Fine art landscape photography: pro camera skills for stunning scenic pictures

Fine art landscape photography: pro camera skills for stunning scenic pictures

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our pro shows us how to slow down the image-making process and learn the subtleties of making beautiful fine art landscape photography.

Fine art landscape photography: pro camera skills for stunning scenic pictures

Meet our professional photographer

Jonathan Chritchley started his own photo business just six years ago and is now one of the world’s most sought-after fine art photographers. Specialising in seascapes and shots of sailboats, his masterpieces are invariably shot in moody monochrome. In this short time, he has also founded his own photo holiday business. We joined him near his home just north of Biarritz, France, to learn some of the tricks of his trade.

Meet our apprentice

Maria Robinson works as a swimming instructor, but at heart is a traveller on constant lookout for her next adventure. She got her DSLR last year, and it has already seen more countries and photo locations than most see in a lifetime. Maria is keen to improve her camera skills, and learn new techniques to take on her travels. We took her to France to learn how to take super-slow-shutter-speed seascapes from top black-and-white photographer Jonathan Chritchley.

Technique assessment

Jonathan has lived in Les Landes on the French Atlantic coast for 14 years, so knew plenty of great spots… but with so many lakes and miles of sandy beaches, good sites for photography didn’t look too hard to find.

Our first stop was a lake that looked like it was used for pedalos during the day – and Jonathan explained that the first challenge was to avoid getting swan-shaped boats in your shots!

Tips from our professional photographer: use an ND filter

Now you see it…
Jonathan showed Maria one of the virtually-opaque ND filters he uses for his photographs. This slot-in Lee Filters Big Stopper cuts light reaching the sensor by a full ten stops.

Tips from our professional photographer: use a tripod

Tripod required
With such long exposures a tripod is essential, but in addition to its stability it allows you to fine-tune the composition in successive shots until you are completely happy.

Tips from our professional photographer: composing

Composing
Composition is also critical when you’re taking a monochrome landscape shot, and Maria got advice from Jonathan on positioning her DSLR so the water and jetty would look their best when shot in black and white.

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer & apprentice
PAGE 2: During the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear

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