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23 Landscape Photography Tips From a Pro (2019)

The breeze in your hair, a camera tossed over your shoulder and a great location in mind: nothing strokes getting out into the great outdoors to shoot landscapes. In the right conditions, a successful outdoors shoot can be an exciting experience. One needs to learn how to work quickly and methodically to guarantee great shots on every outing.

It doesn’t matter where a person lives: he’s rarely far from a great location. And even if he has to travel, it would be a part of the adventure. For shooting at home or abroad, the planet certainly feels like a smaller place; the internet has made location research easier than ever.

Where ever you are shooting, the landscape techniques are the same. Perfect your technique, and you will enjoy the landscape photos more than ever before. David Hockney said, “Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill,” is a true quotation. Some fantastic landscape photography techniques are

1. Plan like a pro.

Make a proper plan for heading out for photography. Check the weather; find out the time of sunrise or sunset at a particular location you chose. The direction in which the sun will rise or fall, about the change in temperature; rainfall or bright sunny day, all these can be found out using the internet and especially the location on google maps. The super-helpful tool for this particular photography is Photographer’s Ephemeris.

2. Pack with care

With the viewpoint of walking several miles to get to a location, it’s vital that you only pack what you will need. One can face different situations, but if you know, you would need one or two lenses, only pack these. Don’t forget to pack your clothing to suit all the possible weather conditions for the time of year, spare batteries, filters, and lens-cleaning accessories.

3. Discover new viewpoints

Humbly setting up your camera and support to capture what’s in front of you can swiftly come to decree how you approach and shoot landscapes. So don’t forget to discover scenes when you arrive to find the best viewpoint – and if that means lying on the ground to look up, go for it!

4. Survey notional details.

If the weather is bad or not according to expectation or it’s not ideal, it doesn’t mean that you have to pack up all your photography kit and head back to home: there are plenty of other opportunities to keep you busy. Why not discover different locations and look for interesting details such as reflections in pools of water, patterns in rocks?

A kit lens or a telephoto will allow zooming in and eliminating the neighboring area. The polarizing filters reduces  glare and saturate colors, while ND filters allows to shoot at slower shutter speeds, so a photographer can try blurring water to achieve a vibrant abstract effect. . Do not forget to experiment using filters.

5. Consumption of a wide-angle lens.

Landscape photography is a subject in which a wide range of lenses are used. From the wide-angles one can possibly think of initial all the way up to telephotos. While the location and subject will always prescribe the best focal length and technique to use, every landscape photographer certainly needs an ultra-wide-angle lens in their kit bag.  A lens with a focal range of 10-20mm can be considered for an APS-C camera; for full-frame cameras, roughly 15-30mm will provide a dramatic, wide field of view.

6. The camera settings

The camera settings for shooting landscape photos are pretty easy. Shoot in Aperture Priority mode for controlling the depth of field while the camera sets the appropriate shutter speed.  For the best image quality set the aperture to f/16 for a large depth of field, set the ISO to 100. Set to Evaluative/Matrix with the metering mode, the camera will read light from all areas of the sight to calculate the correct coverage. If required, use exposure advantage to lighten or darken the exposure.

With settings like these, the prospects of filters being attached to the lens, there’s a high possibility that the shutter speed will be slow. Attach the camera to a tripod if you find it drops below 1/125 sec, and use a remote release to fire the shutter without moving the camera. This blend will help to avoid camera shake; it is a type of blur in photos created by tiny camera movements when shooting at slow shutter speeds.

7. Enhance the sharpness.

Maximizing the overall image sharpness and depth of field depends on using both a narrow aperture and the correct focusing technique. Even with a narrow aperture such as f/16, if you focus on the incorrect part of the scene, the foreground or background could still be out of focus.

The best method to focus on landscapes is to switch the lens and camera to manual focus and rotate the lens’ focusing ring to focus on the right part of the frame. Identify the position in the scene that is one third of the distance towards the horizon, and focus at this point. Make sure that you’re looking at the depth of the scene.

After identifying this point, either look through the viewfinder or use Live View on your rear display while slowly rotating the focus ring. When the image looks sharp at the right point, stop to take a shot. Zoom in the image on the LCD screen to check that it’s sharp from the front, all the way to the back of the shot. If it is sharp in the forefront but not in the background, you’ll need to set the focus further back, and vice versa. Do not be afraid to keep adjusting the focus until you achieve sharpness throughout the scene.

8. Polarizing the light.

Polarizing filters are one of the most flexible fixtures in the photographer’s assemblage.  They Not only help to deepen blue skies, eradicate a degree of glare, lessen reflections and increase color saturation, but they can also be used as a limited neutral-density filter because they reduce light entering the lens by one or two stops.

9. Extend time with NDs

Neutral-density filters known as ND grads, are designed to decrease the amount of light that can enter the lens, which means you can use slower shutter speeds than you would normally. It makes creative blurring of water and clouds possible. NDs are often available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, 10- and even 15-stop light-blocking densities.

10. Capture the sky details

Neutral-density graduated filters are essential landscape filters that allow reducing the amount of light that enters at the top of the frame. They then proceed to no effect at all at the bottom, leaves this area completely unaffected. It means that you can achieve the complicated job of capturing a perfectly exposed bright sky at.

