Landscape photography, or the act of taking photographs of the nature around us, is something that may first appears rather straight forward. Select a wide angle lens, point it at some scenery and hey presto, you have a landscape image. In all honesty, that pretty much is it. But there are some sometimes overlooked, sometimes unknown tips and tricks that will enable you to maximize the quality of your landscape images and allow you vary them with different compositions and perspectives. – Lies Thru a Lens
With most landscape photography, not enough preparation goes into setting up the shot before pressing the shutter button. The eight tips below are meant to give you a checklist to think about before capturing a landscape image.
1. Depth of field – In landscape photography, you want as much of the scene in focus as possible. To accomplish this, use a large aperture setting – at least f/16 or higher.
2. Use a Tripod – Because you are using a large aperture setting, your shutter speed will be slower, thus increasing your chances for camera shake if you try to handhold your camera. So to reduce the possibility of camera shake, use a tripod. This also allows you to concentrate more on the scene and less on holding the camera.
3. Framing – By using framing, you are channeling your viewer’s sight through the frame and to your subject. You can also use framing to hide an object or distraction that you can’t eliminate, but that you do not want in your photo. Framing can be either man-made or natural, such as an overhanging tree branch, a doorway, a window, etc.
4. Foreground – By having a foreground in your image, along with a middle and background, you create depth, and as a result, your image looks more natural – more similar to the way our eyes see a scene. Just be sure to have enough depth-of-field to keep all parts of the scene in focus.
5. Lighting – Fleeting light, the kind of light caused by clouds moving over your subject, and the shadows they create, makes for some great lighting. The light around both dusk and dawn of course always make great times of day to shoot. With the sun being lower in the sky during these two times of day, the long shadows create texture and contrast adding to the naturalness of your scene.
6. Viewpoint – Generally speaking, most photographers take their photos from a standing eye-level position. For something different, see what your subject looks like from a higher or lower position or moving laterally to the right and left for a different viewpoint. Many times your best shot is only ten feet away.
7. Composition – Use the rule of thirds to place your subject whenever possible. Divide your scene in the viewfinder into three equal parts both horizontally and vertically (like a tic-tac-toe board). Position your subject on one of the four points where the lines intersect. For large subjects, place them either on the horizontal or vertical lines.
8. A Clean Shot – Finally, because what you see in your viewfinder is what will show up in your photo, whether you want it in there or not, look around your viewfinder perimeter before pressing the shutter button to see if there is anything you don’t want in your image, such as a stray branch or the edge of something.
Use these 8 tips the next you are out shooting landscape photography; the tips will serve you well and you will see a noticeable improvement in your images.
Photos by Lies Thru a Lens. Click images to see them larger.