Photo 101: No place to go but up for landscapes

Wide open spaces.

That’s what I think about when the name Anson Williams and the word landscapes are thrown around, such as Cheri did for Photo 101 lesson 15.

Wait a second. Potsie Weber from “Happy Days” didn’t shoot great photographs of the world we live in. Make that Ansel Adams.

I knew I was scheduled to drive from the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood up, up, up to Syracuse University, for a business meeting in the offices of Syracuse Public Media site waer.org.

They call that neighborhood The Hill. I knew it would hold potential for me and my iPhone 6 to find a scene for a landscape or two. My loose plan was to find a high spot and shoot down.

I settled my Chevy Cruze on the winding road of Thornden Park because finding on-street parking with students in session is a bear.

Thornden Park, Syracuse, N.Y.

Come warm weather, a Rose Garden will sprout.

The Rose Garden caught my eye on the day when spring will officially begin some 20 minutes past 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Here in upstate New York, we’re still covered in snow. I must come back and show you all the robust garden this will be months from now. My dear wife Karen and I adore this spot. However, with the arches as a focal point, a true landscape shot by Cheri’s definition this does not make.

Snow covered steps.

I want to take you higher.

I worked an angle into these snow-covered steps, and cut out a sign that declared that it led to a pond. There were too many buildings in the background above to make it a landscape shot, so I headed sideways.

Thornden Park bowl.

A natural bowl.

The natural bowl amphitheater shape is naturally breath-taking, as the snowflakes pick up in intensity. Take my word for it.

Pines in Thornden Park.

Pines not barren.

This line of pines provide a natural barrier of protection against the wind and snow. I placed it a third of the way into my frame.

A dog and his man.

A dog and his man.

But my favorite landscape photo of the session is also the one I chose to crop. I caught a guy walking his dog in one of the fields of Thornden Park. There was a football field off to their left and a fire hydrant to their right. He let the dog off its leash to run, and it sure did romp. I shot away. Looking at the results, I thought the best result was to take out the hydrant and most of the snow in the foreground and tuck the goalpost into the bottom left corner. I decided to leave much of the sky above, though.

Do you have a public rose garden that you like to visit, and have you ever checked out what it looks like before the growing season? Which of the non-cropped shots do you prefer, and why? What would you have done to the composition to the final photograph?

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46 thoughts on “Photo 101: No place to go but up for landscapes

  1. I got the same sky here Mark and it bums me because I want to get up to Lake George for some shots while it is still frozen (at this rate- with this winter, I may have a few more weeks to do it!) – it is almost impossible to take a nice picture with a flat grey sky like that—I admire the effort. Spring is coming. πŸ™‚

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    • Albany-Syracuse-Buffalo axis has been locked in the snow-gray grip, Wayne, It does make the photography challenging, my friend. Get the shot at Lake George, a lovely spot as I’ve ever seen, and then let the melt go on in full!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T he Rose Garden hooked me in but it was the final widescreen shot that I enjoyed most. I find I’m editing most of my shots to widescreen, I’m sure I’m being influenced by the fact that I’m doing this on a laptop which lends itself to the widescreen shot. Also the caption may have influenced me here – it made me smile.

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    • Thanks, Diana. I want to remember to take a shot of the Rose Garden from the same angle tihis summer. And I can go 100 days in a row and not capture a dog and his man again. That one just was too special, I agree

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  3. Mark … My favorite place to shoot photos is Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, New York. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been there and how many photos I took.

    I do love your photo of the arches. But I also like that wide expanse of snow and field that the dog is contemplating “Which way do I go first?” πŸ˜‰

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  4. My favorite is the top one because I like the crunchy texture of the trees with no leaves. I was disappointed to learn Potsie did not in fact take stunning photos. 😦 The bottom one is perfect for you because of the goalpost thingy. πŸ˜€

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