Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques Reviews

December 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Digital Photography Product

Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques

Capture the beauty of the world around you with this professional adviceLandscape photography inspires millions of photographers. If you’re one of them, you’ll find new insight into landscape photography in this book by professional photographer Harold Davis, as well as tips, tricks, and technical advice to help you improve the quality of your photos. You’ll learn to use lighting and composition creatively, choose and use appropriate equipment, look at your subject matter in a new way, and even

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3 Responses to “Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques Reviews”
  1. Marianne Glosenger says:
    26 of 27 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Stroll Through Some Very Creative Landscapes, May 24, 2011
    By 
    Marianne Glosenger (Empire, MI United States) –

    This review is from: Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques (Paperback)

    This is a rare case where you can tell a lot about a book by its cover. The stunning image of a gnarled bristlecone pine backed by storm clouds, tortuously distorted by a fisheye lens, and dramatically framed in black, exemplifies many of the points Harold Davis presents in Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques. In his excellent and accurate description of the book, above, Davis describes it as an “idea book.” This is not another technical introduction to digital photography, but rather like taking some enjoyable long walks with a more-experienced photographer friend, one whose original training was in art and whose interests are wide ranging, and who tells you what he has distilled out of years of thoughtful practice and love of photography. The voice in the book is personal as Davis describes his views of landscape photography, discusses how to work in a variety of enviroments, tells the stories behind some of the images, and quotes other photographers whom he admires.

    As Davis describes his connection to landscapes in terms of the Tao, readers may find themselves – as I did – searching inside for what landscapes mean to them and the importance of connecting deeply with land, sea, and sky, as opposed to just taking shots of pretty scenes. As he talks about definitions of “landscape,” the reader may consider how he or she defines landscapes and what else that definition might include. I found this thought process enriching and tranformative.

    The images in Creative Landscapes are amazingly varied as are the techniques and approaches in making them – from night-long star trail images to wind-blown spindrift on crashing waves, from single captures to stacked images, 75 deep, processed in Photoshop. The inclusion of exposure and filter information for each image is extremely useful. I have found myself frustrated by otherwise fine instructional photo books that give no hint of how the photos in them were taken, so I found this most welcome. (And while I’m on the subject of pet peeves, I would like to note that this book has obviously been carefully edited and proofed, and is mercifully free from the distracting typos that mar too many books on photography.)

    One of Davis’ most interesting observation is that viewers of landscape photographs want those images be very specific and, at the same time, want them to reveal a place more perfect than any they have experienced – Plato’s Ideal. I found this to be a resonant observation and one to keep in mind when taking landscape photographs with an audience in mind. I immediately thought of the “Breathing Spaces” two-page spreads in O, The Oprah Magazine. The photographer who can combine this perfection with the Wabi-Sabi that Davis discusses, the treasuring of imperfection and transience, is truly an artist!

    I have only one quibble with the book, and that is with the short discussion of histograms. Davis recommends underexposing images slightly to arrive at more saturated colors and avoid the risk of blown highlights. He is not alone in this view. My view is that “exposing to the right” – that is, exposing so that the histogram almost touches the right edge but does not begin to climb that edge – captures maximum information due to the way the image data is digitally recorded by the sensor. This produces the maximum amount of raw material for post-processing without blowing out the highlights, even though the image may look overexposed on the camera’s LCD or on the computer monitor before processing. The books by John and Barbara Gerlach are very useful on this point and I heartily recommend them. Since the real value of Creative Landscapes is on a very different plane from technical details, this is a very minor quibble indeed.

    Creative Landscapes is a book this is rich with ideas, practical experience, and stimulating examples that anyone who has struggled to capture the evanescent beauty of a landscape will find inspiring and encouraging. I highly recommend it.

    Digital Landscape PhotographyDigital Nature Photography: The Art and the Science

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  2. Travis Forbear says:
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A great foundation, June 1, 2011
    By 
    Travis Forbear (Shelby, Michigan USA) –

    This review is from: Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques (Paperback)

    Harold Davis is one of those rare photographers that does more than follow in the footsteps of other great photographers. He may walk the same path on occasion, stand in the same location as other greats, but Harold is not content to make the same photographs he admires. What I find most helpful about Harold’s techniques, teaching style, and photographs, comes from his years of devotion and love for the craft, written in a manner that is useful not confusing. If you are wondering if this book is right for you, take a moment to check out Harold Davis on flicker or his blog.

    About the book

    Creative Landscapes encompasses a lifetime of landscape photography and the adventures Harold has encountered in order to find exciting ways to show the world. Blending his wisdom of the craft, his knowledge of master photographers, and his desire to create art instead of snapshots, Harold has put together a book that is meant to teach and inspire photographers of all levels. This is not a text book telling you to stand in a specific location, with a specific lens, at a certain time of day, with shutter speed and aperture set to a recommended setting to make a copy of his photograph. Instead, Harold teaches you to use the tools you have, to recognize the best time of day, the best location according to your view of a scene. If you want to make your work stand out, you have to make it unique.

    Creative Landscapes is a great foundation and starting point for amateurs and advanced photographers looking to tackle the world of landscape photography. Professionals may find the many examples of time lapsed photography, hand blended HDR, and workflow tips helpful. This book, like so many of Harold’s, is written as a guide. Think of it as a one on one workshop that you can complete at your own pace.

    My personal feelings about the book

    I can honestly say this is one of Harold’s best books. Many of the subjects were review for me, but I never felt bored by the presentation. The material is presented in a way that makes you think you are right there with him. I recommend this book to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of landscape photography. It’s easy to look past the information you already know, when you have a great teacher. I know I learned a few new tricks.

    I also received an advanced copy for review.

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  3. Mary Darling says:
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Creative Landscapes – a must read, May 30, 2011
    By 
    Mary Darling (Boonville, CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Creative Landscapes: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques (Paperback)

    I don’t know what I can add after reading Marianne Glosenger’s review. This is just a stunning book. I lived at the base of Mt. Diablo (page 10-11) for 25 years and never say anything like his image. We are going back to Danville next month and I will spend a lot of time enjoying Mt. Diablo from Harold Davis’ viewpoint.

    I love the pictures of Yosemite. The picture on page 88-89 of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park looks like a painting. One of the main points in Harold’s book is that he gets up early, goes over rugged countryside, and sometimes stays out all night. Wish I was that dedicated.

    This is another book that I have many bookmarks to go back and really study how you took such a great shot. Wish I could be a bug on his shoulder to watch him take his outstanding images.

    Thanks for another terrific book. Mary

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