Photographing the landscapes of Birmingham

Photo School Landscapes-23

So today was week two (of four) of Matt & Pete’s Photo School. Last month, we played with finding the decisive moment in street photography, this time it was landscapes and creating huge panoramic vistas using the iconic buildings of Birmingham.

More adventures from Photo School…One line I liked in Matt’s teaching bit was the idea of finding God in the landscape. I’m not religious but this encapsulated the concept of structuring a photograph to make people (last month’s topic of interest) seem small in the magnificence of the wide, sweeping landscape. To create a sense of the sublime, of epic beauty in the architecture and skyscapes.

I struggled. With the tripod – although I got to grips with its endless fiddly functions. And with finding a three-dimensional composition of good foreground, middle and background – I often only got two out of the three. But I think I did achieve a sense of the smallness of humans versus the built environment in at least some of the shots.

I also learnt that when restricted to a set (wide) angle, I’m no Ansel Adams. My photos were mediocre out of the camera but some have been made in the ‘dark room’.

My job as an editor may be a factor here. I don’t necessarily take good shots at the time but instead see the crop and how to make the photo afterwards, back in the studio in Lightroom. (Although now that I think about it, Ansel Adams was also all about The Print, and his work in the darkroom.)

Anyway, I enjoyed the day. Particularly the social angle of taking photos with others – one of the main pluses of Photo School. There are some shots of Photo School in action on my Flickr set for anyone interested in joining the next course.

As well as the top favourite pic, which combines looming archictecture with the decisive moment of street photography, here are the rest of my favourites from the day.

Holloway Circus subway – all angles and lead-in curves

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Pagoda and cherry blossom – could be Japan?

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Digbeth – nice colour palette and strong lines

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Beetham Tower – Rad!

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And this people-y one of tripod testing…

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This is a monthly course being run in central Birmingham. If you want to know more or to sign up for the next one, here are the deets of Matt & Pete’s Photo School.

One thought on “Photographing the landscapes of Birmingham”

  1. Fab photos, especially like the Pagoda and Cherry Blossom, and the Holloway Circus subway curves. Also liked Pete and Matt’s teaching styles, very easy on beginners such as myself, especially the photo analysis in the second half – why does this photo work/not work etc.

    There were some fantastic photos from the other guys too, so learned a load.

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