't quite know and understand when I first got into landscape photography and that is the tripod now I'm not going to say that you need to spend money on an expensive tripod to get a stability because that isn't always the case and actually nowadays is before you know it's far less the case because mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter so they can sit on a lighter tripod tripods in general have come down a lot of price you know you can get no cup of carbon fiber tripod on Amazon half the price of a branded tripod and to all intents purposes if you just begin installing out there all right and all that and another thing even with the cheapest flimsiest tripod if you're out and about and there's no wind like a lovely card still day you're not going to get in it'll make any difference at all well one thing that does make a difference with your tripod and this took me a while to really understand and again it was a difficult pill to swallow having to spend like you know I know 200 300 pounds on a tripod is with cheap tripods you tend to get what's known as slippage and that's when you have your camera on the tripod and you rotate it to shoot a portrait oriented image and then say you'd take a five-second exposure what happens is because as a cheap camera is a cheap tripod plate now you get slippage which is when the weight of the lens pulls the cameras slowly down because the plates is there very good play in it there's no friction between the plate and the camera but another thing that actually I only realize this probably I know two years ago maybe three years ago was the addition of an L bracket honestly if you don't if you're a landscape photographer or you find yourself you in a fair few landscapes and you don't have an L bracket attached to your camera just stop this video go and get one all right this I've got my gear blog below I think if you've got a Canon there's an L break in there but you can get them quite cheap on others up don't get one sticker on your camera and then even if you are using achieve the tripod you don't get slippage because instead of rotating the baldhead on your drive pod you just unclip your camera flip it around put it back on and jobs are good and so yeah tripod cheap tripod slippage and the L brackets are supposed to be things that I didn't know when I was just beginning out to landscape photography so I thought of another one another thing that didn't quite get quite get my head around or understand when I first started landscape photography and that is focused focusing where to focus how to get the sharpest image and I'll tell you I did I'll tell you what I did oh yeah I was going on a trip I think I was remember I was going bars going on a trip somewhere not too far but specifically for landscape photography and I was plaguing me I didn't know because getting so many conflicting pieces of advice you know focus one-third in focus two-thirds in find your hyper focal distance of the specific lens etc etc so what I did was I went yes I went to the I took my camera and tripod and literally went out on the street just like a main road not too far from my house and I made sure that that main road had lots of cars parked down the street and a big building right far in the distance that would be infinity that's like three photographs graph I focused on a car that was pretty near to my camera lens which I think was about one third into the image the second photograph are focused exactly halfway into the photograph into the image and then the third shot I focused on the building right in the far distance that would have represented infinity and like two minutes like I went back home like the files in the computer open them all in Lightroom and looked at which one was the sharpest front middle and back and this that and the other and it was infinity and I tried this with a few different lenses I think two or three lenses and it was always infinity not you know the image where I focused furthest away had the overall best sharpness and that must have been a 9 or 10 years ago and pretty much ever since then I've always always focused to infinity unless I have an obvious subject in that case obvious air focus on that subject and I'm a bit lost here there we go alright first exit so I'm really looking forward to this this trip to Mahlum only there for three days which is a shame but the guys I'm hanging out with they've actually come over from calendar in America's they've traveled further me one of them has a camper one so that's gonna be awesome we were like we have a bit of a convoy camper van convoy able to stay in a cottage which would be nice because then I can use their shower toilets electricity's as perfect oh the fact we yes very good the weather is beautiful everything everything everything everything's up good weathers taking a bit of a turn for the worst oh it's not like this on Paul [Applause] the bezel decision of life waltz like rats like boys and other point apparatus all of which can be manually launched or will float free than the eventually ship sinking the vessel is also predominant sufficient lifejackets alright ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Isle of Mull what can I say it is beautiful the sun is shining it's calm it's still it's gorgeous the bluebells are out the spring greens are out and all in all are very very excited to be here now I need to end this video soon because I am just a couple of miles from my campsite and I wanted to end I was sure I think what I could end this video with you know what I wish I'd known when I first started out years years and years ago I I don't know now and I think the final thing that I'm gonna talk about is confidence you see when I first start out started out doing photography only landscape photography photography in general sort of 1516 years ago you know it's like images by other photographers and you think god I wish I could take an image that good or I'll never be able to take an image that good and I hear this quite a lot of my channel now I'm not saying my folks like really good or anything but people do comment saying I wish you know I wish I could take you Tim is that good around ever be able to take a photograph that nice and the truth of the fact is you can there's no secret formula there's a few things I mentioned earlier on in this video of our lenses and tripods of composition and lights but there really is no secret formula the truth is a half of images that I take that I consider keepers if you were there with me you'd have taken the same photograph it would have been identical there are no secrets so I kind of wish I knew this when I first started out rather than just looking at the work of others and thinking that mine will never ever be that good yeah there are no secrets so that's that that supposes my final thing in this video whatever this video is I don't even know if I've enjoyed rambling up to the camera for past six hours hopefully it's only six minutes for you guys oh yeah I don't like comes I know more or less so I'm gonna pull into here guess I'll have some food and then it should pretty much be time for bed and they massive thank you once again to the sponsor of this video Squarespace if you don't know who Squarespace are their an all-in-one platform where you could go and you build your own website using their website and you don't need any coding skills whatsoever so good Squarespace comm for such heat and get a free try and if you like free trial under stress only if you like free trial use the off code heatin for 10% of your first purchase so the Vans all set up now and I am just about to lie down and go to bed so you've enjoyed this video there's gonna be lots of photography to come this weekend but it's been a long drive and a long day so for me and then have a nice quiet night sleep good night everybody [Applause] [Applause] I just wish you'd have called or sent me a whatsapp or something sorry about you

