I was asked to comment a little bit about myself, it’s not a comfortable thing for me to do but here it goes.
I have been a professional photographer for about 32 years. I started earning money shooting weddings and portraits back in the early 80s. I was trained to shoot landscapes by a mentor that I had long ago and since then I’ve always found them to be my main interest.
As for awards of the like, well, I’ve had a few here and there nothing of any great mention. My photographs have been published in many magazines, the latest one being the Canadian version of National Geographic.
What attracts me the most to landscape photography is the peace and quiet. I have always been a person of the outdoors, being out in the woods or standing next to a waterfall, for me there is nothing in the world quite like it. Nature has so much to offer and I have always tried to do the best I could to represent the beauty that is available to our eyes. I don’t dislike the other genres of photography, I just feel that landscape photography comes easier to me, it’s something I’ve perfected in my own mind. I’ve shot many genres, Including wedding, portrait, commercial, macro, wildlife, sports, and art nude. But I am always drawn back to landscapes simply because it’s were my heart truly is in the end, and I can grab my camera and just go without having to arrange something. I can do it alone without any drama or hassle, just me and my camera.
Most of my work has taken place in the province of Alberta Canada. I’ve traveled a fair amount across the province from the far north to the extreme south, I do my best with what I have. It’s not the location that counts its how you see it, this is something I was told long ago. Of all the places with in this province my favorite location of all, would have to be Jasper National Park. For me it is the jewel in the crown, which is this province. I can spend hours or days wandering through Jasper. There is so much to see, this park is so pristine.
My camera gear is all Canon. Presently I use a 5D Mark III. I replaced a 5D Mark II and a 5D classic, as well as a 1D MkII. I started using digital with Olympus “E” cameras and medium format Phase One digital back on my old Mamiya RZ 67 pro II. But as it is now I stick completely with Canon. My lenses, I have a thing for tilt shift lenses, And I own A TSE 17 mm F4 L, TSE 24 mm F3.5L, TS EE 90 mm F2.8 with a plan to pick up the TSE 45mm in the spring. Tilt Sift lens give me the control of perspective to a point, I had with the large format cameras from the past.
I also have the 50 mm F1 .4, 200 mm F2.8L and my only zoom lens a 24-105mm F4L. Also use the Lee filters system mostly for the ND filters. I have a few B+W glass filters as well. Tripods and all light stands that I own are all Manfrotto.
For the beginners, landscape photography is quite possibly the easiest thing to get into. There’s no particular equipment requirement that is a demand, or an absolute must, to start with. Any camera will do and just about any lens will do. But to really identify a starting set of equipment I would suggest a full frame camera, whoever makes it. Any decent wide-angle lens it doesn’t have to be expensive but I would always lean towards a 24 mm over all others, you can achieve this easily with a decent zoom lens, such as a 24-70mm or something like that. 24mm has always been my “go to” lens, the perspective just seems right. A fast wide aperture is not an absolutely needed thing, you’ll end up shooting most of your shots at F8 or smaller any way. If you’re a Canon shooter, I highly recommend at the very least your second zoom lens, a 17-40 mm F4 L, or the new 16-35mm F4L. Lenses are we wonderfully sharp beautifully corrected, and the best part they won’t cost an arm and a leg.
The one piece or equipment you can’t live without is a solid good tripod, don’t get a cheapie,. Spend some money here and get a good solid one. Prepared to live with it for a while. You want a tripod that is steady and sturdy. There are many good options so I am not going to direct you to any particular one.
The most important thing that I can ever say to anyone who’s starting, is to compose the image properly. There are many good help videos on line that one can use, but nothing can replace a day with an experienced landscape photographer. I find the single most important thing is the rule of thirds, it is truly a usable and useful rule to follow. Use your eyes and your heart and try to express what you feel with the seen that is presented to you.
Personally, I answered this one with the last question.
Number one a very good tripod.
Number two a good decent wide-angle lens be at a zoom or a fixed focus.
Number three a good decent camera. It doesn’t hurt to have a camera that’s weather sealed and full frame. But an APSC camera works well. We landscape types are always looking for the biggest image possible, it is an obsession. Most of your work is going to be done at very low ISOs so having a camera with low light performance is not an absolute need.
