Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes
Illustration by

Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes

with Ben Long

Video: Previsualizing and shooting with crop in mind

You may not recognize it, but this is the location that I was at on the Working the trees with the rock.

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes
2h 27m Intermediate May 09, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Snow-covered landscapes introduce a variety of photographic opportunities and challenges. A blanket of brilliant white can do beautiful things with light, but it also complicates exposure. Crystal-blue winter skies are dramatic, but shooting in the cold can be cumbersome and hard on your gear.

In this course, photographer, author, and educator Ben Long takes a trip to Lake Tahoe to explore winter shooting at various times of the day. He also shows techniques for post-processing winter scenes to make them look their best.

Ben Long

Previsualizing and shooting with crop in mind

You may not recognize it, but this is the location that I was at on the first day, the day when I couldn't see anything because there was so much snow blowing around. We're very lucky that we got to come back here. It's a beautiful spot. The weather is fantastic. I've got clear sky, but I've also got some clouds in the sky, which is giving me two things. It's giving me something in the sky, so the sky isn't so boring and it's giving me some nice diffusion here and there. So I'm just walking around seeing what I can find, and it's just a great place to be. I spotted these trees on this hill here, and there's something about them.

I spotted 'em, an hour or so ago and I haven't been able to find the shot. I don't know actually what it is that's compelling to me about them. I, I've been stuck in these thick forests and, and they're so hard to shoot. I like the idea, okay, here are some trees that, they're a little more manageable somehow. They're spread out. They're not just this wall of visually noisy stuff. And I've, I've been looking for a shot, and I found this one which I like. Working the trees with the rock. I really hate that tree over there on the far left side. So, I'm just not going to worry about it.

I'm going to take that out later, and as I look at the image, I also realize, and there's a chair lift that I'm going to have to take out. So, now I'm into really a previsualization place and this is what you do when you're shooting anyway. You think, I'm going to adjust the contrast this way, I'm going to try and play up this tonal relationship. But of course, we also think about retouching. This is part of the great power of Photoshop, is I can remove that tree pretty easily, and the chairlift. So the first thing I think, I need to think of is, is there anything I need to do when I'm shooting to make that part easier? And in this case, no.

The kind of thing I'm talking about is if things were intersecting in a way that would make for a difficult retouching later, then I might want to look for a different angle. For example, if I moved even just a little bit to the right, the chair lift starts to intersect with the tree more, and just makes for a more complicated retouching. If I come just a little bit to the left, I can actually get the chair lift to not touch the tree at all. And that might make things a little bit easier. It also gives me a slightly tighter framing on the subject matter that I like.

In some cases, especially when you're working with a horizon, you can take something off of the horizon simply by getting down lower. The offending object will fall below the horizon. This might actually be stuff that you're used to doing already. Shooting with the idea that, well, I'm, I could take this out later. And I think this, this movie is as much about giving you permission to do that, as it is about anything else. 'because I talk to a lot of people who go, I must be doing something wrong if I'm, if I'm not able to get it right in frame. No. Sometimes you just can't get it right in frame. Now I try as much as possible to do everything that I can in the camera.

From getting exposure right, to getting my composition right for a couple of reasons. Sometimes you may think, oh, I'll just take that tree out. And then you go home and find, wow, that one's a really hard one to pull off. And you can't do it. So the more you can do it in frame, the better. For landscape shooting like this where I'm just trying to make pretty pictures, I'm not worried about the journalistic integrity of, of taking things out of the frame. Probably the biggest way that I pre-visualize in this way is cropping. Now this is a case where I'm going to leave the cropping as it is, but there might be another picture right in here, where I can't get the crop that I want in camera, and so we'll need to crop later.

For example, and I'm, I'm not sure about this, but this shot right here. I think there's probably too much sky in that shot and maybe even a little too much foreground. If I wanted to go even wider, then there would definitely be too much stuff on the top and bottom. This is about the relationship between the left side of the frame and the right side of the frame. And so for that, I would need a tighter crop. Huh. Interestingly enough, it looks like I, I can get that one in camera. I can just go right into there. Anyway, my, my point is still sound, which is that there are times you cannot frame the shot the way you want in camera.

I particularly find this when I'm visualizing squares. This camera will not show me a square frame. So, if I wanted to build a square composition out of these two trees, and I'm going to have to remove that chairlift thing, I would frame up the shot like this, knowing full well that I plan to crop it like that. So, there're a lot of things that I think about when I'm framing a shot about my post production. They're not all exposure related. Some have to do with, with recomposing the shot on purpose using the crop tool and some have to do with re-touchings. You've gotta have those in your mind, while you're out shooting.

Otherwise you're going to miss shots because you're going to frame something up and think, oh, that's doesn't work. There's a chairlift in the way. So, you're trying to visualize all of this stuff as you go.

There are currently no FAQs about Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Travel Photography: Mountains and Snow Landscapes.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.