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“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer, and often the supreme disappointment. ” -Ansel Adams
Landscape photography definitely requires you to be at the right place at the right time. Easy, right?
One of the secret recipes to be successful in landscape photography is patience, and that's it! Click your camera and there you go!
Having said that, many times people missed small details which they will deeply regret.
What are those things which can make your landscape photography images super great? How can you utilize them on your advantage?
Pick one. Which one is more preferable for you? The sky or the land?
What if I told you that you could pick both? Why not? Keep in mind that both the land and sky are supporting each other to generate a highly desirable photo.
Just remember to apply the rule of thirds on the element you want to emphasize on. If you feel that the land is more desirable, then put the land in the 2/3 of the frame.
Even though that is the rule of thumb, yet you are totally free to be creative and explore your own composition.
2. Find the focal point
Focal point is the point on which the viewer's eyes fall on the image the first time he/she looks at it. You can use focal point as the point of interest (POI). In fact, in many cases POI is derived from a focal point.
You know you have a good focal point if the object you are using as the focal point is not blended with the background. Good landscape photography has to have a distinctive focal point.
Foreground is as important as the background. Foreground gives the impression of depth in an image. Appropriate foreground makes your landscape photography stronger.
You can pick any object as your foreground, such as trees, a person, or even a laptop.
4. Tripod is Your Best Friend
This tripod thing is kinda dilemma for many photographers. Too heavy to be carried, yet you will regret if you leave it home because you can't take a stable landscape photo. But it is much better to carry a little bit weight for a magnificent batch of landscape images. Trust me, it's worth it.
5. Use Depth of Field (DoF) to the Maximum
An important point to keep in your mind is that landscape photography sharply shows all objects on the frame. Use low focus, f/22 or lower, to maintain the sharpness of the landscape image.
6. Capture the Nature’s Movement
Adding "drama" to your landscape photography can be a great alternative instead of a still image. Use longer shutter speed to capture the movement of the leaves blown by the wind, flow of a river, or even movement of the cloud.
Capturing these kind of movements definitely requires a tripod and neutral density (ND) filter. When we capture the image successfully, it could seem like it is from another world with a very strong mood.
People may argue “that does not look real, does it?”
“Well, I didn’t take photos for documentation, did I?”
Try to go against the mainstream. It is too common already that clear blue sky is good for landscape photography. Instead try to take photos of the bad weathers. Thunder storm, blizzard, and even tornado can be a great background of a landscape photography.
Not only they are hard to find, but also your pictures may be the only one in the world.
8. Golden hour & Blue Hour
Golden hour is when the sun sets. It gives golden, red, and yellow color in the sky. Yes it is great to have such background on your landscape photography.
On the other hand, not many photographers realize that there is another sweet spot of taking pictures during the sunset. It is called the blue hour, happens after the sun completely sets before it is completely dark. It gives a dark blue color sky.
Don't leave too early. Get your camera and capture the blue hour moment!
9. Line and Shape
Composition is very important in any type of photography, including landscape photography. Try to get the perspective and vanishing point in your landscape photography. Vanishing point gives a strong impression to the viewer's eyes.
I cannot overemphasize it, explore as much as you can. Change your point of view when taking photos of an object. I personally am a big fan of low angle photo. Low angle makes the object stronger.
Perspective controls the mood of an image. Even switching from high angle to low angle gives you a totally different effect and mood.
11. Capture the Details of the Landscape
Landscape photography is not solely wide angle. You can also generate a great landscape photography by simply focusing on the detail on the objects in your image.
12. Use HDR (High dynamic range) Technique
HDR for landscape photography can be a great alternative when camera filter is not available.
The way to do it is by taking images of similar objects with different exposures, then combining them. Now many softwares are available for image editing purposes, including HDR photography.
13. Keep Shooting!
Now you have read the tips to shoot magnificent landscape photography. Lastly what I could say is that there is no way to master a skill other than applying it in the real world.
Take your camera, go out take photos and have fun!