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Tips for Better Landscape Photography

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By Photography Course


Lesson 20: Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is one of the toughest genres 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 nature is very important. Here are a 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 wavelengths 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

Composition depends on the eyes that are behind the camera. Some of the compositional elements include leading lines, shapes, curves, the 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.

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Horizon Placement

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 the 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 exposures, 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 exposure 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 differently exposed images. Use the Lightroom cc’s Merge -> HDR feature for better results to begin with. Luminosity masks are much advanced and give outstanding results.

Long Exposures

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 an 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.

Focus

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 autofocus. Use of lens manual exposure is recommended using the live view so that you can see what is in focus.

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

READ More:

Next Step — Lesson 21: Portrait Photography


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