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Guest Blog: Landscape Photographer Ramtin Kazemi

Guest Blog: Landscape Photographer Ramtin Kazemi

[Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in taking a landscape photography workshop with Ramtin Kazemi and Scott Kelby next month in the Canadian Rockies, there’s a registration link and a discount code at the end of this post!]

5 Ideas To Assist Us All Make Some Superior Panorama Photographs This Winter

Hey Everybody,

Ramtin Kazemi right here! Simply needed to share some ideas with you all about benefiting from your panorama photographs in case you have a minute.

We’re all on the go. Increasingly individuals are touring the world due to the transportation and know-how that’s out there to us now. As photographers, we need to seize and share its magnificence with everybody. I don’t blame us; it’s what we’re born to do. However, as a way to get the photograph that’s distinctive and has your signature on it, we should enterprise out.

Locations like Iceland have elevated their vacationers and guests by hundreds of thousands. The factor about these places is that the identical composition has been shot one million occasions. For this reason I enterprise out to seek out the suitable spot with distinctive compositions and photographic alternatives. One of the best half about that is that a few of these places aren’t exhausting to get to in any respect. In reality, a few of my greatest photographs in my portfolio which might be my private favorites have been shot actually 5 minutes from the place everyone else stood. All it is advisable do is to place slightly bit of additional effort into it together with your composition which I’ll get to in a sec however, first planning is an enormous a part of profitable panorama shoots but not sufficient individuals talks about it.


Scouting and planning is the beginning of a profitable panorama photograph. As panorama photographers, our foremost mild supply is the solar (or moon) and the climate has a huge effect on when and the place we will shoot. I typically spend days strolling round earlier than I even get my digital camera out. It takes time, ardour and endurance

To be able to scout a location correctly, we should perceive some key parts. First, we have now to determine when and the place we’re going. Seasons change issues dramatically, so as soon as we work out what our objectives are, we will determine when to journey. For instance, in the event you needed to have wild flowers in your foreground with snow-covered mountains within the distance in Switzerland, you may need to go there late spring/early summer time. Or in case you needed to photograph the Northern lights within the Yukon, the perfect time to journey is winter and the shoulder seasons round winter.

Let’s say that you realize the place and when to journey. Subsequent step can be to know the sunshine and the solar/moon. The place and when does the solar rise and set? What concerning the moon? Wait, don’t fear, there’s an app for that! I personally use Photograph Drugs. It provides me all the knowledge that I want, together with the place of the Milky Means, stars and the moon at a given time. And use Google Earth! Even Google maps is a really useful gizmo as a result of you possibly can see precisely the place you’ll be standing and which method you’ll be dealing with when it’s time to shoot.

Subsequent, I want to speak about dressing appropriately for climate. It’d sound foolish, however these particulars are essential and, consider it or not, a number of the commonest errors are foolish ones. So, understanding the situation, place of the moon, solar and stars, understanding climate and cloud formations at a given time of yr, getting ready each your physique and your soul, and eventually learning your composition and your spot earlier than you set your tripod down.

As soon as all is about and you’re on location within the subject, then it’s time to determine the place you’re going to place your tripod. Use your digital camera’s viewfinder and stroll round till you’re proud of a composition utilizing the information that I’m going to offer you under. 


Whereas planning is essential, I’m gonna share the key to a fantastic panorama. It truly is probably the most, and I imply the MOST, essential and the inspiration of an excellent photograph; Composition. Whereas composition in panorama images could be very intimidating and complicated at first, particularly when utilizing ultra-wide lenses on a full body sensor, there are tips you are able to do to assist. The error that the majority of my college students make 90%+ of the time is together with an excessive amount of. When first studying about composition, I mastered that you must hold it easy. The one solution to hold the foreground with much less muddle is to get near your topics. There are many issues to remember in terms of composition like main strains, patterns, shapes, transitions, and so on. This doesn’t imply that your photograph should have all of these parts in it. All you want is a robust main line that leads your eyes to the topic within the background.

For instance, you possibly can see within the shot above, that I stored the foreground very clear, I solely used the snow financial institution as my main line which is sort of an “S” curve. “S” curves are VERY efficient, so long as you don’t have too many distracting parts round them.

The frozen lakes within the Rockies in winter are PERFECT for this as a result of they’re often very clear, however there are tons of strains that may be discovered. I’ve additionally highlighted all of the main strains that I might discover within the composition so you’ll be able to see what I had in thoughts when framing this shot.

Shifting on to the subsequent picture, “The Chase.” I don’t assume I want to spotlight something for you as a result of you’ll be able to see that it is filled with strains not solely from the underside of the body, but in addition from the highest and the clouds.

Discover, I all the time hold my major topic (which often is the background) away from the sides of the body. You must give the viewer sufficient room across the topic so when you hold your topics within the nook, it breaks your entire story.

We’re making an attempt to inform a narrative with a photograph and a panorama shot will all the time have foreground, mid-ground and background which more often than not is your foremost topic. You additionally need to hold your background the brightest. Extra distinction and darkness in foreground in order that your eyes routinely might be targeted in your essential topic. 


In fact, posts processing the RAW information that you simply seize are essential as properly. The quantity of labor you do on location dictates how a lot publish processing it’s a must to do afterward. Nevertheless, no photograph is accomplished with no good quantity of changes. Cameras flip a three-dimensional world into 2D, and as photographers, we should perceive imagery and be prepared to regulate our photographs to create the phantasm of a 3rd dimension. Publish processing is all the time an enormous a part of what I train as a result of I consider that it goes hand in hand. Actually, I’ve a two-hour class on KelbyOne on all my submit processing methods I exploit for landscapes.

