The Man Made in the Landscape

Not every opportunity that presents itself in photography yields a clean result. When working in the realm of landscapes we often have to balance man made and the natural world while trying to capture the best light. Lets face it if the light sucks there isn’t much point to take the image but if it’s good then we go out of our way to make it work. Well this was one of the scenarios. Light was pretty but the foreground kind sucked. How do you get around that? Well one of the easiest ways is to just underexpose so that light becomes more intense while the rest of the scene tends to fall away in shadow. That way the eye only goes to whats light and bright and ignores the rest. It’s a real simple trick to use in those pesky landscapes where you just can’t do anything else.

Image Captured with Nikon D4, 70-200 VRII on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

A Little Rim Light Never Hurt

I have always been a fan of using heavy dark’s when it comes to my landscape images. What’s light without dark? That contrast when applied to the natural world can tell pretty compelling stories. Now granted I shoot a lot at sunrise and sunset when these two forces meet with the most drama but regardless having that little pop of light just peeking out can make for some very meaningful scenery.


Rim light isn’t just used with people it can be used in landscapes. In these examples the only light that is coming through is a little bit from between the clouds layers just moments before the sun sets. Normally to capture you would either do an HDR to capture all that detail between the lights and dark’s or underexpose as to not have any blown out highlights. Obviously I went with underexposing. Why? Well the whole day was dark, clouds kept the sun away until these shafts popped through so why not express that.


Using the D4 and 70-200 VRII, the last bit of light brought a little warmth to the otherwise cold winter day. The subject in both of these images is truly the light and that’s all that really matters.

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