Find a good view point where you can see a wide panorama. Start by looking at the things closest to you in the foreground. Then pay attention to the details in the middle distance and then the things towards the horizon. Now try and see the whole view together, from the foreground to horizon. Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together, all in movement. When you’ve got it, raise your camera and release the shutter.
After reading the brief I decide to go to Amersham and walk down from Amersham-on-the-Hill towards Old Amersham to find a good viewpoint overlooking the historic market town. Half way down the hill I stopped at the edge of a wheat field. I felt that this view would create a good image with depth to it.
View of Old Amersham
1/10 sec, f 22, 48mm, ISO 50
I set my camera up on the tripod and used the internal spirit level to ensure the horizon was level. I then stood back and looked at the view I wanted to capture. I set the tilt and focal length to capture the full scene I was looking at.
I decided that wanted to use a slightly slower shutter speed to capture the movement of the wheat in the foreground. It was quite a blustery day and the breeze was creating waves in the wheat, which could be seen in the immediate foreground. It was also a cloudy day, but patches of sunlight were rolling down the hill on the horizon towards me. I decided to wait until the sun hit the house in the foreground coupled with a breeze moving over the wheat before taking the photograph.
I feel this image has come out well. There are two different paths in the image that run parallel to each other that draw your eye across the image.
The first path draws your eye down the fence line to the house highlighted by the sun. From there you are then taken to the tree line next to it, leading onto the turret of the church. From there the curvature of the hill leads your eye up to explore the fields leading to the horizon and from there onto the sky.
The second path is formed by tractors path in the wheat field. This line takes you eye down to the tree line at the bottom of the field, across to the village and the house in the foreground. From there you pick up the same path as above taking you to the fields on the horizon.
Once you’ve explored the hillside you are drawn up to the sky which moves your focus forwards with the clouds as the detail gets larger bringing you back to the foreground.
When setting my Whites, Black, Highlights and Shadows in Lightroom, I decided not to dehaze the far hills. I thought that the haze helped with the separation of the two hillsides creating a more defined line of the curvature of the first hill.
1/20 sec, f 22, 24mm, ISO 50
I walked further down the hill and looked across the wheat field and down the valley for this image. Due to the undulation of the land I again set the camera up on the tripod and used the internal spirit level to ensure I had a straight horizon.
Again I wanted to capture the movement of the wheat in the breeze together with the details of the cloud moving across the sky. I waited until there was a breeze and partial blue sky before taking the image.
I feel that this image has also been successful. The movement of the wheat draws the eye in. The faint shadow of the cloud slightly off center in the wheat field draws your eye to the meeting point of the two hillsides. From there you are taken up to the clouds, which bring your focus forward, back to the foreground of the wheat field. In this image the shift in focus on the clouds is more subtle than the image above.