Whooo-ee.  Do we have landscape photographers in our camera club or what?  

We do.  We have mega-megapixels of  grand landscapes … with fog, with great bodies of water, with misty lake surfaces, waves breaking over jettys, old barns, moon trails on the ocean, foraging waterfowl, mist-shrouded mountains, water falls and waterfalls and waterfalls, marshes in their fall colors,  cascades and spillways, spanking spinakers, lakes under dramatic clouds…

And I love ’em all, including my own. 

But, call it curmudgeonry, I was bent and determined to rebel.  Stop looking at the big postcard picture; in the words of one of our judges last season, find the picture in the picture.  So, I set out to try that the past two Sundays while escaping the killer-packing-boxes at home.

Here’s one result, a non-scape image which I like very much even though it was made in error

This was an artificial Christmas tree that had only its lights on it.  I shot without remembering the camera was still in manual focus.  When I saw this I focused and reshot but preferred this version.  Shooting for fun(k).

Elsewhere I was struck by these little bottles marching off into the distance so I shot them at f/4 to have a reasonable indoor light shutter speed, but that enhanced the effect as their lines receded into fuzziness.  Shooting for fun(k).


Today I was at Valley Forge on a crisp, beautiful day.  So easy to shoot the vistas but…

not today!

The National Memorial Arch is a magnificent structure but it’s nice to see it as lines and shadows and sculpture detail.  Shooting for fun(k).

The cannons.  So tempting to shoot over them at whatever they’re aimed at…as I’ve done.  I passed that up in favor of this lineup.  Shooting for fun(k).

Finally, some fall color although not much left around here.  That’s good because I can’t just shoot a hillside of blazing color.  Instead, how about some back-lit leaves with strong and interesting trunk lines.  Shooting for fun(k).

Later, while  enjoying some hot soup at an outdoor picnic table I watched the breeze ruffle the leaves of a nearby tree.  I thought of how we shoot water at a slow shutter speed to portray creamy motion and I wondered how that would look with breeze-tossed leaves.  The answer: pretty and interesting.  Another scene for my placemat collection.  Shooting for fun(k).

And it all made for a pleasant couple of outings.

28 Responses to “ESCAPE THE (LAND) SCAPE”

  1. Kathleen Lapergola Says:

    Ralph, love the first image which you can use as a “texture” for any number of photos,, for fun!!! lol

    Really all of these are great and so glad you took the time to go out and have some fun.

  2. Patty Says:

    I love every one of them Ralph! Great insight

  3. nancy davis Says:

    Very artistic and creative photos, Ralph! They brightened up my morning.

  4. Ken Curtis Says:

    Hi Ralph. Yup, I too have been hearing over and over again to find the picture in the picture, or put differently, what is the interesting part of the image, and then crop to show just that. It really works wonders when that technique is applied as you have shown in this blog post – especially the cannons and the tree with golden leaves. Your photos are excellent.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Ken. I’m a firm believer in cropping to the image within the image. Some feel that one should frame properly when the image is made but there may well be an improvement from cropping. I don’t believe our work should be constrained by the dimensions of our sensors.

      That said, I just reviewed the images in the post and none of them were cropped. Filling the frame did the job.

  5. Del Cannon Says:

    I like the change. Maybe you can do this with micro-shots and close ups.

    PS. The South-land beckons.

  6. Walt Piotrowski Says:

    Loved your ” FUN-K” images !!! This approach is what makes the difference between a “IN or OUT” in competitions.
    With all of the new members in our camera club, it would be a great idea to use this “FUN-K” idea as a future camera club “FUN-K” program, “FUN-K” workshop, and “FUN-K” field trip. I am not the kind of member that makes suggestion but not willing to get involved, if you would need assistance, I would be more than glad to work with you on any of the above.


  7. denisebushphoto Says:

    I hear it’s good to shake things up every once in a while. I too get caught up in photographing the big picture, especially when traveling. When I see some of the little details photographers find I think, ‘Why didn’t I see that?’. You can have a field day at Longwood Gardens this winter with the first, defocused lights technique. I like the stacking of the canons and think it’s fun to play with depth of field using aligned subjects like that. Good job shaking it up!

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, D. Your comment about “Why didn’t I see that?” brought back my seeing you photograph that branch of fuchsia blooms at Glen Falls a couple of years ago, and thinking, “Dang, why didn’t I see that?” I know you do Longwood frequently; please keep me in mind for a trip there. I haven’t photographed there for a couple of years.

  8. Jenn Says:

    Love the blurred tree lights. Great save.
    Also nice how the yellow maples compliment the cannon “guns”. They make a good pairing.

    Thanks for sharing. How ’bout some art shots of cardboard and newspaper in your next batch?!

  9. bob williams Says:

    Sorry you won’t be with us in Churchill for bears and northern lights. I’ll be looking for the picture in the picture. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. See you soon I hope. Bob

  10. Pat Worley Says:


    It’s always great to see
    that someone is shaking things up a bit. Keep having fun(k) shooting!

  11. Kirsten Sessinger Says:

    I agree! What fun(k) would it be if you didn’t shake it up! You’ve got such a great eye for a photo shot. I love all these pics you post up Dad, I enjoy them so much!!! I’ve saved every single one of them. Looks like you had a great day to be out and about!

  12. Sally Vennel Says:

    I like what you did here. It is great to get out of the rut and try something different, and you did a great job – and you do get around – the packing must be finished.

  13. MikeP Says:

    I think you are on to something… details… different eye… whatever the catchphrase is, I like your vision of the National Mem Arch. I can really feel the light and textures.

  14. dave sanders Says:

    Hi Ralph,
    You have a great website and I always enjoy looking at your photos.I really like the new photo of the out of focus lights. I have to
    try to duplicate a photo like it. Thanks Dave Sanders

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