Landscape photographs from a Light and Land course in Exmoor

One of my favourite forms of photography is landscape photography which capturing an image that embodies the spirit of the outdoors. It carries a sense of being there to see something incredible. When I or my friends look at my photos, I want my or their hearts to jump. I want them to feel the same emotions that I felt, standing in the middle of nature, and bringing back something that I think looks amazing.

Going on a Light and Land course helped me improve my landscape photography skills and allowed me to have a great time as well. The courses I attended were suitable for complete beginners to professionals, they cater for all abilities.

This course in Exmoor was led by Peter Hendrie who is not only an excellent tutor but also runs the hotel we stayed in. The hotel we stayed in was Exmoor White Horse Lodge.

If you wish to attend a Light and Land workshop their website can be found here

I love these landscape photography  workshops as these courses are conducted by people who have a lot of experience in the field of photography. They know how to bring to photographs to life and are aware of all the latest developments in technology as well as lenses and cameras to help people capture high quality photographs.

The workshops  that I have attended don’t just include theoretical lessons. They usually include practicals with trips to some scenic locales. The tutors often bring personal insights on photography that you just cannot find on websites. I was lucky enough to have Charlie Waite as a course leader on a course in the Lake District, he showed me a great tip with my cameras multiple exposure system and geared tripod head to create surreal photographs.

In the evening at the hotel we would work on our photographs in Adobe lightroom and photoshop. We would then discuss everyones photos and provide constructive critiques of the images we viewed, after the class session the evening was spent socialising in the bar and resturant.


Equipment Used

When you attend one of these landscape photography workshops the tour company recommend gear to take for the light and land course a camera and tripod is essential. They also recommend what clothing to bring with you. For a trip to Exmoor or Lake District decent walking boots and waterproof clothing is a must. The equipment that I used is as follows.

Nikon D3 12mp full frame profesional DSLR camera

Nikon D7000 This was my back up DSLR camera, a 16mp APC-C sensor camera

Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 zoom lens

Sigma 10-20mm F4-F5.6 Wide angle Zoom lens (APS-C)

Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fibre Tripod I would often have to weight this down with my camera bag, if the conditions were blustery which they often were.

MANFROTTO JUNIOR TRIPOD HEAD This is a geared tripod head. When photographing situations that require exacting camera positioning, a geared tripod head should be  a must. Why a geared head? In a word: precision. When landscapess in which it’s imperative that the camera and lens be level to the ground, if your camera is even slightly askew on the horizontal and/or vertical planes, which often the case when outside as the ground is usually uneven been able to control the angle of the camera precisly is important.

Formatt Hitech 10 stop neutral density filter; Used to create the long exposure effects – such as streaky clouds and flat water. These filters allow the photographer to make 5-8 minute exposures, even during mid-day lighting conditions.

Lee Filters graduated filter set. Using Neutral Density or ND Grads, you can control the contrast between a light sky and dark foreground, allowing the camera’s sensor to record the detail in both these areas. They can rescue a landscape image which would otherwise be spoilt by washed out skies or dark foregrounds.

To hold all my photography gear on this trip I used a Tamrac Stratus 21 Camera bag, which could also fit my Mac Book Air computer

Image Processing

All of the colour photographs in this gallery were edited in Adobe Lightroom with a preset emulating Fuji 160c film. The Black and white photograph was processed with Adobe Photoshop and Nik Silver Effex Pro to correct and selectively edit the image.