Landscape photography is one of the most pleasant kinds of photography. Not only do you have the opportunity to take spectacular images for your home or office, but you can create canvases, large prints and even gifts for people. How to take good landscapes depends on a small number of very key factors. The light you photograph in and your photographic lens are the two key features that capture lovely landscape photos.
How to take landscape photos
First, before I go into finer details about these two things, let?s examine how to shoot landscapes. You will require a digital camera that is able to be clipped on to a tripod. Then of course you need a tripod. A tripod is what supplies you very sharp and clear shots. We use a tripod for landscapes because we would like to be able to position the camera free from camera shake. Having a camera that is completely motionless allows us to get sharp shots in many different types of daylight.
A shutter release cable is one handier tool that is often a big part of mastering your photographing landscapes techniques. A shutter release cable is a little cable with a button at one end. You can attach the cable into your digital camera and activate the shutter, simply by clicking down a push button on the end of the remote cable. It means you do not have to handle your camera at all. This raises your probability of getting even sharper pictures.
Lenses for landscape photography
Now that you have your digital camera, tripod and remote shutter cord, now what? Immediately we come to our lens. There are many different sorts of lenses for photographing landscapes. It can be tricky to select one if you have not mastered photographing landscapes before. One of the most excellent and sharpest lenses is called a prime lens. This means it does not zoom out and in. It can?t. It stays at a fixed focal length. As a consequence of this immobility, your panorama images become very sharp and clearer than if you used a zoom lens.
If you want to capture a huge, expansive look to your landscape photos, then I suggest looking at your camera manufacturer’s wide angle and ultra wide angle lenses. A wide angle lens is a focal length of about 24mm to 40mm. An ultra wide angle lens is even wider and can be about 14mm-17mm. There are lots of lenses to select.
Landscape digital camera settings
There is never any perfect camera setting for a landscape image. On the other hand there are some pretty good guidelines to create landscapes. To begin with the goal of landscape photography is to create outstanding, sharp images with superb light. Before we get into lighting, I would like to clarify that a smaller aperture is usually what landscape photographers photograph at. A smaller f stop, such as F22, is what is thought as an ideal aperture for landscape scenes. This is purely because it facilitates our camera to focus suitably into the distance. If you are shooting at an average middle distance of ten to twenty meters away F13 or higher works perfectly well too. You will certainly have to take your lighting into consideration.
The ideal lighting for photographing landscapes
I have to be honest with you. I am very surprised there is not more written on lighting for landscape photography because it is incredibly vital. I’ve left it till last; because I want to focus your awareness on the most critical aspect of landscape shooting.
The reason why a landscape photo looks so colourful and beautiful is because of the lighting. Without good lighting a landscape photo can look boring and lacking in interest. And no amount of photography gear will answer this problem.
The best time of day to shoot your landscape scene is in the early morning or late afternoon. This filtered light is called sweet light. You will find that the light is subtle and gently vibrant. At morning and late afternoon the light, hues and tones offer your scene a totally different look to the heart of the day. Working in the mid summer sunlight can create uninvited shadows, washed out colours and a general lack of intensity. Shooting in a soft light gives us back those soft colours, muted tones and gentle skies. There are generally no harsh and awful shadows ruining our landscapes.
Landscape photography editing techniques
Once you have your fixed lens, camera set up on your tripod, small aperture and ideal lighting you can fire off a whole sequence of photographs to your hearts content! I know I certainly do. Once you have created your beautiful landscape shot you can then bring it home for editing. Finding the exact photo editing techniques for landscapes isn’t that hard. You must first know what you are aiming to accomplish. Some of us adore turning a landscape photo into a monochrome shot. Others love to maintain the soft, muted colours that only morning light can provide. Some of us love to produce different effects altogether to add more drama and impact to capture an almost end of days appearance to our landscape photos.
The main thing is to keep your images clear, broad and vibrant. Work to have your photo looking clear and colourful. This means you may have to enhance the sharpness a little using the smart sharpen tool in Photoshop. For Lightroom followers, open up the Detail panel and amplify the sharpening, radius and detail sliders to the right hand side.
Improving the colour vibrancy can do wonders for your landscape photo. You will notice that most landscapes hold incredible colour. That is because of the increase in certain colours throughout the image. It is also due to a broad increase in colour vibrancy across the whole photo. Don?t expand the colour range and brightness too much; you don?t want dark green to look glowing green or soft pinks of wildflowers to look hot pink. It will just look out of place. Keep the colours sincere looking as possible, but just enhance the presence of colour.
High Dynamic Range
If you have trouble getting shadows that are under exposed and highlights that are way too bright, then try HDR. This is a splendid landscape editing method that can really save your photos. You take 3 different photos. The first is two stops under exposed. The second is perfectly exposed and the third is two stops over exposed. This will bring about natural highlights to your shadows and tone down your highlights to a more natural looking appearance.
Landscape photography ideas
Depending on where you live, you may have many opportunities. In case you are having difficulties for ideas then try these. A seaside scene, waterfalls, a freeway from a bird?s eye vision, a cityscape at dusk, a long open road, mountain range with hanging fog, a pasture with flowers and even a paddock with animals grazing in the background. You can see that there are limitless opportunities for successfully photographing landscapes.
Shooting landscapes is dependent on your light, lens and clarity. You don?t have to have a classy camera to take beautifully stunning landscape photos. You can depend on the things I have shown you and in no time at all you will be on your way to making stunning photos.
Amy Renfrey is a professional photography teacher. She shows you how to take stunning photos every single time, even if you have never used a digital camera before. Click here to discover/ how to take better photos every time you press the shutter button.