Photography 101: Landscape

Landscape is the theme for day fifteen of Photography 101.

“Today, snap a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole… rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.”

Yesterday the clouds were looking pretty cool, so I headed down the railroad tracks to get a couple of shots for the day’s theme.

This first photo was the view north. When I got just past the evergreen in the center of the photo, I turned to my right and snapped the second photo.
Looking north along the tracks.


This was the view to the east of the tracks.
The view from the tracks looking east.

I had been up on the hill, past the white silo pictured above, a couple of weeks ago, and had taken my next photo then. 

This is the view looking down the hill facing northwest. The tracks cross the vista somewhere out there.
Looking north west over the tracks from a hilltop vantage point.

Of these three vistas, I think I like the second one the best, at least today, I do. I really like all of the rich textures: the clouds, the field of cat tails, the evergreens, the few bare branched trees, and the blue of the sky.

Also as part of today’s assignment we were supposed to crop our photos in the computer to improve our composition and remove distractions from around the edges of the frame. I decided not to do this for the first two. Cropping them either truncated something at the edge or made the shot feel cramped.

The third photo needed to be rotated just a tad and cropped ever-so-slightly.

I was happy with the way I had framed each shot, but thought perhaps the third, with not much happening in the sky that day, could be cropped as a panorama.

I cropped it this way…

… and then I cropped it just a little differently.
Panorama 2

The uncropped version communicates a feeling of spaciousness. The first cropped version draws my eye from the trees in the foreground to the white barn and then into the distance. The second cropped version brigs my eye to the white barn as the focal point.

At first I preferred the uncropped photo. Then I thought the big empty sky was distracting. And then I found myself liking all that space again. Which version of the third photo do you prefer or do you prefer of the others?



12 thoughts on “Photography 101: Landscape

    1. Thank you! Whenever I sharpen images a bit for the web, I always worry that I’ll sharpen them too much. The fact that things look different on different screens doesn’t make it easier. There is probably a “rule of thumb,” but I don’t know what it is.


  1. I have to say I like the un cropped one for the third photo, it just feels more open and so peaceful. The train tracks made me think of going somewhere, anywhere (if that can be explained) 🙂 I always enjoy your photos when I get a chance to stop by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the feedback. The uncropped version does feel more open. I’m realizing that the sky isn’t simply empty, it adds that context that creates the open feeling.
      I think train tracks, or any path or road heading to the horizon are universal symbols for a journey or travel.
      Glad you enjoy stopping by my blog. I enjoy yours as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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