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Gary Detonnancourt

Harrisville, RI 02830
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More Than A Snapshot provides online photography education.

Booth Bay Harbor 2013-5410-color enhanced.jpg


This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

Filtering by Tag: landscape photography

Webinar Replay: Landscape Photography with Marion Faria

Gary Detonnancourt

If you missed Monday night's webinar on Landscape photography you really should watch the re-play.  Marion gave us tons of great photography and Photoshop tips.  You can find it at the link below.

Click on the image above to sign up for my free e-mail photography course.

You're Bad at this and You Don't Even Know it!

Gary Detonnancourt

Well, those sound like fightin words.  Ahh, but I'm talking about myself.  I've found that when it comes to my own photography, I'm blind, I can't see those small mistakes until someone points them out to me.  I know the "Rules", I know how an image should look and I can point out flaws on everyone else's images quite easily, but I can't always see them on mine.  

This was one of the first HDR images I made, years ago.  It was a hit with all my friends on social media and nobody ever told me the horizon wasn't straight, the rocks are a little red etc...  These are all things that I didn't see or didn't want to see.  Check out what my friend Marion did to this image in about 3 minutes in the next image below.

You may experience this too, if you only show your images to your social media friends, you'll never know it.  Your friends and family will tell you everything you do is just wonderful and they will Like it up and comment on how great it is, but do they know good photography, and even if they do will they tell you the truth?

Marion is a master Landscape photographer and she used Photoshop to straighten the horizon, enhance the sky, remove some red from the rocks, and added a vignette to darken the edges.

Marion is a master Landscape photographer and she used Photoshop to straighten the horizon, enhance the sky, remove some red from the rocks, and added a vignette to darken the edges.

If you have a blind spot when it comes to your own images and your friends can't help you, then you can alway join one of my classes and I will critique your images and show you how you can fix them.  Plus I plan to have plenty of experienced guest teachers to weight in on your images.  Try it out by signing up for tonight's free live webinar with Marion Faria.

Learn to "Create More Than A Snapshot" Online Class
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This on-line digital photography class is for beginners to intermediate level photographers that want to learn how to use their camera and improve their photography.  The course includes a collection of more than 58 lessons spread over nine weeks that you can do at your own pace.  The lessons include videos, worksheets, assignments, and forum posts.  There is no time limit for completing the course and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Why is this course better than buying a book?  It's better because I will be your coach.  

This is the premium product, with includes a mastermind group and images critiques every month for a year.

Click here for other Pricing Options.

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6 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Images

Gary Detonnancourt

Guest blog post by Marion Faria

Guest Blogger Marion Faria

Guest Blogger Marion Faria

I am a passionate and quirky photographer concentrating primarily on landscape photography.  My images have been printed in NANPA Expressions magazine. The image of The Road to Fitzroy was the cover image for Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel" 2015 book.  I have won numerous Spider, black and white awards, also, images of the day at, Shutterbug Magazine and Bing. Finalist for image of the month at Popular Photography.  My stock images are represented by Getty Images.


1. The "rule of thirds", which almost every photographer has heard about, can work most of the time.  If you are struggling with composition, it would be wise to use this as a starting point until you are more confident. It is based upon the Golden Mean which was used by painters for many centuries as a guide to composition.

The image above demonstrates the use of the "rule of thirds" is beneficial to a composition to place a major subject on one of the crossed lines.  

2. The composition of landscapes can be improved by using certain graphic elements.  Some elements draw the eye into an image, others add strength and tension to an is important to recognize graphically what is in your composition.

The illustration above gives you an idea of the elements that can improve an image.

3. As a landscape photographer, I shoot almost entirely in Aperture Priority, switching to Manual as needed, which isn't very often, usually as night approaches.

4. When shooting landscapes, you want to use the lowest native ISO for your camera, mine is 100, some are 200.  Using a low ISO is important for helping to avoid excess noise in an image.  Using too much noise reduction can diminish the quality of an image.

5. Compose vertically as well as horizontally; it gives you another option and can improve a composition.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

6.  Of course the most important thing of all, in landscape photography!  Wait for the best light.  The light is what will elevate an image from ordinary to extraordinary. Notice the difference between images 4 and 5.  In image 4 the light is dramatic, as is the sky; in image 5, the light is good on the mountain peak but flat everywhere else.

Canadian Rockies, near Banff

Mount Rundle from Vermillion Lake, Banff National Park

The Grand Landscape

Gary Detonnancourt

Guest Blog Post by Marion Faria

Landscape photographers are dreamers, artists and visionaries. I believe this. When the landscape painter, Joseph Mallord Turner, was on his deathbed, his last words were, "The sun is god"...he was correct.  For landscape photography, especially for the grand landscape, which happens to be my favorite style, the light is god. You must always be aware of the color of light, the time of day to shoot and your composition; however, for me it all comes down to image must feel right on many levels.

Ok, so you have decided to photograph the grand landscape... you feel it... you want to be one with the earth and its cycle of light and dark; but what equipment do you need?

Here are my recommendations:

  • a rugged yet light tripod without a center column
  • a ball head (I use Really Right Stuff)
  • a full frame camera (you want to capture the whole image) with L bracket: to easily shoot vertically or horizontally
  • a wide angle lens (I use the Canon 17-40 mm)
  • a cable release to prevent camera shake
  • filters and a filter holder:  2 and 3 stop graduated neutral density
  • 3 stop solid neutral density
  • circular polarizer        

If you have never used any of these filters, you will have to read and practice until you are proficient: it is critical to control the light and dynamic range when shooting landscapes, you cannot rely on Photoshop to fix things, remember, the longer the light hits the sensor, the better will be the color and saturation.

What settings to use in camera?

I almost always shoot in Aperture Priority, the best landscape photographers in the world shoot in Aperture priority so don't go screwing around with Manual.  The only time I use manual is when the sun is down and I am making long exposures, greater than 30 seconds.

I almost always use an f-stop of 20 or 22: it will give you great depth of field, people will tell you about diffraction at those apertures, and it can happen, but you have to test your lens..if it happens, then use 16 or 18, my  17-40 mm F/4 is excellent at f/22, it is my favorite aperture.

ISO needs to be 100 or 200, whatever is the native lowest ISO for your camera, you definitely don't want noise.

Let your camera set the shutter speed based upon your f-stop and ISO.

You have all the stuff, you feel adept with the filters; but when do you shoot? 

The Golden hour:  

  • an hour before sunrise and an hour after
  • an hour before sunset and an hour after or longer

These are the times of day when the sun is low and the blue wavelengths do not penetrate the sky, thus, the sky becomes magic with amazing color.

Landscape photography is all about celebrating the earth.  I don't often photograph people or animals, but I love this planet and its moods, if you do too, try photographing the majesty of Earth.

About Marion Faria

I am a quirky and passionate landscape photographer, concentrating primarily but not exclusively, on landscape photography.  I have been published in NANPA "Expressions" magazine, won many photography awards, images have been Bing and Shutterfly Images of the day, Earthshot photo of the day, finalist in Outdoor and Popular Photography magazine competitions, book cover for Lonely Planet; my stock work is represented by Getty Images, my photography is the best part of who I am and ever will be...