20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 2 – Scenic Landscape

I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish 20 challenges in 20 days, but I hadn’t meant to have so many days in between. Several things got in the way of being able to shoot a scenic landscape; I haven’t been feeling well, there were several appointments and obligations on my calendar, the weather has continued to be uncooperative, and most of all I was having a hard time coming up with a scenic landscape to photograph.

Today we were finally blessed with a lovely day, I only had one appointment early on in the morning, and I was feeling well enough to take a short excursion for a photo shoot. I finally came up with the “brilliant” idea of driving to nearby Dundee, Michigan to attempt photos of the Raisin River, the dam and the historic mill.

Dundee is a wonderful little historic town. It is picturesque and peaceful with great walkability. It boasts some really great restaurants, cute shops, lovely old homes, and to top it off Cabela’s – the outdoor superstore – is just outside of town.

Since my camera does not have a landscape mode as suggested in the book (Better Photo Basics by Jim Miotke, for those new to my blog) for this assignment, I decided to use the DSLR recommended settings. I put my camera on Aperture Priority mode, used a small aperture (f-8) and a low ISO of 100. I have included a gallery of four of the best photos from this outing. (Click on any photo to see a larger view.)

I am not sure I’m completely satisfied with the results, I think I have a little ways to go in truly understanding landscape photography and developing an artistic eye. But these aren’t horrible considering I don’t live in an area rife with scenic landscapes to shoot.  I think my favorite is the last shot, although I might have gotten too much of the tree in the foreground, I like the effect of the railing.

After I left Dundee, I attempted to drive the back roads coming home, hoping to spot a scenic barn or silo, but unfortunately it seems in this day-and-age you can no longer meander along country roads at a slow pace. It seemed like every road I chose to travel I ended up with someone on my bumper, even when I was doing well over the posted speed limit.

Please share your comments and tips for getting good landscape shots in the comment section below. And if you would like to participate in the 20-Day Photo Challenge, please join me on Facebook via the link at the bottom of the page. Come along and join the fun!!

If you are new to my blog, you can see the results of the first photo challenge – Flower Macro – here. Happy Shooting!

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20 Responses to 20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 2 – Scenic Landscape

  1. Jesse says:

    It sounds like Dundee is my kind of town! 🙂 Keep up a good work, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jesse! Dundee is a nice little place, all the quaintness of a small town, with all the amenities on the outskirts not far away, plus the beauty of the river. You would be able to do it much better justice with your camera than I ever could!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate says:

    The photos are beautiful! The last one is my favorite. Dundee sounds like such a quaint, picturesque town. I’ll definitely have to check it out if I’m ever in that area!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kate! It’s a nice little town. I wanted to get a few pictures of the street view, to give everyone idea of what it looks like, but they kind of have a circle in the middle of town, with parking along the fronts of the shops, so I couldn’t figure out how to get a shot of the storefronts without all the cars. I guess I would have to go back in the evening when the businesses are closed.

      And, of course, Cabela’s is a tourist attraction all on its own. You can spend a day in there. (And a million dollars if you are into outdoors stuff! LOL)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate says:

        Oh, I know Cabela’s well. I can’t go in there with my dad or he’ll never leave! They have so much to see and it’s so easy to convince yourself you need something new 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. tootlepedal says:

    I too think the last one is best. Some foreground detail is often a help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s what I thought. From what I have learned so far, it’s good to have something of interest in the foreground of a landscape photo, but that was hard to do in this situation until I got to this spot. I probably should have gone around to the other side of the river and tried to photograph the mill as the main subject instead of the river, but that would have created other problems, including where the sun was at that particular time.


    • Yes, I’m not much for getting up early enough for the “golden hour” during the summer, and during the school year I’m at work, or getting ready for work. Perhaps if I could be a professional photographer, I could better plan my schedule around the sun. LOL I’m more of a “I have to take the photo when I’m at the spot and have the opportunity” type of person.


  4. Bob Zeller says:

    I like the last one, too. I see your problem with tree. I like to “frame” scenic shots with overhanging limbs, etc. You had the right idea, but you got too much of the tree. Shooting from a bit lower position and maybe a little left, and putting the tree branch in the upper right would have really made a difference. You are getting there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob Zeller says:

    Perhaps not so much to the left, but shooting from a lower spot would put the tree more in the upper part of the photo bring the opposite shore into view, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bob! I was shooting from under the pagoda shelter (for that last photo) because I had read that shooting from partial shade can help when it is very sunny. I was going for a framing effect but I don’t think I realized there was that much of the tree in the shot until I loaded the photos on my computer. That means I missed one other important item mentioned in the book — looking at your photos after you shoot them!! Too many particulars for this brain to remember. LOL I did try to remember to pay attention to other things in the scene – for instance there were these really obnoxious wires crossing the river and as I would walk and then try to get a shot, I would notice right away that those wires would be in the photo, so I would walk forward to get them out of frame. You are right, I should have shot that last one from a lower vantage point. There are just so many things to remember!! 🙂


  6. They’re all good, but I like the first one the best. The fence in the foreground and the dam are at a good angle to one another, they lead a person’s eyes through the frame, and form a triangle of sorts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jerry! I liked that one, too. No big tree in the way. LOL

      Something I had been reading in the book about f-stops made me check my camera manual this morning and f-8 is the smallest aperture I can go, which probably is why my landscapes aren’t more clear and sharp. I am limited in the amount of depth of field the camera can achieve.


      • Well, f/8 may be as small as an aperture as you can go, but a compact digital camera has more depth of field at f/8 than a crop sensor DSLR has at f/16, or a full frame DSLR has at f/32. In fact, at f/8, you may be getting diffraction, which is why your photos aren’t as sharp as you like. Diffraction occurs when you stop a lens down too far.

        My tips for good landscapes are to lock the ISO to its lowest setting, and to always use a tripod, no matter what the shutter speed is.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That is very interesting and good information to know! I was able to change the ISO and I used 100, but I could have gone lower. (Most times I have just left it on ISO auto.)

      I am looking at tripods and found one that has good reviews and is supposed to be very light. It is around $60. The author of the book says to buy one that is of good quality which he suggests not spending less than $80 but I’m not sure how often I will even use one. My camera does not have the ability to use a remote shutter button, so I would have to use the self-timer function to get no shake from hitting the shutter button. So, I’m still mulling it over.


      • I agree, if you’re going to purchase a tripod, make it a good one. But, your compact digital camera isn’t as heavy as a DSLR with a big lens on it. I’d be watching sales and checking garage sales.

        I’m about the worst at not using my tripod, but it does make a difference, so I use mine more all the time, especially landscapes.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: 20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 3 – Inspired by Nature | 45 Degrees North

  8. Tiny says:

    I like the last one best too, and agree that the tree could have been less prominent, just framing the shot a little bit. A good tripod is great for landscape and night photography, including fireworks 🙂 I bought a light weight (otherwise I’d never carry it), but fairy good tripod for this same camera (Dolica TX570B150SL) it’s a close to $100 tripod, but now on sale for $70 on Amazon. I have another, much sturdier and more expensive one for the other canon + lenses, but this is great for that light weight camera. And easy to carry on hikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wonderful — thank you so much for the tip, Tiny! I will definitely check it out! I have a tripod on my Amazon wish-list right now about the same price, so I will check this one out, too. I need to just bite the bullet and order one!

      Liked by 1 person

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