How to FIND your landscape photography STYLE




Finding your landscape photography style can be a rewarding experience by helping you understand what you love to shoot and it can take your work to the next level.

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When you look at another photographers work, especially a good one, their style often shines through. Having a defined style sets you apart and creates a photographic identity that people will be familiar with and enjoy. If it is original, others will copy it and the attention that you draw will grow.

You may have never thought about your style before and that is ok. I do not spend a lot of time thinking about it, but it is there. This video will give you some tips on how to find your landscape photography style and where it comes from.

Subject and Location

Firstly it comes from the subject you are shooting. With landscapes this very much depends on the location you have visited. I have become well known for visiting the Lake District so mountains are a big part of my style. Woodland or Cityscapes might be your thing but the location very much influences your style.

Composition

Secondly is composition. Some photographers become will known for the type of shot they take. Some may prefer very wide, big vistas. Whilst others might prefer closer in, more intimate shots. Some can’t resist getting their perspective very low and filling the image with close-in foreground interest. Others are now heavily into high perspective drone photography. I do a lot of long exposure photography which again sets me apart, especially once the exposures go over the two minute mark.

Post-processing

The third element is how you edit the images. This is where most photographers will really stamp their style down. The biggest element is the control of colour. Cropping, contrast, sharpness, clarity and white balance all play their part too and the combination of options are almost limitless. In the video I use Adobe Lightroom to show how the simple sliders can be used to create different styles.

Your landscape photography style could come form just one, or all of these elements. The important thing is to work hard, experiment with lots of different things and then shoot what you love. By following your passion and doing what you love your photographic style will really start to shine through. It will also evolve over time as your journey progresses and that serves to add to your art and the story you are telling.

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Comments 40

  1. Your style of post processing is spot on. It's all about the combination of what you see with your eyes, and the feeling you have. There's nothing better than to take a hike, away from people into nature. And then take that one shot. You want to capture the experience! And have anyone who looks at the photo get a glimpse of the experience you had. Also, unrelated, I like the shots of you from behind the laptop with the FMP banner in the background. Lovely composition and adds a nice touch to the vids. Still enjoying your uploads, keep it up. lastly whilst normally youtube comments generally are, well, a mudfest of hatefull comments, here it's actual rational and friendly debate and input on your videos and photographers amongst eachother. Lovely!

  2. Thanks for the video Adam.  I always look forward to them because I always get something from them.  Have been in a photographic funk lately and this video gave me a lot to think about and inspiration.

  3. Thanks Adam. I agree about your last point re presets. I'm sure they have their place, but I've learnt more by experimenting and trying things for myself. Love your videos. Happy New Year.

  4. I'm not sure … I mean, I wouldn't stick to a specific location only for "style reason". That's more a thing for a series or a book about a specific location. My processing style is rather consistent but I also make exception if it fits more to the picture. I also use different focal lengths and angles depending on the scene. What's mostly consistent in my pictures is the composition, the limited color palette and the amount of whitespace. You didn't mention none of these points and I think they are the most important ;).

  5. Excellent video and topic, Adam.
    I just have a question about one aspect of creating your "style", which is composition. You mentioned examples of styles, such as shooting wide or long, low down or from high up, etc. But these, to me, would simply depend on what you're shooting. Some scenes look better wide open, from low down, and some look better when zoomed in on a particular area or from above. So I wouldn't venture to say these impact one's style, rather, they are to be implemented when necessary.
    Unless one only shoots particular locations or subjects that always look best from a particular angle/ focal length.
    I'm curious to hear your thoughts about this. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. After much thought, I've decided not to bother with style.

    My style is what I like to do. It's that simple.

    I photograph buildings. I use tilt shift lenses because, mostly, I like them straight.
    Many of my landscapes are portraits of things. Rocks, pieces of wood, mostly isolated items. I use the tilt shift lenses for those too.
    Sometimes I shoot broad expanses. I use the tilt shift lenses for those too.

    I try to have my camera level, left to right, front to back. That means the horizon crosses the middle of the image. Unless I use lens shift, I usually do.

  7. Hi mate, I was a bit dubious when you mentioned going to the computer as I thought for a second you were going to talk about presets – but you nailed it! I tend to embrace my local area (Ayrshire) which features a bit of everything, so it’s hard to discern a specific ‘style’, however, I see social media as a platform for release rather than a rotisserie of similar images, so I don’t worry about it 😀 Anyway, great video and you seemed to have a lot of energy in this one!

    PS, I’m aware that ‘local’ photography is a style in itself, haha! 🙂

  8. Great topic Adam, and interesting to hear your thoughts. Style is such a personal thing and there are so many elements that can influence the style of a photographer and the images they create. It’s certainly something I like to experiment with. Probably location and weather conditions impact my style the greatest. Thanks for featuring my video at the end mate. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!

