Looking forward to 2013 & more landscape photography

December 30, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I recently wrote about my enjoyable 2012, and my favourite photos from the year. This time I’m looking forward to 2013, and thinking ahead to what I’ll be focusing on in 2013; both literally and figuratively.


Side-on portrait on a bald eagle in studio-lit conditions.Bald Eagle - Black, White, and YellowI think Bald Eagle's are such fantastic birds. They're so huge, you can really read a lot into their faces. They're particularly effective for this kind of abstract photography, and simplifying the colours here, help really emphasise the key features of the head.

Fine Art Nature Photography, captive, UK.
The first thing is that I took a lot of photos this year. Around 10-12,000 at a rough estimate. And I think I want to take fewer next year. I want to be more targeted; concentrating on the specific photos I have in mind, rather than running around taking shots of everything I see. This is something I did better at in 2012 than in 2011, and I want to continue that trend into 2013.



Low saturation version of the Maligne Lake sunset, Alberta, CanadaMaligne Lake - DesaturatedThis is a medium format 5:4 version of my popular Maligne Lake photo.
I'm reduced the saturation, to concentrate the image on the light and shade of the landscape, and simplify the view to its most basic elements. It offers an alternative option to the colourful original, for a more muted surroundings.

Landscape Photography, Maligne Lake,
Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
When I bought my first SLR, it was to try to capture landscape photographs. It’s something I’ve found much harder than I initially expected. Partly because Bedfordshire doesn’t have the kind of iconic rolling hills, mountains, architecture, or seascapes that can be found in other parts of the country, or around the world. It’s not known for its landscapes at all, and I soon became quite distracted by wildlife, which is infinitely more accessible on a local scale.

But my love for landscapes was renewed in Canada, and it’s something I want to spend more time on in 2013. I’m off to Cornwall in the summer for some rocky seascapes, and we’re hoping to get to Iceland later in the year for hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, lakes, and icebergs. So it should prove to be a busy year for landscapes, and I’ll be looking to bring back some special photos from both of those trips, as well as a few other places I have in mind.


a red deer stag in the misty woodland sunriseRed Deer - Sunrise Among FernsRed Deer, in the Autumn dawn.

My favourite deer photo of this year, and I have it framed at home.

British Wildlife Fine Art Photography. Woburn, Bedfordshire, UK.
I want to continue to improve my collection of deer photography. I can’t master all British wildlife species, so I want to specialise in a few key subjects. It’s best to look at what’s local to me, and where my experience is, and I’m fortunate to live near Woburn Deer Park. So this will remain my most visited spot, and somewhere I can really put the time into producing great photos. I missed the annual rut this year, while I was in Canada, so next year I will make sure I’m there to get some stag fights, and red deer portraits.


Bengal Tiger yawning, in black and white.Bengal Tiger - YawnPortrait of a yawning Bengal Tiger, in black & white.
I do love the colour of tigers, but I think this is more effective in monochrome, presented in low-key on the black background.

Black & White Nature Photography, captive, UK.
I want to aim for more fine art in my wildlife and nature photography, and lean less on the more documentary-style natural history photos.

Looking for behavioural and National Geographic style photographs puts me up against very tough world-wide competition that I just don’t have the resources to compete with at this stage. With these photos, it’s very much a case of huge lenses and time invested, which I just don’t have. I can’t expect to go out somewhere for a day, and get better photos of (for example) an osprey than a pro who has a lens the size of my leg, and has been there for the last week waiting for the killer shot. I don’t have either the time or the money. And more to the point, even if I did get a good shot, the market is already too saturated with these kinds of photos of every animal on earth. There’s really no point trying to take the same photos that other people have already taken.


Grizzly bear, back-lit by the sun.Rim-lit Bear PortraitThis is a favourite style of mine. I really like to capture nature lit this way. It takes some planning, and some fortune to get right, but when it comes off, it creates some really striking images.
I wasn't able to get any photos this close-up of the wild grizzly bears I saw in BC, but seeing some rescued bears in captivity gave me the opportunity to get more creative with this low-key, back-lit style.

Nature Photography, Captive Subject, British Columbia, Canada.
I want to concentrate on my skills and my creative drive. I am fortunate to see the beauty in the simplicity of light and nature, and I’m able to use that vision to create photos in my own style. That creativity is what sets my best photos apart from the millions of other photos taken every year. So I want to build up my portfolio of fine-art nature, showing familiar species in new and creative ways. And to continue to develop my individual style of photography.



So do stick with me for another year. You can follow my photography on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Flickr, & 500px. If you’re on any of those sites, then drop by and say hello. If you have any suggestions for great ideas or locations I should visit, then get in touch.

Happy new year to you, and best of luck for 2013 :-)

Post by George Wheelhouse, 2012.


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