Landscape Photography Tips
There are many factors that go towards great landscape photography. Here are ten points to consider.
1. Selecting a Lens
Standard practice is to use an ultra wide angle lens. This helps you squeeze as much of the scene into the picture as possible. For variation try looking at a scene and using a telephoto lens from time to time as well. A 300mm lens is often recommended for this. Always feel free to experiment with landscape photography.
2. Composing a Landscape Shot
Standard composition of a photo usually relies on the rule of thirds. This is where the photo is broken down into a grid of nine squares. With some digital cameras you can change the LCD so that it displays this grid to guide you. Place any lines in the picture so that they run along the grid lines. For example the horizon or a river.
3. Adding Interest
Add foreground interest to a shot. This could be a person, building, car etc. There are two reasons for this. One it draws the eye and adds interest to the shot. Two it gives a sense of scale to the photo.
4. Sharper Shots
Use a small aperture and a compensating slow shutter speed. This combination will produce a photo that is sharply focused right to the edges.
5. The Correct Exposure
A landscape shot often presents the camera with a difficult decision. This is what the correct exposure is. This is because the sky is often very bright and the ground is dark. If you have a camera that can use filters then try using a graduated filter. This will help to even the lighting conditions out. You can also try using a polarising filter for different effect.
6. When to Take a Photo
The time of day is important too. Many of the best landscape photography shots are taken early in the morning and in the evening. This way you capture any morning mist or a great sunset. During the day you can also produce dramatic shots when a storm is on its way.
7. Using the Light
Look for where the sun is coming from. Using the sunlight when it is coming from one side helps to throw shadows across your shot giving a pleasing effect.
8. Keep the Camera Still
For the sharpest shots make sure your camera is steady. As mentioned above you are likely to be using a slow shutter speed. This means that any handshake at all will show up as blur in the photo. The best solution is to use a tripod. If you do not have one to hand there may be a wall or something similar to rest the camera on.
9. Finding the Best Shot
Try to get to know the location. Walk around to see if you can find the best place to take a shot. Five minutes spent checking out the best possible position is likely to be time well spent. You could be rewarded with a much stronger picture than you would have taken if you had just snapped away.
10. Adding Mood to the Landscape
Try shooting in black and white. This gives variety to your photos and a different feel to a shot. Black and white can produce some dramatic landscape photography shots. There is no reason why you cannot take a picture in colour and then switch your camera so that you can then take a second picture in black and white.