The serenity of the wilderness, Interview with Famous Landscape Photographer Peter Bowers

The Landscape photography of professional photographer Peter Bowers. Learn more from Peter Bowers photography techniques and gear in this interview.

© All rights reserved. By Peter Bowers

 

When the hectic life of a trader gives way to free time, you’ll often find Peter Bowers exploring the wilderness near his native Toronto, Canada by canoe, by foot, or on a mountain bike or cross country skis. And more often than not, Bowers will carry his photo gear with him to capture stunning landscapes. His photos depict a world in repose with the power to draw the viewer in to momentarily become a part of his elusive world.

Bowers is a compositional kung fu master, skillfully using leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture. His photos are not so much images of scenery, but of light, reducing elements into compelling forms and shapes. Bowers’ images have appeared on calendars, in an outdoors supply catalog and on corporate websites. He also maintains an active photo stream on Flickr, going by the username of Mr. Fabulous.

Bowers’ years of experience traversing the beautiful but harsh wilderness of Canada has influenced his selection of photo gear. “I use the tools necessary to get the image that I want to achieve,” Bowers says. “Good equipment is important, but only as a tool to realize your vision. If I find that I’m not using a lens then I sell it. I really try to get all my gear into one small backpack style bag, and then I carry my tripod in my hands. I’m often in and around water so I deploy my tripod and use it to help wading in the water.

”I mostly use the Sigma 10-20mm for a wide angle and an old ‘push-pull’ 80-200mm Nikon for my landscape work. Neither are really expensive lenses, but the optics are good.”

© All rights reserved. By Peter Bowers

 

Advance preparation is critical for the images that Bowers achieves. “I try to scout out locations before shooting,” Bowers said. “That includes getting permission from the landowner. I bring a compass with me so I can tell where the sun will be at sunset or sunrise. I try to get there 45 minutes before sunrise. I bring some food and water and a change of clothes. I keep a bug net in my bag. Sometimes studying a local map can be the best way to discover good spots.”

”I generally look for a scene that has some kind of foreground interest with lines that lead the eye into the distance.”

Bowers relies on a variety of filters to help realize his vision for a scene. “I first started with Cokin neutral density grads but I found that they had a magenta cast, so I made the switch to Singh-Rays,” Bowers said.

I use them now because I really prefer to just take one picture of a scene rather than say three or five. This also makes image editing very straightforward. I use Nikon Capture NX. And it means that you see the image on your LCD screen rather than having to visualize it beforehand.

Bowers utilizes a variety of Singh-Ray neutral density graduated filters.The one that I use the most is the 2-stop hard, and the second most would be the 2-stop reverse grad. Occasionally I use the 1-stop hard or the 3-stop reverse.

Peter Bowers landscape digital photography gear:

  • Nikon D200
  • Sigma 10-20 mm (this is the wide-angle lens that I take most of my landscape shots with)
  • Nikon Lenses:
    1. 20mmf2.8
    2. 50mm f1.8
    3. 85mm f1.8
    4. 80-200 f2.8
    5. 300m f2.8
    6. Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro

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