Warning extreme bias: Hint (I love landscape photography).
Landscape photography is by far my favorite kind of photography. The sights and smells one can experience when shooting landscapes is indescribable. Yet, it is surprisingly easy to take amazing landscape photos, as long as one follows, the previously, unwritten rules.
- Maximize depth of field – also known as one’s aperture, depth of field is essential in any photograph, including landscape photography. The general approach in landscape photography is to set your camera to either aperture priority mode or manual mode and set the aperture to the highest f/stop. Aperture priority may appear as the symbol above. Once this is done find the rest of the settings until your camera indicates a correct exposure and click.
- Always use a tripod – Tripods allow landscape photographers to shoot at any shutter speed their camera is capable of shooting at. This means one does not have to sacrifice the slowing of motion in a photo. The slowing of motion is another rule when photographing landscapes. Adding motion to a landscape photo can create some very dramatic effects in one’s photos that are sure to impress others.
- Fill the foreground – By placing objects in the foreground a sense of depth is created in the photo. This sense of depth can allow viewers a kind of path to follow in one’s photos.
- Always consider the sky – If the sky is filled with colors, drama, and/or clouds try adding more of it to the photo. The sky is a great way to get attention in a photo.
- Consider 5AM and 5PM – I refer to these times as the “glory hours”. What this means is try to take landscape photos near dawn and sunset. These times allow a greater variety of colors to be captured and increase the chances of capturing a dramatic sky.
Examples: The photo below was taken with an aperture of f/36. Notice the use of a tripod allowed for a long exposure photo to be taken; which, slowed motion and created a cotton candy effect in the water. The rocks in the foreground are mainly located near the center and are lined up to point in the direction of the rotting log in the water.
In this photo the aperture was set at f/20. The sky is visibly dramatic and the foreground includes near-by vegetation to frame the valley below.
In this photo the aperture is set to a low f/4. Using a tripod, a lower shutter speed was used to capture the colors of a morning sun rise over a mountain lake. P.S. I woke up at 5 am for this photo and no I don’t regret it.
Landscapes are everywhere. The examples shown today were only of natural landscapes, but even if you can’t access these types of areas try other landscapes, like city landscapes. Don’t worry the same rules apply when photographing cities, just watch out for interesting sights!
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