Landscape photography is one of the toughest genre’s of all types of photography. Once the moment is passed it can’t be faked and re-created unlike portrait photography so paying attention to the changing light and drama in the nature is very important. Here are few tips that can significantly improve your landscape photography.
Shoot During the Right Time of the Day
Shoot an hour before and after the sunset/sunrise. These hours are considered as the golden hours of photography. Don’t pack the bags right after the sunset when there are 30 to 70% clouds in the sky. At sunrise and sunset, the longer wave lengths of red and yellow colors of the sun will use the clouds as a canvas to paint vibrant pink glow on the clouds which creates a dramatic look on the landscape photos.
Composition depends on the eyes that are behind the camera. Some of the compositional elements include leading lines, shapes, curves, rule of thirds, etc. These rules can be broken if you think that you can get a better picture by breaking those rules of composition. Go beyond the rules.
Never place the horizon in the center of the image, try to move it above or below the center of the picture depending on the composition, if there is not much drama in the sky try to include only ⅓ or below of the sky and include interesting elements in the ground.
Always use Remote Shutter Release
Use an intervalometer or a remote to trigger the shutter, inbuilt camera timer can also be used but little frustrating. Wait for 2 – 5 sec before pressing the button on the remote or intervalometer that gives some time for the camera to settle which avoids camera shake.
Shoot Different Exposures
Shoot multiple exposure, If you are shooting at sunset/sunrise it’s difficult to capture the entire dynamic range in a single picture, try to bracket the exposures, Usually an exposures of -2(underexposed), 0(correct exposure) 2(overexposure) will work. Do not use the third party HDR plug-ins for creating the HDR images by inputting the different exposed images. Use the lightroom cc’s Merge -> HDR feature for better results to begin with. Luminocity masks are much advanced and gives outstanding results.
Use long exposures for showing the motion in the clouds or water, A Neutral density filter can do the magic.
Use Higher Apertures
Use an aperture of f/8 or higher for everything to be in focus. Use and aperture of f/11 or above when shooting sun or lights directly, it creates a nice start burst effect, the starburst effect depends upon the number of blades used to construct the lens, this can be found on the lens specification. Do not go to the extreme end of the aperture above f/16 to f/22 as the lens starts diffracting.
Always focus on the more interesting foreground element which is a third distance away in the frame so that everything will be in focus when using auto focus. Use of lens manual exposure is recommended using the live view so that you can see what is in focus.
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About the Author
Raghu Bhimanadi with Virazz Photography is a passionate landscape photographer living in Los Angeles, CA. He translates life & nature through photographs that speak more than words ever could. Check out his work at www.virazzphotography.com or follow him on Facebook at http://facebook.com/virazzphotography