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Landscapes are one of the favorite genres of and photographers of any level of professionalism. However, when shooting a landscape, everything does not always go like clockwork.
Photo of nature has a fairly wide range of scenes and objects that you shoot outdoors and includes elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants, trees, and flowers. And it doesn't matter what exactly you are shooting: general scenes or, for example, close-up flowers, nature photography is very useful for developing photography skills.
Why should you try to make a landscape photoshoot?
Firstly, this genre is the most accessible. Unlike staged studio shooting, in which you need, at least, to pay for the rent of a photo studio, nature will not go anywhere from you. If the picture was not successful, you can go to the same place again, but, for example, at a different time or in different weather.
Secondly, the landscape is not very picky about the level of photographic equipment. Of course, it will be difficult to take a high-quality picture of a landscape with a cheap compact device or a smartphone, but an amateur SLR, mirrorless camera, or more or less advanced compact camera can provide an acceptable result.
Thirdly, a landscape does not require haste, unlike, say, a reportage.
Landscape photography tips: choose a location carefully
So, advice number one sounds simple: place, place, and again place. Choosing the right location is the most important thing in landscape photography because that is your subject. Explore, google, study, go and look for new locations. Sometimes you will come across complete nonsense, but keep looking for exciting places with interesting objects to focus on. You may have to walk until your legs begin to "fall off." Or ride a bike for a long time. The bottom line is that you need not be lazy and move from point A to point B to find the very view that will become the reward.
This is the whole point of landscapes photo - you need to look and look. Sometimes you will come across all sorts of nonsense, but otherwise, you will have to shoot the same mediocrity over and over again. But at the same time, I will make a reservation that you should not be afraid to shoot some object more than once because any object can certainly be shot more than once. If you go back to where you have already shot, you can find a new angle or see everything in a new way. For example, seasonal differences justify re-shooting in the same location.
How to do a landscapes image: Plan Your Shoot
This tip will be important for you. The second tip is perhaps as obvious as the first - try to plan your shoot. You should not arrive at the site a couple of minutes before sunset, because you simply will not have time to set up the tripod, adjust the camera and choose the best angle. Therefore, try to get to the shooting location in advance. Sometimes it is not superfluous to estimate the time for the road with a margin - it will be a pity to miss the moment for shooting due to a traffic jam or a flat tire.
Planning is also about knowing what kind of light you want to shoot in: golden hour, blue hour, twilight. Most photographers talk about the golden hour, but you can take stunning pictures in a blue hour or twilight.
You may have heard about the golden hour during shooting landscapes, when the sun hovered over the horizon and its light, passing through a large thickness of the atmosphere, gives a pleasant, reddish tan color all around. And the blue hour is when the sun has gone 4-8 degrees below the horizon and everything in indirect light gets a bluish tint. That’s why it is called so.
At the end of the preparation, check the weather forecast for the day of the planned shooting. You do not need to thoroughly study the information of various weather sites, just find out enough to be sure that you can shoot at the chosen location at the desired time.
What are the main 10 tips for shooting landscapes?
Tip number 1: prepare well to do the perfect landscapes photo
Speaking of technique, one simply cannot fail to mention a few items that you need to take with you for landscape photography.
First of all, filters. Filters are everything in landscapes image. Standard and variable ND filters can be useful at any time to reduce light intensity by a few stops.
You may ask, why block out this beautiful golden light that floods everything around? Because some objects sometimes look better at slow shutter speeds. Fast shutter speeds are great for test shots, but they will look too common. As if the photo was taken on a smartphone, and not on a full-fledged camera:
Long exposure, on the other hand, produces interesting colors, and any movement of the water or sky becomes blurry.
Tip number 2: Use a quality tripod
The fourth tip for making landscapes photo would be: use a quality tripod. No one wants to have an unstable tripod close at hand when they are going to shoot at a 30-second shutter speed. After all, otherwise, the photo may come out blurry, and you will have to shoot another frame with a 30-second exposure on an unstable tripod.
Tip number 3: Get a wide-angle lens
You can of course shoot landscapes with your existing 50 or 35 mm lens, but it's great to have a truly wide-angle lens for dramatic lines.
Tip number 4: Use leading lines
Pick a leading line, and it will lead you to a good photo of landscapes. A well-chosen leading line plays a very important role in landscape photography. Such a line guides the gaze very well, it, like a finger, indicates to the viewer where to look.
For example, in this shot, lines direct your gaze towards a medieval coastal watchtower.
Tip number 5: Choose the foreground carefully
Sometimes a landscape shot looks completely blurred when it is shot with a wide-angle lens, and in the foreground, there is a wide piece of land on which the eye has nothing to catch. You can say as much as you like that this is an artistic idea, but nothing will change - in the foreground, as there was nothing, nothing will be.
Placing a bright point in the foreground can correct the situation, but then the viewer's attention will be focused on it. Although in a normal landscape, you can often find something subtle in the foreground.
Tip number 6 is to use a large depth of field in landscape photography. Close the aperture - the higher the f-number, the smaller the aperture. But at the same time, there is no need to make the mistake of choosing the lowest aperture value. The fact is that at an aperture, for example, f/22, you will get diffraction and the image will turn out to be blurry.
For good results in doing landscapes images, we would recommend using an aperture of at least f/16.
Tip number 7: Master new technologies
Penultimate tip: if you want to try something new, take to the skies. If you want breathtaking shots unlike thousands of others, use a quadcopter. This will allow you to shoot from an angle that is not yet available to usual mobile photographers.
Tip number 8: might sound like this: use the rules of thirds. A lot of people don’t like this rule, but it will let you take a good photo that is enjoyable to look at but don't let it limit your creativity.
Tip number 9: How to Shoot Landscapes: Never Back Down!
This advice may sound like a second-rate motivational message, but it's important nonetheless. Don't give up, don't let the weather stop you - even if it's cloudy, there are always options for shooting. Bad weather and puddles on the ground do not always help you - quite the opposite - you cannot control them. Therefore, take them for granted and create unique art. For example, in gloomy weather, you can shoot clouds.
Tip number 10: So, in cloudy weather, shoot black and white landscapes. In low light conditions, raise the ISO value, but raise it so that the photo is exposed as it should. Even if it seems to you that the shooting will not succeed, still photograph something - the result may surprise you.