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How to take Landscape photographs

One of the most popular subjects for photographers is Landscape. There are many reasons for this; It’s easily accessible – the lakes and mountains are always there! - and with a little bit of effort the results can be stunning.

Use of foreground interest adds depth to a LandscapeThe first thing to find is a good location. Find a good photogenic scene to photograph, but also try to pick an original view of the scene. Very often a scene will be photographed a lot, but if you can find an original view of it, you can make it look all the better. Don’t just settle for the tourist viewing spot, explore a bit to see if there is a more interesting angle of view.

The time of the day that you choose to photograph your scene makes an enormous difference. I have known photographers to photograph a scene over and over again, in different seasons, and at different times of the day, until they get an image they are happy with.

A large Aperture setting keeps everything in focusThe best time of day comes down to one thing – Light. Early morning or late afternoon are best for attractive light as the sun low in the sky and causes interesting shadows. Other great times to photograph scenes are sunrise and Sunset. (see Waiting For The Light)

To ensure everything in your landscape photo is in focus, set a small aperture (see Aperture). The larger the F-Stop or Aperture number the more in the scene that will be sharp. The only problem with this is that a large Aperture (and I would recommend at least F11) means a slow Shutterspeed (see Shutter Speed), which means a tripod to hold the camera steady.

 

 

Take time composing your scene, making sure the Horizon is straight and that there are no unwanted items in the scene, especially the corners. (see Composition)

A focal point & interesting foreground makes a dynamic imageAs with all photographs, make sure your photograph has a focal point, a point of interest. This could be a building, unusual tree or rock formation, stream or even a shadow or reflection. Try using the foreground to create a sense of depth and lead the viewer into the scene. Remember the Rule of Thirds for tips on good composition. See Composition in detail for more ideas and tips.

When composing your shot, don’t forgot to look at the sky – a nice moody, cloudy sky can add atmosphere to the scene, so be sure to include it. If the sky is not that interesting, place the horizon high in the frame and use lots of foreground instead.

A moody sky creates atmosphereMost people use Wide Angel lenses to photograph landscapes, and while you can achieve some stunning shots with these, don’t forget the other lenses in your bag. Long lenses can be useful for flattening the perspective of a misty mountain range for example.

 

 

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What Lens?

Equipment

Aperture

Waiting For The light

Composition in Detail