Landscape Photography. You’re on holiday and come across a beautiful landscape. You get out your camera to capture the splendour only to arrive home, look at the images and find them lifeless, lacking colour and boring! Landscape photography doesn’t require any special photographic equipment and is more focused around apertures and shutter speeds; so what went wrong!
Firstly, look for a focal point that can enhance your image which could be anything as simple as a boulder, building or tree. You may need to think about the ‘rule of thirds’ which is a guideline applied to the process of composing visual images. Paying attention to your composition is very important to obtain good results and keeping the primary focal point away from the centre of your image can contribute to a more balanced look.
Look for leading in lines from fences, rivers, and paths. Start them from the corner of your shot and move them through to the back adding symmetry. If you have a dramatic sky place your horizon in the lower third of your shot and visa versa for the foreground.
Choosing the right time to take landscape photographs can have a great impact on the colours and I usually take landscapes during the morning or evening. Taking photos mid-day tends to wash out most of the colours while the afternoons and evenings allow you to catch more interesting light giving your landscape more depth and scale.
Research the local area to find some of the best locations before commencing your photographic adventure and once you’re there; get out of your car and be prepared to walk!
Use a smaller aperture to get most of your scene in focus. Choosing a small aperture reduces the light getting to your sensor so you would need to compensate this by using a slower shutter speed or increasing your ISO. I would also recommend using a tripod which is an essential piece of kit for any landscape photographer! Using a slower shutter speed also helps you get that smooth, silky look found in many landscape photographs.
For those sweeping majestic landscapes use a wide angle lens. You want to capture as much as possible and a wide angle lens has a “wider” field of view. I use a 15mm Voigtlander MKIII which is fantastic.
Landscape Photography – Attention to Detail
Lastly, don’t forget to frame your shot! When looking through your viewfinder check for things that perhaps shouldn’t be there. I recall going to a beautiful temple and returning to find telephone cables, bins, and cars in the background of the shot and for maximum composition ‘straighten the horizon’.