Let’s Talk Landscapes
Whatever your plans this summer, there will be some point where you look around you and wish you could capture the moment forever. Whether it’s England’s green and pleasant land, a gorgeous white beach and blue sea, or the spectacular scenery of one of the larger continents – you just want something you can keep to preserve the memory of that particular place and time.
But landscape photography can be very challenging. It seems the camera never quite does justice to the raw beauty of the place you love. So how can you improve your landscape photography? What are the secret ingredients to getting it right?
Our Top Five Tips may help:
- Focus focus focus
Every photograph needs a focus and this applies to landscapes too. For example the focus of your shot could be a tree, a rock, a building or some other structure. Think about where you place this item in your shot. The “rule of thirds” is very helpful here. Imagine your image broken down into thirds both horizontally and vertically so that you are looking at it in 9 squares. Try to get the main item in the shot at one of the four intersections or lines of the central square: this will make the photograph much more interesting.
To ensure that as much of your scene is in focus as possible, if you have a camera that enables you to adjust your aperture setting you should select a small setting (ie a large number) such as f/16. This will slow the shutter speed and enable a more detailed shot.
- Hold still
You will get a better shot if your camera is completely still, especially if you are using a slow shutter speed as described above. A tripod is an excellent way of doing this as it will avoid any blurring caused by shaking hands. You may also want to consider a remote shutter release mechanism.
- Come into the light
Getting the light right is so important for a good shot. Many landscape photographers prefer to work in the so-called golden light of dawn or dusk. This kind of light can be perfect for emphasising form, texture and scale: it can make the landscape come alive. But whatever light you shoot in, make sure that you understand where the light is coming from, and where your best position is for capturing the best lighting effects for the shot you want.
- Weather the weather
The one consistent thing about weather is that it is unpredictable. You can never guarantee the perfect conditions that you want, so the best thing is to make the most of what you have. Even if the weather conditions are not what you had hoped for, there will still be a good shot in there somewhere. Rain, mist and clouds may not be your first choice, but can result in some beautiful and dramatic shots. So be prepared to work in all kinds of weather rather than just limiting your attempts to perfect sunny days and blue skies.
- Look to the sky
Talking of skies, the sky is a very important factor in successful landscape photography. You need to decide how much sky to include in your shot – and that may depend on the condition of the sky that particular day. If there is something of particular interest, such as rich light or fascinating cloud formations, then consider including more in the shot than you may otherwise have done. It could make for a much better photograph.
Also consider the positioning of the horizon. Coming back to the rule of thirds, aligning the horizon with either the top or bottom of the central square (depending how much sky you want to include) creates a more balanced image than having it dead centre. It is also a good idea to make sure the horizon is straight when you take the shot so that you don’t need to do any corrective straightening afterwards.
We hope that our tips will help you to achieve some wonderful landscape photographs this summer! Check back here soon for more tips from Venture Studios.