39 Replies to “Landscape Photography | Things I Wish I Knew Earlier”

  1. My secret formula….. don't try to fit photography in with a family holiday….. create a proper opportunity.

  2. Really like the part at 09:00 – 09:05 where you enter the van and see the reflection in the window of you having the GoPro in your mouth (if I spotted correctly) The shot that didn't make the cut hehe 😀

  3. I have never laughed so hard watching one of your videos before! The ending, I didn't even see it coming!

  4. dude i gotta say your videos have inspired me. i have just recently gotten back into photography and my fav kind of photography is landscape. i have watched a ton of your videos over the last couple weeks. you put a lot of time and effort into them and it shows. i discovered from your vids that you have been through some rough spots. all i can say is just keep being yourself and doing what your doing because its totally inspiring. and i have a suggestion. why not keep a grand or so in a jar somewhere and if you feel like your heading on another downward spiral then break out that jar and use it to go somewhere amazing again, like you did with the canadian trip. keep up the good work mate. i hope one day ill be able to visit some of the places you have photographed.

  5. Lenses……..great advice for beginners, even though they won’t listen…..because let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. But another reason to invest in glass is the fact that they tend to hold their value much better and are much less prone to consumerism, especially in recent years, where they’ve sort of reached a plateau of almost uniform stellar performance…..I mean, our almost have to try your best just to buy a bad lens it seems!

  6. Officer the driver behind me keeps taking both hands off the steering wheel whilst gesticulating with both hands

  7. Brilliant, uncle grumpy and his mates at the end, love it. Great video though, I'm quite new to landscape photography, your chanel has inspired me to get out and shoot images whenever I can and has helped me to improve my photography as has uncle grumpy and the other nutcase living in Canada so thanks to you all.

  8. L bracket is a good one 👍 Really changes how you take your vertical images, makes it so much easier !

  9. Some good tips but I don’t agree at all about the lens comment! Technical image quality of the lens is the least important aspect for the large majority of photographers who are printing A3 and smaller or just posting online. If really large prints are needed, maybe a better lens will help, but light, composition, subject etc are so much more important than any lens will ever be. As reference point in the landscape world one could take a great deal from Michael Kenna’s book Holga. How about David Burnett’s portrait of Al Gore, also shot on a Holga? Another great reference in this regard is Zeb Andrews who has an entire Instagram feed dedicated to his pinhole images, you can find him @lens_optional Chase Jarvis reminded us of this too when he published his book of iPhone images (when iPhone cameras were still awful) titled The Best Camera is the One That’s With You. I could go on with names of many, many more artists who create magical work on very basic equipment but you get the point.

    If you have loads of cash, by all means splurge on whatever gear you like. If not save your money for a trip or a workshop, it will hold infinitely more value than a lens will ever do.

  10. Love your content, but vlog while you drive – bad idea and I wish YouTubers would stop doing that.

  11. Great video as always, would be really grateful if you could give me a steer here. I love my Landscape Photography and over the autumn and winter will be all over the Landscape stuff however in the summer months I love taking pictures at motorcycle races such as the TT on the Isle of Man and the Irish road races as well as local trackways. I have been using a Canon 18-135mm kit lens on a Canon 80D and feel its time to purchase a quality lens and have my eye on a 70-200mm L lens however I'm not sure wether to buy the 2.8 or F4 lens at almost half the price, can you keep me right please would really appreciate the help. thanks in advance….Si

  12. LMAO oh man I did not expect that at the end….BRILLIANT!!!! So now I have to watch eating or drinking on your videos too…..almost spit my drink on the screen LOL!!

  13. Focus is such a mine field of conflicting information for new shooters. And even for long time enthusiasts like myself, it can still be a real struggle to decide on what approach to actually take for a given shot. I keep notes on things I've learned or worked out re composition or shooting techniques and have the following for focusing styles:

    1) focus on infinity: when there is no specific subject or immediate foreground.
    2) focus on subject: when there is a specific subject and no close foreground.
    3) double distance focus: shots with specific foreground to background compositions. Find distance to nearest subject that needs to be in focus, double that distance to focus for best DOF (sort of a compromise between hyper focal and focus at 1/3).
    4) focus 1/3 into frame: general shots with no specific subject and some fore ground interest. Can be replaced with DDF.
    5) hyper focal distance: magic. also for showing off math skills to newbies. Of no practical value in the field 😛
    6) focus stacking: how to focus like Thomas Heaton!

    Thomas, I'd love for you to devote a video (or two!) to the practical application of some of your various techniques for picking focus (beside focus stacking), on scene with real images that require different focus methods. I think seeing the thought process worked out in real could be a real time help to groking focus (for me anyway).

  14. I bought a cheap L bracket off ebay to go on a manfrotto acra swiss ball head. It doesn't fit. Other L brackets are like $50 which is just excessive for 2 pieces of metal screwed together.

  15. Great video Tom. You forgot a piece of gear that helps you start the whole journey, a reusable thermos!

  16. Focusing on infinity? Is it really infinity?
    Theoretically After Focusing on infinity one time, you would never have to focus again for any landscape shot?

  17. It’s nice to see other youtubers inspiring and influencing your videos. Gav’s videos are no offence, really funny and they seems to be rubbing off on you. 😁👍🏻

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