Landscape photography techniques

The Art of Landscape Photography 

10 photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything


About The Art of Landscape Photography 

It shows the principles of composition and aesthetic design, with numerous examples to illu*strate the compositional points under discussion.

There are many general titles on landscape photography, but few that really go into the subject of composition in depth. This guide assumes a good working understanding of technical basics, such as correct exposure, filtering, and sharpness, and focuses on the "heart and soul" of landscape photography: the principles of composition and aesthetic design to convey meaning and emotion. . While technique is not ignored, the emphasis is on how it impacts the aesthetics of the image, for example, using filtering to enhance the mood of a scene rather than simply balancing extremes of contrast. Due to the nature of the subject, this is very much a picture book, with numerous example images to illu*strate the compositional points being discussed. At the back of the book there will be thumbnails of all the images used, with a summary of the technical details (camera, lens, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, filtration) to ensure that those who crave technical information will not be disappointed.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Bauer is a regular contributor to photographic press, currently writing for Digital SLR magazine, Photography Monthly and Landscape Photography. He has written three books and is also a multi-award winner in the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. Ross Hoddinott is a regular contributor to a number of magazines, including Outdoor Photography and Digital SLR Photography. He has enjoyed multiple successes in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and in 2008 was on the judging panel. In 2009, Ross was named British Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the annual BWPA awards. Ross is the author of five photography books.

Product details

Publisher : Ammonite Press (June 1, 2015)
Language : English
Paperback : 192 pages
ISBN-10 : 1781450528
ISBN-13 : 978-1781450529
Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
Dimensions : 8 x 0.8 x 9.25 inches


Photography Tips : As a new photographer, you simply won’t need a lot of gear since you’ll have lots of learning to do before your skills surpass the capabilities of the kit lens. It’s easy to get su*cked into buying fancy new gadgets, but take time to push your current gear to the limit so you’ll be better informed of needs later, and prevent frivolous spending at the same time. You’ll discover that having gear restrictions can improve creativity in various areas too.

Landscape photography techniques

10 photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Landscape photography techniques, tips and tricks

Tip 1. Using ND grads, strong Neutral Density filters and polarizers

Landscape photographers often carry a range of filters to help them solve exposure problems or achieve an effect that's difficult to recreate in photo editing software.

Although HDR photography and exposure blending in Photoshop have reduced the need for ND grads in the field, solid ND filters and polarising filters still have their place in the landscape pro's camera bag.

Solid Neutral Density filters reduce the amount of light entering the lens, extending shutter speeds for long-exposure landscape photography.

Polarizer filters remove reflections from the surface of water and shiny leaves, and boost the contrast between blue skies and white clouds.

photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Tip 2. Level horizons

Most of the time you'll want the horizon in a picture to be level. This is especially true if you're shooting seascapes, otherwise the water will appear to be running out of the frame.

Your camera's Live View screen has a grid overlay that can be activated in the menu to ensure horizons are level, and it may also have an electronic level display that can be superimposed over the image.

If your camera lacks these features, use the rows of autofocus points you can see in the viewfinder as a rough guide to keeping the horizon straight.

Tip 3. Hyperfocal focusing technique

Depth of field is an important consideration when photographing landscapes. It's often desirable to get as much of a view - from foreground details to the distant horizon - to appear as sharp as possible.

To increase the depth of field, choose smaller apertures and then manually focus at the hyperfocal distance. This is the point at which the depth of field will stretch from approximately half the hyperfocal distance to infinity.

The hyperfocal distance changes according to the focal length and aperture being used, so we'd advise using one of the many useful hyperfocal smartphone apps available to do the calculations for you.

Tip 4. Long lens landscapes

It's instinctive to reach for a wide-angle lens when photographing landscapes, but a telephoto lens is also an essential part of the creative landscape photographer's camera kit.

A telephoto lens enables you to compress the elements of a scene, making the foreground and background appear closer together than in a photo taken with an ultra-wide lens.

Zoom in with a long lens and mountain ranges will seem more tightly packed, trees in a forests more densely populated.

Telephoto lenses can also make it easier to compose landscape photos as they capture a narrower angle of view compared to wide-angle lenses. Being able to simplify a scenic often makes for stronger pictures.

