When we think of landscape photos, we often imagine grand vistas with amazing light. While these photos are beautiful to look at, they tend to limit landscape photographers’ potential shooting time to the golden hours. Want to shoot at other times of the day? Don’t have any grand landscapes nearby? Then consider Intimate Landscapes!
An intimate landscape photo is one which isolates a small section of a landscape. It encompasses the area between grand vistas and macro photos. An intimate landscape might be taken in an area with grand vistas, but it could just as easily be a photo taken in your backyard. Intimate landscapes tend to create order from apparent chaos by focusing on repeating shapes, lines, texture, etc. They can also be used to tell part of a larger story of a place. Because you focus on smaller scenes, you can shoot at any time of the day since you can almost always find a small area in the shade – or maybe an area with interesting shadows at midday. (Harsh shadows don’t always work in color, but can create wonderful black and white images.)
For the photo at the top of this page, I was wandering around the banks of a river on an overcast morning when I saw a colorful reflection out of the corner of my eye. Upon further inspection, I discovered a small puddle of water covered by what I assume was some sort of film created by plant decay (maybe?). What fascinated me was how it appeared to be broken pieces of ice. I created an abstract by using my 70-200mm lens to zoom in on a small section of the pattern on the top of the puddle.
For the photo below, I was wandering the trails near my house on a foggy morning in early spring and noticed how the yellow branches seemed to glow in the otherwise gloomy scene. Again, I zoomed in with my 70-200mm lens to isolate the part of the scene that I found most appealing.
To be clear, you do not have to use a telephoto lens to create an intimate landscape photo – you can just as easily use a wide angle lens (e.g. your phone) and “zoom with your feet”. For more examples and an in-depth discussion of intimate landscapes, I encourage you to read through these articles:
- Top 10 Tips for Photographing Intimate Landscapes
- Intimate Landscapes with Wide-Angle Lenses
- 4 Tips for Photographing Nature’s Smaller Scenes
- Six Simple Tools for Better Intimate Landscape Photography
- How to Photograph Intimate Landscapes
To recap this week’s challenge:
- Take an intimate landscape photo. Look for details that help to tell a part of the story of a place. Pay close attention to the composition, depth of field, exposure, etc. in order to create a pleasing photo.
- This challenge can be accomplished in your backyard if you are not able to travel right now. You may just need to look a little harder to find something that catches your eye.
- Feel free to process your photo in B&W if you don’t have a lot of color in your landscape right now – or even if you do!
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, July 26 and Saturday, August 1.
- Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.