When it comes to tools and plug-ins, I’m all about Lightroom and Photoshop. My plug-ins are all Nic software. You’re not going to be doing a tremendous amount of pixel pushing in landscape photography anyway, so it’s not a major need to have extremely powerful software. It doesn’t hurt to get the best you can, PS and LR are really cheap now so there is no excuse not to get it now.
The dream locations for me have always been cold rugged spots. I do shoot some urban landscapes but I’m not extremely thrilled by it, so what’s most important for me is a location that really shows nature in its best light. I have a dream to go to Iceland, Northern Scotland, in fact anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere that is truly rugged. Within Canada I’d truly like to wander Newfoundland I’ve been up to the Northwest Territories and I’d like to travel there again but I would really like to get to the extremes. I’m always drawn to places where there are fewer people, places that are untouched by man and has not changed too much if at all.
My most unique experience has been for quite a while, the day I decided to chase a serious storm. I chase a lot of storms because I really like the lightning landscape. Unfortunately there are times when they can get to be a wee bit dangerous. So in the image that I’ve included, it is a tornado in the building. I spent 2 1/2 hours getting in front of this storm driving through extreme hail and having to stop twice, it was really bad. When I finally got in front of the storm I found a location which I liked, I quickly stopped, began to compose what turned out to be I truly big tornado. Unfortunately when I’m shooting I have a tendency to be single-minded, I didn’t realize that this tornado was actually moving towards me, every hair on the back of my neck stood up when I finally realized that the storm was traveling towards me. In the image I included, the storm is less than a kilometer away and traveling at me pretty quickly. I snapped off a few shots, and quickly drove away. When I got home it finally hit me what I had just achieved, I captured the storm just before a touchdown.
Drew May Landscape photography gallery
Check out the mesmerizing collection of landscape photographs by Drew May from Canada !
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a2.jpg]280Standing at the edge of want maks a roundhouse possible. Looking to the left you see the original roundhouse built in 1919 to right 5 more "stalls" where added in the late 20's. All can be enjoyed at Big Valley Alberta, Canada.No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.Â© www.drewmayphotography.com
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a3.jpg]260Playing about with images once again just because, this is the colour virsion, hope you like :)All fine Art Landscape images are available as art prints in collections and as limited edition signed copies. All canvas prints are all limited edition and signed.No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a4.jpg]260One more from a lighting shower from a few days ago. I was amazed when i really looked at this image I saw a bird in flight. And you can see it too, just left of the right hand bolt at the major bend down.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a5.jpg]23015 seconds next to the Big Horn River, in Alberta Canada.All fine Art Landscape images are available as art prints in collections and as limited edition signed copies. All canvas prints are all limited edition and signed.No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a6.jpg]200No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.Â© www.drewmayphotography.com
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a7.jpg]220Driving south along Hwy 93 [we just call the parkway} just before Tangle River Falls in Jasper National Park Canada. Looking South toward "the Twins" the "rim" of the Athabasca Glassier. Winter is all but given up all that lest is for the snow to melt. All fine Art Landscape and other images are available as art prints in collections and as limited edition signed copies. All canvas prints are all limited edition and signed.No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a8.jpg]210One of the cataracts in Johnson Canyon ib Banff National Park Alberta, Canada
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a9.jpg]220Such an intense storm in this area a Friend and I had to stop in Rowley and capture it. No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.Â© www.drewmayphotography.com
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a10.jpg]160Tangle River falls about 100km south of the Town of Jasper.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a11.jpg]160Just a few miles away from the place I live the fields are bathed in sun and rain.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a12.jpg]170Taken two years ago a developing tonado sweeps across the plains. It took me two hours to get in front of this storm to have a few minutes to photograph, before it enveloped the area I was standing. 10 minutes the storm broke up and I was treated to a beautiful night of clear skys.
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a13.jpg]160The last moments of light over Morse River near Swan Hills Alberta, Canada. A vertical Pano made up of three images and then three seperate images put together to make an HDR for a total of 9 images.. This is very rare in my work. :)No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.Â© www.drewmayphotography.com
[img src=http://thegallerymag.com/wp-content/flagallery/drew-may-landscape-photography-gallery/thumbs/thumbs_drew-may-a14.jpg]170No modification, cropping or further editing is permitted with out with the expressed permission of Drew May Photography.Â© www.drewmayphotography.com