  9. Great video and yes, totally agree especially with regards to pre-sets, they may work on some images, but even then there may be additional tweaks to make even if you think a pre-set will suit. I think that generally they are only designed for certain images. I primarily use Photoshop and if I am compositing say a product shot, I will save a pre-set just so it makes my life a bit easier if I have three or four other shots to edit, prior to layering etc. but I probably would not use these pre-sets again for anything else.

  10. I feel I am towards flat images, however I am limited to the software I have.
    It would be good to see you do stuff on other software, I would love to have adobe Lr, Ps, Pr and Ae but at nearly £50 a month it’s a tough one to justify given the time I would use them.
    As ever Adam, I enjoy your uploads and images 😊

  11. My post processing style depends on the scene I photographed and an the feeling I had. (I prefer woodlands and long lenses.) From time to time I develop my images b/w but never flat colored and with less contrast.

  12. hello adam i am from nepal and regularly follow all your videos.i have just started photography.i am interested in landscape photography. i have a nikon D3200 with 18-55mm kit lens .can you please do a video using it.i would realy appreciate if you made a video on landscape photography with d3200 ..thank u

  13. Another nice video, and something I really want to think about this year with my photography. When you say you're not a fan of presets, I presume you are referring to pre-made ones? The ability to create user-defined ones to consistently edit to your own style(s) of photo is really useful and greatly speeds up the workflow.

  14. Only thing I can disagree with here is the suggestion of Lightroom as the perfect program. Of course, this is certainly a personal preference thing so take it for what it is worth. I have switched over to Capture One Pro and have never looked back to lightroom. Just get far better processed results in my experience using both programs.

  15. Impossible to argue with a word you said, I think too many people want to be the next Adam, Thomas, Paul, Nigel or Simon. Learn how these people take their shots, definitely thoroughly learn the rules and only then learn how to disregard them. But then also look at the work of David Muench who many say is the greatest living landscape photographer, Joe Cornish the greatest living British landscape photographer and Lee Ancaster 3 time Landscape photographer of the year as well as the greats of yesteryear. Then mix them all together and pick what you want from each one for what you want from your own photography. I love watching how other photographers see light and describe that light, something Nigel Danson excels at, or how Paul G Johnson makes his composition sound so simple, and how the hell Simon Baxter can walk in a woodland and come out with what he does is beyond me. Then there’s your famous 360° from an elevated position before settling on the portion of the circle you want for your image. But if we copy any of these skills rather than learn from them all we will be are cheap imitations and in all probability it will be a totally different light when we are in that position. Take the information you all so kindly give us as use it as we see the light, the composition we see and remember what we see for when we sit in front of the computer. A brilliant and extremely inspiring video that I can see helping a lot of people.

  16. Adam,

    Nicely presented!

    I feel style and "Brand" interweave. It's sometimes difficult to stick to one subject when any visual compels us to shoot. Although subjects may differ from scenic, to critters, to folks. I think, if all those can be woven into a discernible environment that tells the story intended, that intent can define a style. You're spot on with the post processing helping to define our work.

    My work can be painterly, impressionistic, or literal, but they're all different facets of my vision. To specialize too narrowly, I find a constriction. I am always struggling to define a style, and have come to be comfortable with diverse subject matter. The only defining quality is, uh, …"quality."

    Thank-You,
    Mike

  17. I don't use LightRoom primarily because I can't afford it and I don't use bootlegged software.  I am less inclined to use Adobe software now that they have gone to the subscription model.  This only works if you have reliable high speed internet.  There are many in rural areas that are poorly served.  Some still have to rely on dialup.  I use RawTherapy to post process my photos.  Not quite LR but pretty damn close.

  18. I started looking at this in my photographs in the last couple of months and found that my photos tend to be either wide vistas or small details and taken from a low angle. I have also developed a "standard" process for post. Having said that, my images do not show a lot of homogeneity so …

  19. Hey Adam! Great start to 2018. Good video! If I look back on my blogs I’d say my passion is to try new locations and subjects. I very much love colour but will do b&w. Natural landscapes speak to me more than urban. When I’m uninspired by the vast landscape I go long. I use my long lens quite a bit actually. Still loving your vlogs. I saw in your newsletter that you are starting workshops! Awesome! I have scheduled my first workshop too. Can’t wait to hear how yours go. If I were closer I’d definitely join. Happy New Year 🙂

  20. Enjoyed the vlog Adam and certainly something for me to think about more as I try and improve my skills and technique this year. Whilst you said you're not that fussed on presets, do you use much in the way of plug-ins?

  21. On point Adam. I've not given much thought to "style." I think it develops organically as you move toward what interests you the most. At least that's where I'm starting. I tend to capture a lot of water/woodland pics but more because it's what I have in my area. Honestly, something I need to consider in the coming year. Thanks for the overview.

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