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Grab this proven, simple, step-by-step guide. And let a world-class teacher give you the tools, skills, and knowledge you need to start producing exciting and award-winning landscape photographs. Don't procrastinate It takes certain steps to create compelling, award-winning, landscape photographs. Have you ever wondered why a scene, that looked SO gorgeous in person, now looks flat and uninteresting in your photograph? Have you returned from vacation feeling dissatisfied because your images did not capture the natural beauty that you witnessed with your own eyes?
Here are some of the professional secrets that are revealed in this training guide-. How a pro shoots AND post-processes their images for art gallery quality! How your color balance setting can completely alter the mood of an image. These are very important. How to properly use that equipment. There is a right way and a wrong way. HINT — Most photographers are using their equipment the wrong way So you can use this skill to really make your landscapes 'POP'! How to shoot landscape photography at night!
How to Take Good Landscape Photos – Formed From Light
And why they are so important if you take your landscape photography seriously Tools that can help you determine the position of the sun BEFORE it gets there! In raw daylight, it may be the only way to make a more usable image that does not feel flat, too. If you are interested in getting a neutral density filter, there are a wide range of them available online.
These files can be edited to great effect and exported to other file types such as JPEG later. When shooting in RAW, the one thing you will notice is a drastic increase in the file size.
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Our shots tend to run around 20mb — 30mb easily per photo. As a result of this, you may need to upgrade your SD card s to larger volume ones. As a point of reference, we can use a GB card and shoot an entire wedding day basically non-stop shooting for upwards of 10 hours. The first thing that comes to our mind when we thinking about landscape photography are huge, sweeping scenes. Showcasing mountain ranges, field, lakes…the list goes on…While these shots are beautiful, and maybe not even exclusive from our next topic — we want to talk a little bit about how to take good landscape photos by including interesting foreground subjects.
A lot of landscapes really dominate the mid-ground and background of a scene. Often, this can mean we neglect the foreground — or the parts of a picture closest to the viewer. By using a good foreground subject, you can introduce more intrigue and even show scale of a place you are in. Fortunately, this is not a difficult thing to do.
There are a wealth of foreground objects you can use to add to your scene. Some of the most common things might include:. The entire technical side of photography really boils down to one simple end goal: getting the right exposure. In more complex settings, you will also need to factor in external light sources such as off camera flashes, as the light introduced in this way also impacts the exposure.
In order to get the right exposure in your landscape photographs, you should begin by getting familiar with the histogram. As seen in the image above, the histogram is a way to visualize the data in your photographs. Most cameras have these built into them. You can also use a histogram in editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop.
The main thing you will be looking for when it comes to getting a balanced and perfect exposure is to see that there are no areas of clipping.
How to Take Good Landscape Photos
These are really high peaks on the histogram, often that go out of the graphs boundaries. In our experience, some clipping is not the end of the world. It may not be visually noticeable to most people if it is in small quantities, or is used effectively within your photographic art style more on this in a moment. For the sake of learning landscape photography, knowing how to dial in a proper exposure is a great fundamental to know. As with pretty much everything, it can also be broken if you so choose.
In our experience, underexposing shots tend to allow us to retain more detail and data in our images. This is especially true when retaining shadow and highlight details.
Photo tips: landscape photography made easy
In the same way, some photographers opt to overexpose images. Note: when under or over exposing, keep in mind we do these things with post processing in mind.
In Lightroom, we are able to fix the exposure to suit our specific needs. The exposures we choose are intentional, but with the end image in mind — this being the fully edited shot. Once you actually take your photos, the way to make them even better is through photo editing.
Pretty much every photograph you see today, particularly on social media like Instagram , is the result of, at least some level of, editing.
Landscape Photography Tips
In the past, photo editing was quite frowned upon. It was and still is in some circles viewed as inauthentic. While there may be some truth to this, especially when referring to really dramatically altered images, in our world — editing allows us to perfect our exposures. While we do adjust colors to suite our style, which is pretty natural in its own right, more of our focus is concentrated on impacting the contrast in an image. This means changes to things like the shadows and highlights. While photo editing is a huge subject for discussion, the best starting point is to get Lightroom or another comparable editing software and use some presets.
Presets allow you to get your images closer to your desired endpoint with less effort. A few we have used in the past include:. If you learn something by the end of it, let me know in the comments!
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While you will never have full control — as mother nature will always do what it wants in the end — a certain level of planning can help you maximize your control. I always do some planning to make sure I will arrive at a location at a reasonable time and be in the position I want to be before the light turns bad or goes completely out. You may also want to prepare some mental images of your composition — so once you arrive, you can immediately look for the shot you are picturing.
My passion for landscape photography has been fueled by my other passion for travel. These two things go hand-in-hand, as is shown off time-and-again by landscapers visible on social media. These days, I have additional travel plans in the works to visit places like New Zealand, Thailand, Ireland, Greece…and more…You can bet my camera will be on hand!
This will help you to boost your landscape photographs almost instantly — trust me when I say this. That was basically my impression when I visited Berserkjahraun — a lava field in Iceland. A lot of times when I review the work of beginner landscape photographers, this is the most jarring problem. Macro landscape photography is highly underrated. Photography has given us the power to actually visualize this — first with the matter of changing perspectives as we mentioned in the tip above this one , and next by utilizing specialty camera lenses to get in on the details.
It has given new perspective to even just photographing a simple flower in my backyard — a subject that would traditionally get clumped in with a lot of other landscape subjects, but in this case isolated and photographed in beautiful detail. Giving an example — while taking a picture of a mountain range, consider highlighting a small plant or even a person in the foreground of your scene.
This type of approach will draw the eye of a viewer through the image.
Landscape photography can either be an accurate representation of what you see or provide an alternative and surreal version of the world around us. I also know plenty of landscape photographers who are totally cool with going the opposite direction — they see photography as a means to enhance the already beautiful landscapes before their eyes. While I will discuss photo editing later in this post, there are techniques that can be done in camera to communicate.
A few of my favorites:.
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There is a reason why some people like Ansel Adams became really well known and respected for their landscape photography work. Not only do they bring good technical knowledge on operating a camera, but their outlook on life often enables more beautiful photography as a result of their deep rooted appreciation for nature.
A great book that pairs photography as a technical exploration and as a philosophical one is Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams. Start by thinking about some of your favorite landscape photos? What makes them so great? Whatever the image contains — it is most likely impressive because it can hold your interest well.
Any really great photo no matter what the subject is will utilize a layer of interesting subjects to create a solid end result. Often, this may translate into choosing a subject to fill the foreground a person, rock, animal, flower, etc. The presence of these actual subjects or just things in the environment help to reveal a more impressive image than just taking a picture of a nice sky or a cool mountain on its own.