Landscape photography involves capturing images that embody the spirit of the outdoors. Simply, it involves capturing images of landforms and features, both natural and man-made. Just like other niches of photography, capturing great landscape photos involves putting a lot of thought to your shot before actually clicking the shutter. Some tips to help you shoot better landscape photos are provided below.
Use A Good Camera
When shooting landscape images, you should opt for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Larger and more improved sensors that produce high-quality images is what makes DSLR and miracles cameras good for landscape photography. Also, these cameras come with more settings that allow you to customize the exposure of your photos.
There are lots of entry-level cameras in the market that you can easily lay your hands on one if you don’t own one already. You can go for a full-frame camera with a 35mm sensor for best results as it allows you to get the widest possible views with your lenses.
Get Good Lens
Aside from getting a good camera, you have to pair it with an equally good lens that is optimized for shooting landscapes. Opt for a wide angle lens as it offers you a wider perspective and is able to capture more of the scene.
Usually, wide angle lenses have smaller focal length numbers from 35mm and below but avid landscape shooters typically go for ultra-wide angle lens with a focal length shorter than 24mm. However, shooting with lenses with a focal length shorter than 24mm will give you wider and sometimes distorted views that some photographers do not like. So its best to check up beforehand how a particular lens works for you and your camera.
Get A Sturdy Tripod
A tripod is a must-have for a photographer as it helps to minimize camera shake during a shoot so that you don’t end up with blurry images especially when you are shooting with slower shutter speeds. Go for a strong and stable tripod that can support your camera even in windy conditions and yet is lightweight enough to not constitute a burden when traveling.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Camera Settings
Shooting in auto mode is good but it is not always best. Gaining knowledge of the functions of the various settings on your camera as well as how they work in relation to one another allows you to manually set up your camera to obtain the best images. To gain knowledge of the exposure triangle: shutter, aperture, and ISO. Each of these is measured by a numerical value and affects the amount of light that enters the lens.
The shutter speed determines how fast or slows the shutter closes to end the image capture after clicking the shutter button.
Aperture determines the size of the lens iris opening, thereby regulating the amount of light entering the lens and affecting the depth of field. The theoretical value of aperture is expressed as an f-number or “stops”.
The ISO measures the sensitivity of the camera to available light.
You can manually set of these and the right combination will help you get the right exposure for an image. So it is important to understand how these work.
Landscape photographers make use of two kinds of filters to improve their images. These are the polarizing filter and neutral density filter. The polarizing filter manages reflections, suppresses glare, and darkens skies to a deep blue to make the clouds pop while the neutral density filter, filters out a certain amount of light from entering the lens so as to allow the use of slower shutter speeds, wider apertures, and/or higher ISO levels without overexposing the image.
Use A Shutter Release
A shutter release can be very handy when you can’t use a fast shutter speed. It is a small remote or cabled control device that connects to your camera so you don’t have to physically touch your camera and risk blurring your images when you click the shutter during long exposures.
Shoot During ‘Golden Hours’
Although you can shoot under different lighting conditions due to your manual camera for landscape photography, you will almost certainly be shooting under sunlight. It is important that you head out to shoot at periods when the light is soft and diffused.
Early mornings and late evenings which are referred to as golden hours of photography are the best periods of the day to head out for landscape photography.
Composition Is Important
You have to carefully compose your images. There are composition rules that you can follow to help you capture an interesting image that your viewers will find very interesting. Some of the common composition rules and techniques are simplicity, Rule of Thirds, using leading lines and so on. You can read more on image composition.
Ensure Your Focus Is On Point
Ensure that the main subject of your image is in focus as this will ensure that the subject is sharp. This may mean sufficiently blurring out the rest of your image while your subject is highlighted. You can do this by keeping your lens diaphragm wide open, preferably with an aperture of f/2.8 or wider to have a shallower depth of field.
Usually, landscape shooters focus on either the foreground or the background. This is instead of a smaller portion of the frame like with other photography niches. You are able to set your focus point or focus points as the case may be by selecting them within your viewfinder or by using the manual focus ring on your lens.
Shoot In Raw
It is always advisable to shoot in RAW format as it allows you to edit the image much later during post-processing. This is unlike shooting in JPEG format.
Adding a touch of creativity to your images will help set them apart. It sets them apart from similar images of the same spots and scenarios shot by other photographers.
Post-Process Your Images
After capturing images till you are satisfied, go to your computer system and post-process them. Do this using software programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom. They help you to carry out professional-level photo editing.
The tips provided in this article will help you learn the ropes of landscape photography. As you will find out in this article, getting the right equipment and familiarizing yourself with your equipment and gadgets will go a long way in helping you achieved desired results when you are out shooting. It is popularly said that practice makes perfection. Constant practice will ensure that you master the art of landscape photography perfectly.
A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography