Looking for info on taking great landscape photos...

Started Jun 8, 2009 | Discussions thread
123Michael321 Regular Member • Posts: 176
Re: Looking for info on taking great landscape photos...

Not a recommendation to a website, but I can provide a few tips that might help you get started, particularly as you indicate you already have a good understanding of the fundamentals of proper shutter speed, aperture, etc. -

Tip #1 - When photographing landscapes, resist the temptation to zoom down as wide as your lens will go, for a shot that will "include everything." By getting everything in the picture, each detail is so small as to be insignificant. Fact is, while such all encompassing photos have their place, much of the time you're better off choosing one or two points of specific interest, and concentrating on them.

Tip #2 - Landscapes needn't be shot as horizontals. Try framing a few shots as verticals. (I particularly like shooting verticals if I'm going to be stitching together multiple shots into a panorama.)

Tip #3 - The tripod is your friend. Even if you could shoot handheld at high enough speed for razor sharp results, a tripod can still be a highly useful aid to careful composition, getting horizons level, keeping the camera aimed at precisely the same place while you vary shutter speed, aperture, etc. Also, it's easier on the arms than holding a camera up to your eye for half an hour.

Tip #4 - I don't care if you don't live in a pristine valley between majestic snow-capped mountains - No matter where you are, there are opportunities for landscape photography.

Tip #5 - It's not cheating to study what the masters have done, and adapt some of their techniques, preferences, tools, etc., to your own vision. Students of painting study how Rembrandt did things. Students of the piano study how Bach did things. Similarly, students of photography would be wise to study how the great photographers did things. But most don't.

Tip #6 - Midday light is often the worst light. Early morning and early evening light is often the best light.

Tip #7 - Equipment matters. It can even matter a lot. But it seldom matters as much as all too many people seem to think it does. I'd like to own the finest cameras and tens of thousands of dollars of top quality lenses, but if all I've got is an $89 p&s, I know I can still get outstanding results. (Michael's Corollary to Rule #7 - Owning a $6000 camera and a dozen expensive lenses doesn't mean someone's a great photographer, nor does the absence of impressive gear mean someone lacks talent as a photographer. Don't go judging people by the contents of their camera bags.)

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