In publish processing, there are many methods you need to use to enhance your composition. The one factor that I all the time do is bringing down the publicity and darkening the areas that aren’t essential. That may make your essential strains and shapes shine by way of simpler. For those who look intently in any respect of my pictures in my portfolio, I exploit the dodging and burning method rather a lot. Each single component that isn’t contributing to the shot will get darkened. Right here’s a fast instance:

Earlier than:



Keep in mind that you’re liable for all the things that’s within the body, so attempt to watch out when capturing. Sure issues may be eliminated in Photoshop later, however you need to hold it as clear as potential in an effort to make the processing simpler afterward. Use your brush device. Repeat after me: use your brush software! Most of my changes are executed utilizing brush strokes. Even when you’re not snug with Photoshop, utilizing the comb software in Lightroom will get you very far. Luminosity masking and all of these superior methods are high-quality and dandy, however I don’t see many individuals utilizing the comb software in Lightroom. You can also make a lot of changes in Lightroom utilizing the comb device, and you may add as many changes as you want. It’s the identical as Photoshop, however with out seeing the layers panel that could possibly be complicated to lots of people. Very understandably so! 

One other tip in relation to submit processing is utilizing pen tablets as an alternative of your mouse. For a few years, the costly Wacom tablets have been the business leaders. Nevertheless, as we speak, nice corporations like XP-PEN are introducing tablets with numerous options like over eight,000 strain ranges and knobs that you should use to regulate Photoshop and Lightroom. My fashion of submit processing includes a lot of brush strokes which could be very time consuming and arduous to do with a standard mouse. These pen tablets make life so much simpler whereas making your complete expertise a lovely one. With strain sensitivity on, you don’t even have to vary your brush opacity because it routinely modifications it relying on how arduous you press the pen on the pill. XP-PEN makes a few of the greatest tablets across the $100 mark that embrace all options of the Wacom tablets. 


All that stated, in Panorama Images the identical adage applies as with most of life; Location, Location, Location. Canada has no scarcity of RAW magnificence, particularly the Canadian Rockies within the winter. A lot of the nation is wilderness however a few of these gems are accessible by maintained roads.

The picture you see above was taken at dawn, and I used to be solely 400 meters away from the parking zone. Why was this a profitable photograph? As a result of I knew when to get there, find out how to get there, what composition to shoot, and on the finish of all of it, tips on how to submit course of it, which might be all taught in a single day. My aim is to encourage individuals and present them how straightforward it may be to take some distinctive pictures with minimal effort. For many of those photographs, the one factor we’ve to cope with is somewhat little bit of chilly climate, which is nothing that may’t be fastened with clothes.

Why do I shoot within the Canadian Rockies solely in winter? As a result of the mountains are majestically white, lakes are frozen and there are TONS of foreground choices to make your composition fascinating. The panorama is endlessly altering within the winter. Methane bubbles, drifting snow, rivers and streams that produce mist, cracks on the ice, recent powder on timber, you identify it, we’ve got all of it…


The most effective half is that it isn’t crowded in winter. You’ll be able to shoot all by your self typically, which is among the most pleasing elements of panorama images for me. Capturing a number of the most photogenic locations on earth with no one round? Come on! The Canadian Rockies in winter is certainly probably the most lovely sights you’ll ever see in winter. The drive up the Icefield Parkway is beautiful. You’ll get to see peak after peak and it simply doesn’t finish. From Banff all the best way to Jasper and past, there are tons of spots alongside the freeway that you would be able to cease and take photographs that includes little or no to no mountaineering. In case you can stroll on snow for 15 minutes, you will get any of those places which are included on this submit. All the images you see right here have been taken throughout my workshops up in Banff. One other location in most of my Portfolio, the Yukon, includes a chopper experience and backpacking, and it’s solely designed for the true adventurer. However a lot of the locations I shoot usually are not like that in any respect.


On the finish, keep in mind, the aim is to have enjoyable. The journey itself is an important a part of all of it. A panorama photographer should always remember that. Having fun with the panorama and listening to mom nature is actually what it’s all about. That’s what you’re making an attempt to painting as a photograph; the great thing about our planet earth. We as people have landed on the Moon, however consider me; you don’t need to go that far to see magnificence. This planet is filled with fantastic places, and probably the most lovely, regardless of what individuals say and the place most individuals go, are discovered on the most random and unthinkable spots.

If this feels like one thing you’d wish to expertise, put in your down jackets, get your snow footwear on and be a part of me to seize the great thing about Canada this winter at certainly one of my workshops! We’ll have enjoyable and make some nice photographs.

(And don’t fear if Canada within the winter appears intimidating, I’ll work with you what you could convey. I’ve been doing this for years, and I’m right here that will help you get on the market and make some distinctive pictures with out having to undergo the struggles I did once I began capturing within the Rockies.)

I’ve added a workshop this winter and Scott will probably be there with me on it. It’s designed for anybody and everybody. So be a part of us for some enjoyable. I’ve created a code (“kelby”) solely for followers of Scott to save lots of $800, as a result of who doesn’t need to hand around in the Canadian Rockies with the dwelling legend of Photoshop, images and spray cheese, Scott Kelby.

I additionally need to thank Scott for the chance to share this with you guys and I look ahead to with the ability to share the great thing about the Rockies with you and Scott this winter at my workshop.


Take a look at Ramtin’s workshops right here to ebook your spot for the January 23-27 workshop with Scott Kelby! Use particular code “kelby” to entry the low cost.

You’ll be able to see extra of Ramtin’s work at RamtinKazemi.com, watch his KelbyOne class, and sustain with him on Instagram, 500px, and Fb.