Week 2: Landscape: Traditional Landscape – Shoot a beautiful landscape and share it with the world. Find a nice foreground and don’t forget the sky.
I have been surprised at just how difficult this activity has become for me right out of the gate. I guess that’s why it was called a “challenge!” Although I didn’t make it clear in my first post on this subject, Dale’s list is broken into three types of photography: portrait, landscape and artistic impression. Personally, I feel I am fairly strong in the third category (artistic impression), as this is my comfort zone, while I am improving in the second theme (landscape), and the first category (portrait) is largely unexplored territory for me to date, other than through reluctantly granted periodic “family portraits”. In part, that’s why I took up the challenge in the first place – to push me into areas that I would not normally explore.
So, if I’m reasonably comfortable with landscapes then why was week 2 a challenge, after all it was a simple assignment? Well, to be honest it’s the time pressure. I am trying to really focus on this challenge (no pun intended) and one image every seven days does not sound like a tall order, but in reality it is. Each day this week I have looked at the weather and my schedule and tried to plan a time to be outside for a landscape shot. Given that I also have a full-time day job to attend to and that my office, although not in the city, isn’t exactly surrounded by bucolic riparian scenery this has been a little difficult.
Nevertheless, today my time was nearly up so I girded my loins for the challenge and decided to get the shot before I arrived at the office.
We do have a small country park about a mile or so from my workplace so I drove there as the sun was coming up in anticipation of being able to achieve my aim. Last night was particularly cold and the car thermometer read 19F (-7C) as I stepped outside this morning, so a little bit chillier that I’d like when dressed for the office. I took my trusty micro four-third Panasonic GX-8 from it’s bag and, although I am really obsessed with zoom lenses, fitted on the 20mm f1.7 (40mm equivalent), as the more “classic landscape” prime lens, so I am told. Strolling away from the otherwise empty parking lot the wind hit me. I swear my fingers seem to freeze instantly and my face began to sting. To be honest, these temperatures aren’t at all unusual in Pennsylvania this time of year but we have benefited from such a mild winter to date that I guess I am just not acclimated to it, yet!
Anyhow, I walked the park for as long as I could stand, tried to get what I would consider to be a serviceable, yet perhaps not overly inspiring, image for this challenge and then headed back to the warmth of the car.