Exercise 1.9 Soft light landscape

25th August 2019

Search your local area for a landscape, cityscape or other external environment where you’re able to get a wide view of a large expanse of space… The subject of this exercise will ideally be lit with diffused light… aperture of F22… Shoot a variety of viewpoints and compositions with the horizon low in the frame (more sky) and then high (more earth)… Bracket you’re exposures… edit one or two… re-assess your photograph… Save As…version_2.


I have made four contact sheets showing the shoot, however I have just re-read the exercise and realised that I have only created half of the shoot which is the low horizon. The contact sheets can be found here.

I have chosen two photographs to alter and reassess which can be found below, the first is called ‘This Way’ and the second ‘That Way.’

This Way
This Way _ version 2

I altered the levels ever so slightly by increasing the mid-tones due to the fact that some of the texture and colour was lost on the wooden post on the right because of shadow. By doing this I have found that the background buildings and water wall are both slightly lighter and showing more details as well. 

The next thing that I did was to turn the photograph from colour into black and white and save it as version three. I repeated the process again, however after I had turned the image into black and white, I altered the colours and contrast. I was hoping to gain some detail in the sky – lower left region – and add slight more sky detail in general. I also found version three to have a red tint to my eyes. By experimenting with the colour sliders I noticed that certain parts of the backgrounds would change tone accordingly to which colour I altered and whether it was increased or decreased. I ended up decreasing the reds, cyans and blues and increasing the yellows and greens. Now I know that I have to look at details to see how altering the different colours would change the overall image, rather than the image as a whole. Once I had looked at the manipulated image as a whole I decided that the contrast needed to be increased also. The finished black and white photograph is version four.

This Way_version 3
This Way_version 4
That Way
That Way_version 2

With the above image I wanted to lighten the foreground grass area slightly so that we could see the details which have been lost in the darkness in the original photograph. By altering the grass, the image became too light and washed out. I lost the deeper blue in the sky, water and trees on the left in the background, although I gained details in the buildings on the right and within the grass.

Due to the fact that I was not happy with my first attempt at manipulating this image, I tried again. This result can be seen below but I am still not happy with the result as it seems too light again.

That Way_version 3

To obtain this finished image, I altered the mid-tones and decreased the yellow and magenta. This, personally is the best of the three but I still lost the blueness of the sky and some of the red tint from the oncoming sunset. But overall it offers far more details in the whole image but just looks boring. I actually prefer the original image which is darker but this is not what I was viewing at the time, it was more in line with image 3 but darker.

I have decided to try contrast manipulation with the image because the foreground grass has some interesting shapes growing upwards into the next third of the picture. To obtain the image below I turned the photograph into black and white and increased the contrast until I received the image I thought looked the best which is version 4 below. I really like this shot because of the silhouettes, I would have liked just a little more presence of the buildings on the right as I have lost a fair deal of their details but overall I am very pleased with the result.

To finish off I completed a fifth manipulation which is the inverted image below. I did this purely because of the shapes that were obtained in version 4, the black and white image. I feel that I have gained more details for the eye to take in by inverting them and the feel, with the negative quality, is exciting for me. When I use to develop black and white film and develop my own photographs I use to love the solarisation technique. In the darkroom I was able to play around with tone reversal and it had the same buzz that using the inverting effect tool has within Photoshop.

That Way_version 4
That Way_version 5

I have learnt so much and developed my skills further from this exercise, it has been yet another fun learning curve.

  • Using camera, tripod and cable shutter release.
  • Bracketing
  • Altering shutter speed
  • Moving around a landscape/ river
  • Different viewpoints
  • Analysing photographs in Photoshop
  • Photoshop alterations

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