11. Wait for the blue/golden hour.

The sun has set down, and it’s getting gloomy, so time to head home, right? Absolutely not! Twilight brings many opportunities, but one in which you want to hang around for is known as the ‘blue hour.’ It’s a time after sunset and the better-known as when the golden hour has passed, where mainly blue and violet wavelengths of light are reaching the Earth. While the sky still contains flashes of red or orange, the ground is bathed in soft blue light, and the result is totall cool.

12. Insert a touch of drama.

A cloudy day may not provide a colorful sunrise or sunset, but what it can do is give a full day of shooting. As long as the sky isn’t a limitless span of grey and feature is present in the clouds, you can shoot incredibly moody images. And, of course, if the sun does ensue to break through for a moment, it will look amazing.

13. Generate a visual balance.

A great light, the right weather conditions, and perfect coverage, the composition is one of the most important aspects of landscape photography. Composition is simply a term to describe how elements of the view are settled within the image frame. There are many devices or tricks one can use to give shots visual balance and draw the viewer into them.

The rule of thirds is one of the most reliable compositional rules, and it is also the most basic.  It can be used in conjunction with the other devices we’ll be looking at, so consider it to be the basis of shots. By following this rule, your landscape photos will have a true sense of balance that’s pleasing to the eye.

14. Step into images

Foreground interest is an influential compositional device that can make the foreground and background areas of images work in perfect harmony. By positioning an object such as a rock, water, or anything that relates to the scene, create a visual stepping stone – a starting point for the viewer’s eye to enter the image. Don’t include a random object as foreground interest. It should have relevance to the scene, and ultimately match it.

15. Direct the viewer's eye.

For creating dynamic landscape pictures, draw the viewer into and through your images.

One will need a robust linear element in the scene, such as a bridge, a wall, a road, or a rock. Position the element, so it begins in the bottom third of the frame, ideally right at the bottom, compose the shot so the lines aim towards the focal point in the image.

16. Break the rules

          Once you learn how to use the rule of thirds, it often becomes second nature, but there are times when one completely ignore it and compose it with the main subject or the horizon line in the middle of the frame produces the most startling image possible. You’ll discover that the best types of scenes to compose centrally are those where there’s a visible element of natural symmetry, such as a pier, lavender fields or lone trees.

17. Discover minimalism

Minimal landscapes can look amazing. They can be just as exciting as a classic landscape scene bursting with detail and light. In photography and art there’s a compositional idea called ‘the rule of threes’: the basis behind it is simply that three objects are more visually pleasing than two or four.

So when you’re shooting minimalist landscapes, if you don’t have a lone tree or a single derelict breakwater on a beach, try to find three.

18. Get creative with camera movements

Landscape photography is usually all about catching sharp images. When motion blur is included, it’s often to blur moving elements, such as water. To capture the whole landscape as a dynamic blur, you have to turn the way you shoot on its head. Set the camera to Shutter Priority at 1/8 sec with ISO at 100. A zoom burst is; zoom the lens into the subject you’re photographing and focus then begin to zoom out while releasing the shutter smoothly. Experiment with the zooming speed for the best results.

Panning landscapes is where you move the camera vertically or across during the exposure. A vertical pan works best for trees; try a horizontal pan for coastal shots.

19. Creation of starbursts.

Shooting at sunrise or sunset, the sun will be exceptionally bright when it’s just above the horizon. The light will still be soft and colorful, but the bright sun can make shooting challenging. One way to choke the problem, and to apply a fabulous effect, is to create a starburst. To do this, either position yourself, so the sun is partially covered by something, or shoot when the sun is just peeking over the horizon line. If the aperture set to either f/16 or f/22, the bright light will be caught as a star. No are filters required.

20. Look for evenness.

Reflections can be an incredibly creative addition to all types of photography, but with landscapes, they can provide mirror-perfect symmetry. For this type of shot, position the far bank of a lake or the horizon line across the Centre of the frame to split the scene and the reflection into two equal parts.

21. Shooting on misty mornings.

Waking up to mist may not seem like the best settings for shooting, but the shadowy look of the landscape is an opportunity not to be missed. The best mist for photographers is radiation fog,’ which forms during clear, still nights when the ground loses heat via radiation. This type of mist will often remain close to the ground, creating a thin, white layer. You need to use exposure compensation to avoid under-exposure. Try to position yourself, so the sun is in front of you for more dramatic results.

22. Take your time.

Don’t rush if you want to get a flawless picture. Take your time you need to find out the right viewpoint. The first picture you take of the scenery is the rawest form of what you are capable of creating, so keep making slight changes in your camera till you get the perfect picture. It requires a lot of patience; it will be worth when you look at the final result.

23. Safety measures.

You may find yourself in the wilderness in landscape photography because that’s where all the breathtaking scenes are. You would be facing some risks as a storm or thunderbolt may strike, a wild animal may pop up, or any other kind of disaster could happen. Thus you must be prepared to deal with such situations. You should go with protection and backup plans.

Remember that landscape photography is an art and skill. Art is something that you are born with while skill is something that you polish with practice!

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