Charlie Waite has spent years braving the elements for hours on end, waiting for a shift in the clouds or a change in the light. Here he shares his tips for capturing the outdoors with author Graeme Green.
Think Like a Chef
When you take a photograph, you have to look at the relationship between everything. All the ingredients need to be there, in the right balance. It’s like preparing a good meal. I have a saying I like, which is, “attend and intend.” You have to attend to every element in your image, every ingredient, You have to attend to every element in your image, every ingredient, and let everything in your image either be intentional or accept that it is there. Look at all the component parts and decide which ones to include and which ones to exclude. Try to reveal more than you conceal, and omit anything that is redundant or any non-supportive features that create conflict or distraction within the image.
Master the Basics
Think about the technical elements of each landscape photo you’re trying to take, especially the point of focus, the anchor to the photograph, and the depth of field. The focal point and depth of field have a big impact on the success of a landscape photograph. By carefully managing your focal point and depth of field, you can choose which areas of the scene you’d like to appear sharp and which areas you’d prefer to leave less sharp or blurry.
This allows you to encourage the viewer’s eye to land on any given part of the landscape that you wish. Take note, however, of the areas of the image which are less sharp as these also play a role in the general effect of the photograph. Traditionally, landscape photographs are usually sharp from front to back.