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Old July 2nd, 2008, 07:30 AM
Erik Bernskiold's Avatar
Erik Bernskiold Erik Bernskiold is offline
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Help: Tips when doing general landscape photography

There are lots of things you can say about landscape photography and how to shoot them and Iíll start off by saying that everyone has their own ideas on what makes the best landscape photograph. Iím trying with this article, to outline some tips and tricks that most landscape photographers can agree on and some tips that Iíve learnt myself while being out in the field.
There are some equipment that really helps to have when you are shooting landscapes. Some of it you could do on the computer but it will degrade the quality and really, doing it in the field is much more fun anyway and usually renders a better quality.

A Tripod is a must most of the times in the landscape environment because of a few things really. Many times youíll be in the early or late hours of the day when youíll be working with slower shutter speeds that you cannot hand-hold. However it is not only that; it is also so that you can work with the frame in a more advanced way. Composition can be thought about because the camera stays in place while you zoom, think, add filters or generally change settings and take multiple exposures. This all makes the tripod an essential asset.

Filters are really underestimated in this day. Most think that sure, we can add them after in Photoshop or similar programs. I would say that the person who is sure of that probably either donít know enough about Photoshop or enough about photography. Let me take two types of filters that you canít replace. Lets first start with the Graduated Neautral Density filter. To selectively darken a part of the frame is genious. It works especially well for sky and so on. Another filter is the ND, Neutral Density. It allows us to slow down the shutter speeds in broad daylight or at sunset to get nice effects on mainly water.

If we leave the equipment for a bit, because really a tripod and filters are really the most important (apart from the lenses etc.) accessories. Should we now move into a little more of the techniques on getting the photo we want in the end, because thatís what really matters, we would start with a very simple tip.

So my first tip for you is to get down low. Whether you have fancy equipment or the small compact camera this is gonna do a lot of difference and it is really what makes the better from the worse snapshots. Just kneeling down, getting down and dirty with the ground can make a photograph so much better! Try it, it costs hardly anything (just bring a plastic bag if it is moist).

The next tip is probably going to sound pretty silly at first but try it! If I go out to shoot a beautiful landscape I might be so focused up in just the landscape and the view that I either knew I was coming for, or saw the first. The tip here is to look for more. Look around. There might be good details to isolate in the field using a telezoom lens. Landscapes doesnít have to be wide-angle. Also look closer, maybe there is a small insect of some sort or a nice looking flower that would get lost in a wide-angle composition. This is really a big topic just to look for other things in a scene and not to be afraid of differing. Most shoot landscapes with wide-angle lenses, do differ and shoot with a telezoom or midrange prime and experiment. Your photos will probably end up more unique than the other guyís.

There is something obvious which needs to get written here and thatís obviously about the light. Photography is all about the light and landscapes are definitely not an exception at all. If you are new to this you may or may not have heard about shooting in the golden hours by sunrise or sunset when the colours are most pleasing. Donít let that lure you into never going out shooting on other hours. Instead, learn to capture photos at the other times of the day, still doing landscapes. It can be done but it is just a bit harder. One of the main things people usually do if they are forced into shoting in the midday is to go black and white. Sure, even black and white is easier in the golden hours but it does work good when the sun is high on the sky. Again, experiment and try to be different, thatís what makes or breaks you as a landscape photographer.

Another thing to try with landscape photography is HDR. When you donít have much of a scene it may be very useful to at least try an HDR bracketing because it can help the shot a lot and make it into a pretty good one. Just donít overdo it. Keep it real!

I think Iíve covered the main things in landscape photography while still leaving the creativity up to you. Iím not going to tell you here how to capture that wonderful effect that everyone else does, instead leave you to try that yourself. However, be wary of the light. Photograpy is all about light and looking at a flat image is not nice.

As a final part, get out there, shoot wary and good luck in the capturing!
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Dolphinraver Dolphinraver is offline
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Erik thank you for this article! Very helpful.

Angela
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 06:50 PM
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MAAQ MAAQ is offline
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Many thanks ,Erik.

Very helpful article.

Regards
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 09:30 PM
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shutterbug2007 shutterbug2007 is offline
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Another great article my freind!
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Old July 27th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Na2eL Na2eL is offline
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great and very helpful article
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