Creative tip 10: Try something new at Coombe Hill, Bucks | London Portrait Photographer

It always does me good to sometimes step away from the familiar and try something new. I find those times incredibly refreshing – there’s no pressure to be perfect, it’s challenging and I always learn new things.

For this next creative tip, I thought I’d try non-people photography, specifically landscapes. This is the very first time I have shot landscapes like this. At the bottom of this post, I will tell you what I’ve learned from this experience as well as some tips.

One weekend we visited one of my sisters-in-law. She lives in a very nice part of country, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Surrounded by green hills and stunning scenery, we naturally went for a walk…
Given the choice between a gentle but long or steep and short route to get to the top of the hill, my 5 year old son decided for all of us and chose the steep route. Then off he went running up the hill.
This might not look very steep to you but trust me it was. I had 2 camera bodies with lenses attached and had it not been for the tree roots on the ground providing grip, I might have had a disaster with my equipment…
So relieved to reach the top…a bit breathless.
The views were awesome but my companions were on a mission, so I was constantly playing catch-up…
Finally we got to the spot. The blue kite came out of the bag and the boys had a blast.
It was windy and cold, but this panorama made it totally worth the effort.
Landscape 3web
Then we headed back home, the girls via the gentle but much longer route, and the boys slid down the steep short route.
The next photos were taken from inside my sister-in-law’s house. These are what she looks out to
So what did I learn from this little exercise? I surprised myself; I thought shooting landscapes would be vastly different from shooting people. But actually, from my experience, not so. All the rules of composition that I use for people, the techniques of focusing – which to focus sharply on and which part to keep blurry, capturing details and closing in, taking vertical and horizontal versions of the shot for variety, being mindful of the light, and even the camera settings I normally use…were all applicable to landscapes. The only difference was that I was shooting inanimate objects which made it easier and stress-free. In fact, felt I was shooting landscape portraits, yes, portraits of landscapes.

But perhaps, that’s because I’m not a landscape photographer and therefore completely ignorant of landscape photography rules, if any. And that’s fine by me. These images make me remember special memories of our countryside visit and those memories make me smile.

If you missed the previous creative tip, click here and follow the trail…

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