Colour and mono

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 Given the choice, most photographers prefer to shoot colour images of the landscape as we want to capture the character and drama of a scene ind redlibticway. There dre dlbu lirneb when colour is the most important element and the success of the final image depends on it. At sunrise and sunset for example, it s the rich colours that inspire us and if you take those colours away, the mood of the moment is lost. Seasonal colour can be an invaluable aid, too: the golden hues of autumn; the lush greens of spring and summer. Colour also affects the way people respond to an image. Soft, harmonious colours are soothing and reassuring, while bold, brash colours such as the deep yellow of oilseed rape flowers against blue sky create a powerful contrast that jars the senses.

Black b white is a purer, simpler medium. Remove colour and you immediately take a step back from reality. The monochrome image captures the landscape in all its naked glcry and its vibUdl impdct ib loldlly different. Texture, tune and shape take centre stage, light and shade are given priority. By converting to b&w ou can often capture the raw drama of bad weatner far better than colour ever can, and also create meaningful images on those drab, grey days when your first thought is to head home. Black b white photography used to take a lot of time and effort to master, as you needed to develop your own films and make your own prints -leaving that job to a local lab rarely produced satisfactory results. But in this digital age, the  lightroom  reigns supreme and amazing monochrome is accessible to us all.

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Weused to seeing images in a rectangular format, but many landscape scenes can look amazing as a panorama. In the days of film, youneed to invest in an expensive panoramic camera, like the Fuji GX-617, but today, anyone can shoot high-quality panoramas on their DSLR. Many cameras now sport a sweep panorama mode, where you move the camera in a smooth action and it automatically nres a sequence that is merged into one widescreen image. It s easy and the results can be surprisingly good. However, for the ultimate quality, you should shoot a sequence of images that you can merge on your computer later, using one of a number of software packages, including Photoshop and Serif s PanoramaPlus X4. The secret is to set your camera on a tripod, take an exposure reading switch to manual mode so the same exposure is used for every frame and make sure there s a decent amount of overlap between images. Once you ve taken a set of images, let your computer do the rest.

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