Mastering Landscape Photography (Author Interview)

Mastering Landscape Photography is book 4 in your Digital Photography series.  What sets this one apart?

I live in Sedona, Arizona.  The scenery and outdoor activities attract millions of visitors to this small town every year.  There are numerous places around town that are popular spots for capturing the beauty of the iconic Red Rocks.  I often meet visitors with expensive cameras and no idea how to capture images that are more than snapshots.  Photo editing is a critical aspect of photography and what set Ansel Adams apart from other highly accomplished photographers.  I learned years ago that you can accomplish more in the Darkroom (now in the digital version called Lightroom) than you can behind the camera.

High quality landscape images require planning, patience, equipment, and superior editing.  I covered all these aspects in detail.


How did you develop the ideas and concepts in Mastering Landscape Photography?

After years of taking high quality landscape images, I discovered the pano-gimbal.  This device makes it far easier to capture and combine a series of images to create an image with even greater resolution and details.  The result is often an image that would cover a wall of a large room if printed full size.  I felt a need to share this technique with my readers, so they too could create images that exceeded the native resolution of their cameras.


Can you tell us a little about the exposure triangle and how you cover the topic in the book?

Exposure is always an important aspect of any photo shoot but even more important in landscape photography.  With this genre, you have no control over lighting.  In fact, capturing unusual lighting is what separates great images from the norm.  When you see a scene that takes your breath away and makes you giddy, it is important to be able to capture that image accurately and quickly.  The light might only last a few seconds.  You don’t have time to think — you must act.  One way to improve your odds of capturing a great image is to bracket your exposure and then combine the images in post processing.  This technique is called HDR and can lead to exceptional images.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Mastering Landscape Photography?

The most challenging thing was to take an extra camera with me so I could document every step in the process of creating panoramas with the pano-gimbal.  It is difficult to put yourself in the place of someone who has no knowledge or experience with a specific technique.  It takes discipline to make sure I anticipate the needs of my readers.


Is there one thing about landscape photography that stands out in your mind?

Landscape photography requires a lot of time just waiting for the right light.  A few months ago, I spent a few days at the Grand Canyon.  For most of a day, another photographer and I occupied a single spot along the South Rim.  Late in the day, a woman stopped and asked us why we had been there all day.  In unison, we replied “waiting for the light.”  We had no idea what the day would produce but we both thought that particular spot had the potential for a great shot.  The light never developed, but we took it in stride.  The life of a landscape photographer centers around waiting and observing light which is affected by the time of day, the weather, and many other factors.  No two moments are exactly alike.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I live in a place with hundreds of miles of great hiking trails that I enjoy with and without my photography gear.  I also like to travel and read.  I spend a great deal of time just thinking about photos I want to take in the future.  For me, that activity is like a mini vacation.

I am always researching something new.  Right now, that is health and longevity.  Soon that learning will be translated into books, but just learning is always enjoyable for me.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

Just goggle Al Judge and you will find all my books.  You can also go to the Amazon Website and search for Al Judge.

My photos are available at . 

My MoreAlive@75 YouTube Channel can be found at with additional info at . 



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