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Daniel Laan
Akersloot, NL

Articles written by Daniel Laan

I Lined Beer Cans with Photographic Paper and Here's What I Found 6 Months Later

I Lined Beer Cans with Photographic Paper and Here's What I Found 6 Months Later

This low-tech alternative to digital photography can produce stunning art. Last year, I've recovered five out of ten “cameras." Some are found by others and stolen, others are simply blown off by a passing storm. Yet others are removed by bomb squads... I'm sharing these pictures with you, which are scanned negatives of black and white photographic paper. The brightest parts are the sun's streaks, burnt and etched in the paper - along with bubbles, rips and sand that texturize the images in bizarre ways.

Landscape Photography Design Part 3: Luminosity – Zones and Masks

Landscape Photography Design Part 3: Luminosity – Zones and Masks

Mental images, dynamic range, luminosity masking... This week's article in this series is chock-full of terms that will send your head spinning. But when we want to communicate through landscape photography, it is best to speak the language first. I'll show you a big part of my processing workflow, introduce you to a great alternative to HDR photography, and tell you why Ansel Adams' invention is still applicable in digital photography.

Landscape Photography Design Part 2: Advanced Composition

Landscape Photography Design Part 2: Advanced Composition

Without composition there is just visual chaos with no beginning or end, no direction or cycle, no shape or difference between dark and light. This series is the go-to resource for compelling visual storytelling in landscape photography as it provides a condensed overview of all the elements that make up a stunning image. This week: Advanced tools that will nick the attention of the viewer and guide them carefully through your photograph.

Landscape Photography Design Part 1: Composition Primer

Landscape Photography Design Part 1: Composition Primer

Landscape photography is the often stigmatized genre of it not communicating anything other than display of beautiful imagery at best. In this epic arc series, I strive to provide an integral resource for working on your own landscape images. We’ll cover planning, shooting, and post-processing, and talk about anything from composition to colour theory. And for the more advanced photographers, we’ll include the use of shapes, tropes, and negative space to aid in compelling visual storytelling. This week: A composition primer.

Star Trail Processing and Six Tips that will Boost your Night Photography Skills

Star Trail Processing and Six Tips that will Boost your Night Photography Skills

You're about to become better at post-processing! Raiatea Arcuri, a landscape photographer from Hawaii, has an impressive portfolio. I was pleased to learn that he also shares some of his secrets to processing his landscapes. Arcuri teaches you how to process a stack of images shot at night to create a wonderful star trail nightscape using Lightroom and Photoshop, and I will share some additional tips to help you achieve stunning star trails.

The Real Versus the Beautiful (Part 4): The Future of Photography and the Moral Compass

The Real Versus the Beautiful (Part 4): The Future of Photography and the Moral Compass

The previous article about the processed image ended with similar arguments both for and against digital manipulation, and the artist’s disclosure of such actions. But how does the motivation for creating art through both photography and creative editing arise? I’ve gathered a panel of fellow international landscape photographers to expatiate on the power of the processed image. Professional landscape photographers Ryan Dyar, Felipe Gómez, and Simon Roppel are here to help us understand why certain decisions in editing process are made, as well as in the field.

The Ultimate Comparison of Nine Noise Reduction Methods for Night Photography

The Ultimate Comparison of Nine Noise Reduction Methods for Night Photography

Imagine yourself under a starry night sky. Wouldn’t it be great to capture the Milky Way to show it at home or on the web? Unfortunately, you are left with a black frame after you’ve pointed the camera upwards at settings you are used to. It's time to open up the aperture, lengthen the exposure, and bump up the ISO. You will introduce noise, but do you really care? Aren’t there tools out there to reduce noise but still keep the detail?

The Real Versus the Beautiful (Part 2): The Power of the Processed Image

The Real Versus the Beautiful (Part 2): The Power of the Processed Image

The processed photograph is growing more popular. Whether that has to do with the technology involved in image processing becoming more accessible to many is up for debate. Maybe it is a gradual shift of the human perception of what we call the art of photography. I have asked a handful of professional landscape photographers to contribute to the case of the processed photograph, making this second part in this series more practical than the rather philosophical first article.

The 7 Ways of Zen Landscape Photography

The 7 Ways of Zen Landscape Photography

Zen photography comes naturally with an empty mind. It’s both waiting for a moment where light, shape, and dynamics fall into place, and being devoid of planning in advance. Instead of checking the weather online before a shoot, you just venture out and essentially wing it. It’s all about being in the moment. As a landscape photographer, I want to share the ways of this minimalist sub-genre.