How to Take Landscape Photos
We are all landscape photographers some time in our lives no matter how professional our camera is. You have probably unwittingly taken ‘landscape’ photos when you are on holidays or even just out and about. Strangely, there are photos of nature that we all like more than others and there is a formula to achieving this with all of your shots.
The biggest thing to remember when taking large scale shots of a landscape is the rule of three. Your photo should be broken up into three portions and the easiest way to do this is:
- Two thirds sky with one third foreground.
- Two thirds foreground with one third sky.
- In landscape or portrait orientation top to bottom.
This seems a little too simple but it has something to do with how our brains perceive and image. Take a look at a photo that you like and you will find that you can divide it very easily into thirds. It also lets you concentrate on cutting out what you don’t need in a photo and giving you a frame of reference for your shot.
Finding a location can be as easy exploring with your DSLRdigital camera in hand. However, there are other ways to find some fun spots to shoot and the internet can give you some great ideas. Sites such as Flickr.com are filled with high quality images of great locations which can be searched. Another good solution is visiting locations that are close to your heart as having a connection with the location can provide some great shots. Some suggested locations would be seascapes, mountain ranges, sunsets & sunrise, ranges or even urban.
Patience for Pictures
The key with landscape photography is patience and it takes time to get the exact shots you’re chasing. There are numerous factors that will affect results the main one being the time of day you take your shots. Usually, early morning or late afternoon are the best options for landscape photos as it is called “the magic hour”:
- Early morning light and late afternoon light provides richer colours and contrast.
- Photos in the middle of the day or in summer can sometimes be ‘washed out’.
- Taking shots in the same location throughout an entire day will teach you the changes in light.
Using Lenses and Filters
One way to take some of the guesswork out of landscape photography is to use different lenses and filters. Wider angle lenses, say between 18mm & 24mm can be used to fit in more of the scenery or you can use telephoto lenses to ‘bunch’ scenery closer together. Another great tool is a polarising filter that will bring out your sky and clouds. To get maximum detail in photo from the foreground to the horizon is to set the lens aperture to between f8 and f11 is another useful tip.
Experimenting is Key
No matter where your location is, what time of day it is, or what kind of equipment you are using you just need to experiment. Using lenses and filters is just the beginning and changing how you stand or where you take your shots from can make a big difference. Do not be afraid to try something different because you can only learn from any bad shots you might take.