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Atmospheric Photography-Photographs with Feeling

Updated on September 19, 2014
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

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Atmospheric photography derives its name from the word atmosphere. It does emphasize using the ambient in photographs to awaken a feeling.

It attempts to make the viewer of the images feel exactly as if he or she were there taking the photographs.

If a photographer achieves this purpose then he has done a god job of truly representing what is true atmospheric photography.

I guess that a good comparison would be to equate this technique with those used to create mood; moody scenes, as this is probably the main idea behind atmospheric photography.

The most widely accepted method or technique to conduct atmospheric photography is to capture scenes that show effects involving the weather like fog, mist, haze, diffused sunlight or moonlight, a light rain or even a heavy downpour. It often involves photographing at odd hours like at sunset, or dawn.

The idea is to use weather, location, light and other elements that can be used to capture an emotion or a feeling.

There is no clear way to put into words what the technique embodies. It is much better to look at many such samples in order to get an idea of what the professionals who are involved in atmospheric photography consider it to be and do a good job in showing this in their work.

You should look for photographs that feature an almost eerie scene and most will be during times when the available light is heavily diffused by other weather phenomena however you can emphasize the effects by using one of the several photographic filters meant to create similar effects.

One of the best filters is known as a diffusing filter and it does just what its name suggest It literary diffuses the light and creates an artificial haze to appear in the scene. This is very similar to what another filter called a softening filters does.

As far as what equipment to use, this depends on the amount of scenery that you want to capture in your photos. Any lens will do but choose them accordingly.

Wide angle lenses are used to show a wide view but it can record images that lack depth of field. A zoom lens isolates specific parts but it also condenses the scene.

A macro lens is only suitable if you want to capture details up close but is very limited in the amount of light that it is useful in.

A better choice is a small zoom in the range of about 60mm to 80mm. It is more versatile than a regular 55mm prime lens and the range of f-stops (apertures) is suitable for many light conditions or if using flash.

Speaking of flash, they are not really meant for this style as their light tends to overpower the effects provided by the atmospheric conditions thus lessening the effects.

Try using your camera/lens combination on a tripod and setting your shutter speed for low light conditions.

There are situations that you can include without being outside Most small spaces that have a window facing the Sun can be used. Try to capture the moment where a ray of Sun enters the room and illuminates a specific spot in it. Posing a person in the light ray can provide exceptional results too.

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Do you think this is easy to accomplish?

See results

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      experstcolumn: Thank you

    • expertscolumn profile image

      Stanley Soman 5 years ago from New York

      My god i love atmospheric photography

      Are these all your shots?

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      shai77: No I have not tried that filter, but thanks for your kind comments. I will look into it

    • shai77 profile image

      Chen 5 years ago

      Great article. I love photographs that really create a great mood like that. Have you tried a duto filters for atmospheric shots? They work well with portraits but wondering about landscapes.