Landscape Photography Primer
1 Landscape Photography Primer
|A successful landscape photograph conveys an emotional sense of place to the viewer.|
Landscape photography is among the more enticing genres among enthusiasts. Many draw inspiration from twentieth century giants like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, American photogaphers who saw the continent's vast spaces as opportunities for artistic expression. Yet the roots of their work go back even further to those who took on the decidedly unglamorous and backbreaking survey work of the American West. This was performed by unsung heroes like William Henry Jackson and Timothy H. O’Sulllivan, who were skilled in wilderness survival and able to endure the hardship required to map and photograph the new frontier.
Being a landscape photographer today no longer means trekking through unmapped terrain with pack mules hauling 50 pounds of camera gear and darkroom equipment. Yet there remain both technical and logistical hurdles in photographing the great outdoors. In this article, we'll explore equipment options for the landscape specialist, discuss the logistics involved in planning a shooting trip and look at techniques that allow you to capture the essence of the scene unfolding in front of your camera.
Superb image quality and the ability to record as much detail as possible are hallmarks of landscape photography. For this reason the view camera has long been, and still is, the tool of choice for many serious landscape photographers.
Back in the days of film, resolution was mainly determined by film size. The bigger the film, the greater the resolution and hence the more detail could be recorded. The most common film sizes for view cameras are 4 x 5 inches and 8 x 10 inches (though much larger formats exist). These represent significantly more film area than the more common 24 x 36 mm full frame format. And they are not obsolete in the digital age, as digital backs can be adapted to fit on them in place of a film holder.
View cameras also allow for significant tilt, shift, rise and fall movements of the front standard (where the lens sits) that are independent of the rear standard (where the film or sensor sits). This allows for a control of perspective and depth of field that is simply not possible with standard lenses on 35mm systems.
Obvious downsides of view cameras are their hefty size and bulk. It also takes significantly longer to frame, focus and expose an image and you'll most certainly be setting up and using a tripod as well. Given all this, the likelihood of missing spur of the moment photo opportunities like a short-lived rainbow or the quickly fading evening light are quite high.
Digital camera systems
Film was still king when I started to take photography seriously, and the format choices were pretty straightforward: 35mm format for wildlife and other ‘fast’ photography, medium format (6 x 4.5 cm, 6 x 6 cm, 6 x 7 cm) for macro/close up photography, and large format view cameras for landscape and architectural work.
The rise of enthusiast and professional digital cameras, however, made these decisions much less straightforward. Today, full frame DSLRs can have equal or even better resolution than medium format film.
Even APS-C format DSLRs and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras offer resolution sufficient to produce well-detailed landscape images. The medium format DSLR market is also seeing a bit of a renaissance, with bodies now available in the $10k price range and resolutions exceeding 40MP. And at the very high end there are digital single shot and scanning backs that are compatible with view cameras and offer resolution as high as 80MP.
Sirui is launching an Indiegogo campaign for a wide-angle answer to its existing 50mm F1.8 anamorphic lens. The 35mm APS-C lens will come in a Micro Four Thirds mount with adapters for other systems.
Sony has added a 12-24mm F2.8 to its top-shelf 'G Master' series of lenses. It's the widest constant F2.8 zoom currently offered for full-frame, with a hefty price tag to match: it will sell for $3000 when it ships in mid-August.
Take a look at the view from Sony's new ultra-wide F2.8 zoom – we paired it with the a7R IV for some initial shooting.
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Nikon Rumors is reporting that Nikon will announce successors to its Z6 and Z7 camera systems by the end of the calendar year.
Canon says the event, set to take place at 14:00 CEST in two days on July 9, will be its 'biggest product launch yet.'
The Verge Video Director, Becca Farsace, shows how she built a custom Raspberry Pi camera with effectively zero coding knowledge over the course of just three days.
The EOS R5 has been in the works for some time, and Canon has published a handful of specifications, but there's still plenty we don't know. What are you hoping to see from Canon's forthcoming flagship camera?
Canon's CE-SAT-IB satellite camera was destroyed alongside six other satellites during Rocket Lab's ironically-named 'Pics or It Didn't Happen Mission.'
This sample gallery includes images from our recent review of the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD zoom lens. Check out these photos to see how it performs, from wide-angle to telephoto and everything in between.
The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD provides a wide zoom range in compact, weather-sealed design. Find out why it's Chris and Jordan's new favorite travel lens.
Kodak Portra 800 is a wonderful and versatile color film. And any rumors of it being discontinued, we're pleased to report, are simply untrue. That's a good thing, because it's capable of producing lovely results in all sorts of conditions.
Boering has left the World Press Photo without much of an explanation from either him or the organization, but he tells DPReview the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the WPP to change the way it makes money.
The standard-size deck of playing cards features unique photography-oriented artwork and act as cheat sheets for photographers.
The Sony ZV-1 and Panasonic Lumix DC-G100 are the first cameras we've seen that are overtly designed with vlogging in mind – and the changes they represent could have implications for the future of all cameras.
The utility allows the E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III and E-M5 Mark II cameras to be used with video conferencing apps over USB.
Olympus is showing final images of its under-development 150-400mm F4.5, which it says will arrive this winter. An unspecified macro and 8-25mm F4 Pro have also been added to the lens roadmap, and the E-M1X's AF gains bird detection.
The scam, which involves sending fake copyright violation notices, has been circulating on the social media platform since at least June 9.
Fujifilm is one of just two producers of tape media (the other being Sony) and it is hard at work on a breakthrough that will allow single tape storage drives to offer 400TB capacities in the coming years.
The National Parks Service says it's investigating the incident, which took place just two days after the park opened following a shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professional full frame lenses are usually large and have fast apertures. In this episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan argue that there's a need for slow professional lenses – inspired by some of their favorite Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The camera maker joins Olympus, Fujifilm and others is a legal tussle over US digital camera technology patents held by DigiMedia Tech.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) photographs the sun every 0.75 seconds. In its first decade in space, the SDO has captured more than 425 million images of the sun. NASA has compiled these images into an amazing time lapse, come check it out.
The lens is available for Leica M, Sony FE, Nikon Z and L-mount camera systems, and now holds the title as the world's widest rectilinear lens for full-frame camera systems.
Tamron's new 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is a versatile zoom lens for Sony E-mount. Well-suited for travel photography, it's compact, lightweight, and fast/quiet to focus.
Fujifilm has announced that its GF 30mm F3.5 R WR wide-angle lens for its medium format cameras will ship in late July or early August.
Fujifilm's latest lens is a sharp, reasonably compact and well-built wide-angle for the company's GFX medium-format cameras. We took it out and about in the warm Seattle summer with the company's 50 and 100 Megapixel camera bodies to see what it can do.
Fujifilm has issued firmware updates to the GFX 100 and GFX 50 models, with the 100MP camera gaining the most significant improvements.
Although the channel is still growing, it currently has nine videos that offer concise overviews of just a few of the cameras Japan Camera Hunter founder Bellamy Hunt has sitting around his Japanese storefront.
ON1 has launched ON1 360, the latest version of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 with ON1's new Photo Mobile application for iOS, iPadOS and Android mobile devices. The new solution syncs raw processing between your mobile device and computer.