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    Maggie Dunford

    Writing a short essay on an impactful artist or photography seems like a relatively easy task, especially considering you’ve told us that “there are no right or wrong answers”. But then, I got thinking – swho in the world was I going to pick? To be completely honest, I haven’t ever been a history or art buff and am terrible with remembering names (of movies, people, songs, bands, everything), so I can barely recall any of the names of artists that have had an impact on myself and my photography. Additionally, in the age of the internet, and information/art overload, punching in “inspirational photographs” or “inspirational landscape/macro/<insert favorite type here> photography” into a search engine brings up so many awe-inspiring and impactful photos from so many different people, both professional and amateur, that it’s hard to pick just one inspiring artist.

    That said, I’ve decided to write about the last photographer whose pictures inspired me to finally start working on this course. While on a family trip to Nova Scotia, we went into a small, touristy, art gallery on Cape Breton Island. Immediately, I was drawn to landscapes by Roman Buchhofer ( – enough so that I purchased two prints.
    While Buchhofer is a wedding photographer, he also has a variety of landscapes and monochromes that capture the beauty of nature. His love of photography came from his appreciation of nature, which is not unlike myself.

    I appreciate all of Buchhofer’s photography, but when we got back from our road trip, I looked him up to check out his online gallery. ‘Uisge ban falls’, a photo of a waterfall in Baddeck, is a particular photo that speaks to me. Not only is it visually beautiful, I specifically love the contrast between the sharp, in focus rocks and the wispy , soft water flowing down, I assume this is thanks to long-exposure photograpy (which I have yet to play around with). I also like the range of tones. Some artists (and some of Bucchofer’s photos) wash out their black and whites, which I don’t personally prefer, so I appreciate how ‘Uisge ban falls’ has decent contrast.

    There are a few themes within Bucchofer’s work that are of greatest importance to me – light, colour, nature. Specifically, I can tell in his photos that he genuinely loves nature and loves finding and capturing beauty within nature. While I was visiting Cape Breton Island, the landscape was beautiful. However, seeing the landscapes through Buchhofer’s eyes, through the photos he captures, really shows what a single photo can achieve based on perspective, depth of field, and exposure.

    Buchhofer picked up a camera in 2010 and “never looked back” and I’m so glad he did because he inspired me to pursue my own passion for photography.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Maggie,

    Thanks for submitting your assignment.

    For this kind of thing there really is no right answer. Much like photography itself. Every image can be made many different ways there is not one correct way to photograph a scene.

    I would recommend you spend some time looking at the works of the masters of photography. This may not be obvious but if you can pull on threads of inspiration and follow them it will dramatically improve your learning.

    I’m glad to hear you we’re supporting the last photographer who influenced you by buying prints.

    I believe this is the image you referenced.

    Here is the EXIF data from that photograph:

    Date Time Original: 2000:01:01 00:05:20
    Exposure Time: 32
    F Number: f / 22
    ISO Speed Ratings: 100
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 10mm
    White Balance: Manual white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS 60D
    LensInfo: 10/1 20/1 0/0 0/0
    LensModel: 10-20mm
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Lens: 10-20mm
    Exif Version:
    Flashpix Version: 
    Color Space: 1
    Date Time Digitized: 2013:08:13 09:09:29
    Shutter Speed Value: -5
    Aperture Value: 8.92
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 5728.18
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 5808.40
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 2
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpness: Normal
    ExifIFDPointer: 208
    YCbCr Positioning: 2
    X Resolution: 300
    Y Resolution: 300
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2014:12:03 16:05:54
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.4 (Macintosh)
    DateCreated: 2000-01-01

    You are indeed correct that this is a long exposure photograph. It was a 32 second exposure at f22. This was likely shot with an ND filter.

    If you like this type of work and are looking for more have a look a the works of Michael Kenna:

    For something different take a look at Sigumoto:

    What’s more you seem to also enjoy the works of a generalist photographer. So perhaps take a look at the works of Jay Maisel.

    Overall you’ve done well here. Like many students you may not know what you don’t know. In other words, if you’re not familiar with the works of the great photographers of history you may not know what has come before you. In fact you might not even care and that’s ok too. I would just recommend you spend some genuine time either buying books or looking at the works of the true greats. There is so much to learn by just studying their works.

    If there is anything you can glean from this it’s that you have an interest in long exposure landscape photography. More often than not this is done with the use of ND filters. Sometimes with graduated ND filters as well. Often they use wide angle lenses as well. Do you have an ND filter or a grad ND and a wide angle lens?

    Also important here is the love of nature. What is more beautiful than mother nature?! Even beyond this photography has been a critical part of the conservation movement and it is a very powerful tool to help protect nature. Just look at this:

    You may be asking yourself why though? Why should I care about being inspired when it comes to photography? Well inspiration is massively important. Just take a look at these videos.

    The path of learning in photography pretty much never ends so you’ll want to remain inspired.

    Overall you’re doing very well and would encourage you to tug on those threads and see what unravels…

    Remember if you have any questions or are getting stumped by anything just send an email to to get some help. See you on the next assignment!

    Maggie Dunford

    Thanks, Duncan. I don’t have an ND filter, or a grad ND, or a wide angle lens. My equipment is pretty basic so far – zoom lens, standard lens, 50mm lens, external mount flash, remote, tripod. But I’m SO glad I now know what causes that fog/mist effect of water – I’ll be looking at getting an ND filter for sure because I find those photos gorgeous. In addition to long exposure landscape, I’m drawn to macro as well. Also, I’m a huge fan of storms and can’t wait to try my hand at capturing lightning shots – will there be any future lessons related to those interests?

    Thanks so much for posting the extra links – I’ve started reviewing them and appreciate the extra material to help me.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Don’t worry if it feels like your kit is not complete. This feeling will never go away. In fact if you can always do the best you can with what you have you’ll do just fine.

    Here is some info on Macro Photography.

    Here is some more info on Neutral Density Filters.

    I don’t have any specific plans for a lesson dedicated to storm or lightning photography. To be honest I have concerns about safety. All I can say is you have to be extremely careful. Storm and lightning photography is very dangerous.

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