Tip 5. HDR landscape photos

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography enables you to capture detail in all areas of a picture - from shadows through to highlights - that you normally couldn't squeeze into a single picture.

HDR photography essentially involves taking a number of photos at different exposures - either manually or using your DSLR's autoexposure bracketing function - and then blending the best bits of each exposure into a single image.

Enthusiast and semi-pro DSLRs like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800 have built-in HDR photography modes that do the blending for you in-camera. However, for more control and flexibility, do it later in specialist software.

photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Tip 6. Long-exposure landscapes

Using a long exposure to photograph a landscape will cause any moving elements to be recorded as motion blur.

Waterfalls, waves and trees on windy days will all add interesting movement to landscape photos if you use a shutter speed of several seconds to photograph them.

Getting a slow enough exposure usually requires a small aperture, low ISO and low light. However, you can also achieve this in bright daylight by attaching a Neutral Density filter to the lens.

ND filters come in a range of strengths, each blocking the amount of light that enters the lens by a different amount.

Strong ND filters, such as the Lee Filters Big Stopper, will allow you to use extremely long exposures on even the brightest days, creating long exposure photos that stretch for many minutes rather than being over in seconds.

A 10-stop ND filter like the Big Stopper or the B+W ND110 can enable you to turn a crashing sea into a milk-smooth millpond.

Gear guide: Best ND filters: 6 top models tested

Tip 7. Tilt-shift landscapes

Tilt-shift photography enables you to combine the sharpness of large lens apertures with the extensive depth of field you normally associate with small apertures.

This is achieved by using a tilt-shift lens, which can be both tilted (to control the plane of focus) and shifted (to correct any converging verticals).

However, by tilting the lens to give an ultra-shallow plane of focus and, you can make landscapes look like miniature models.

The most convincing tilt-shift landscapes combine an element of hardware (trains, boats, cars) and a raised shooting position to mimic the view of looking down at toys on a bedroom floor.

Tilt-shift lenses are expensive though, so why not create a fake tilt-shift miniature photo in Photoshop? The results can be just as effective.

photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Tip 8. Black and white landscapes

If you want to take great black and white landscape photos, shoot in color. By using your digital camera's raw picture quality setting rather than JPEG, you'll record a color image that you can convert to black and white later in photo editing software such as Light room or Photoshop.

Doing it this way means that you have full control over the black and white conversion, such as using dodging and burning techniques to make specific areas of the photo brighter or darker, split-toning the image or adding a color-popping effect.

Even though you're shooting in raw format, select the Monochrome picture style on your DSLR. This will give you a useful black and white preview of the image on the rear screen, even though you're recording a color image.

Tip 9. Panoramas

Instead of using an ultra-wide angle lens to try and squeeze an entire view into a single frame, why not try shooting a panoramic landscape photo instead?

To build a panorama, first take a series of overlapping shots with the camera positioned vertically - this will give you much larger panoramic image than if you use the camera horizontally.

Although specialist panoramic tripod heads are available, they're not always necessary, particularly if you're using software that stitches a panorama automatically. The latest version of Photoshop's Photo merge app is particularly adept at this process.

When you take the pictures that will be combined to make the panorama, use manual settings - manual exposure, manual focus and a manual white balance preset - to ensure consistency across every picture.

Tip 10. Infrared photos

photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything
Although you can create a fake infrared effect in Photoshop, nothing beats the thrill of doing it in-camera. Infrared landscapes can be in black or white or color, with both offering a very different look and feel.

For the best photos, it's worth considering getting an old DSLR converted to infrared. You won't be able to use it for regular color photography once the IR conversion has been carried out, but it's much more convenient than having to mess around with IR filters on an unconverted camera.

Tip 11. Minimalist landscapes

Usually black and white, often square and frequently realized with the help of Neutral Density filters, minimalist landscape photographs are more about what you leave out than what you leave in.

Telephoto zooms will help you to frame interesting details that would make for a great minimalist landscape. Look for single trees, lone clouds and isolated rocks. Fog, snow and featureless skies will provide a suitable blank canvas for this type of picture too.

photography tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

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