Working Pictures: The Dramatic Landscape

February 21, 28, & March 6, 2024

8pm Eastern // Three 90-minute sessions

Go beyond standard landscape compositions

The Dramatic Landscape has been a trademark of Jim Richardson’s photography for National Geographic for decades. Always seeking ways to break free from stereotypical landscape photography, Jim has mastered ways to create dramatic landscapes that tell compelling stories. (And he’s probably had more gatefolds in National Geographic than any other photographer.) This workshop will teach ways to find the underlying story in the landscape and ways of going beyond standard landscape compositions. Using a combination of classroom lectures and field assignments, with followup critiques and discussions, Jim will guide students to expand their concepts of landscape photography. And he’ll suggest ways expand your aesthetic range by borrowing from other art forms and music — as was well as honing more work-a-day photographic techniques that are staples of landscape photography.

Workshop Tuition: $299.00

Classroom Discussions  |     small group settings     |     Field Assignments   |     personalized feedback
Session one

We will cover:

  • Opening discussion of the the Dramatic Landscape and why it can be so powerful
  • How landscapes can explore geology and geography, culture and history
  • Survey of standard landscape photography and the various ways it can become stylized and cliche, and ways to break free
  • Why many standard landscape pictures (however beautiful) never get published
  • Necessary things: Tools for landscape photography, like cameras and lenses, tripods, filters, etc.
  • Assignment: Directions on what to photographer before the next class and how to submit images for review.

Session two

We will cover:

  • Unconventional landscape composition that elevates your photography (and why the rule of thirds is a poor substitute for actual graphic skill)
  • How to draw on other arts (like music and painting) to suggest emotional and dramatic themes for your landscapes
  • How to make landscapes tell a story, and how to build whole stories out of landscapes
  • Review and critique of your images

Session three

We will cover:

  • Review and critique of you images
  • Exploring new locations and new motivations for you photography
  • How and why to incorporate new techniques into your photography
  • Sources for broadening your perspective on landscapes
  • Your questions and a roundup discussion

Meet your instructor

Jim Richardson - Summit Photography Workshops

Jim Richardson

Workshop Faculty

Jim has work appearing regularly in National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler in addition to Geographic books. Jim is on assignment for Nat Geo projects almost full time and for good reason. Richardson, a onetime newspaper photographer in Kansas and Colorado, brings amazing story-telling techniques along with detailed research to his pictures. Thirty years ago, he began photographing the area around his hometown in north central Kansas.

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