Travelers, tourists, explorers! Anyone who loves traveling cannot but wish to photographing landscapes discovered in during an excursion or a simple excursion. You do not need to be professional photographers for landscape photography, ensuring striking and spectacular shots. Photographing landscapes is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting branches, together with portraiture and reportage, in the world of photography. There is no photographer in the world, from the amateur to the professional who, for a certain period of his life, has not spent time studying and developing techniques to take pictures of natural landscapes.
Maybe it’s an innate thing, but we are fascinated by the beautiful images of the world around us and for a photographer it becomes fundamental to correctly interpret these scenes, resume them and then share them with a wider audience, hoping to be able to communicate the same feelings to everyone.
Today I want to give you 10 basic tips for photographing landscapes that, if followed carefully, will allow you to take perfect photos of landscapes.
- 1. Photo landscapes with the maximum depth of field
- 2. Limit digital noise in photographing landscapes
- 3. The importance of light in the landscapes at the sunset
- 4. Levels, plans and perspectives
- 5. Follow the rule of the third parties
- 6. Using the “fill-in” technique
- 7. Use security time
- 8. Fire!
- 9. Balance the white
- 10. Photos of natural landscapes
1. Photo landscapes with the maximum depth of field
The first rule, the fundamental rule to always follow when choose to photographing landscapes, is to work with the maximum depth of field.
To do this you need to set the aperture to an aperture between f / 11 and f / 16 : this will allow you to get the maximum sharpness for all the elements you’re going to frame.
In case you are using a camera without manual controls or you have chosen the automatic mode, just set the landscape mode and your camera will do everything for you.
2. Limit digital noise in photographing landscapes
If you want to get a good landscape photo, you’ll have to try to minimize digital noise. How can this be achieved? Simply working on ISO sensitivity.
Always try to photograph in optimal light conditions: this will allow you to keep the ISO set to the lowest possible value (100 usually), and if you are in situations where the light is scarce you will not have to do anything with a tripod and leave that the camera uses a very slow (long) shutter speed.
It is essential that you do not exaggerate with the ISO sensitivity, therefore you must absolutely discard the hypothesis of making photographs of landscapes freehand in low light conditions. If you really cannot help it, find a foothold where to place the camera.
3. The importance of light in the landscapes at the sunset
I have already mentioned how good light can be essential in the realization of your best shot. The light does not only help “see well”, but also allows us to see in a different way what we have before us.
Think of a photograph of Paris by day, and a photograph of Paris at sunset. Landscapes are static subjects, and as such they are particularly sensitive to differences in light. The most exciting shots are usually those obtained during the early hours of the morning, or late in the afternoon, towards sunset.
In case you need a clear, clear photo with no play of shadows, for strictly documental uses, the central hours of the day are the ideal hours in which you will have to photographing landscapes.
4. Levels, plans and perspectives
There is no camera that can make the perspective as perceived by the human eye.
To get the sense of depth that makes your photo realistic and three-dimensional, you’ll have to focus on the foreground. For example, if you are photographing a hilly landscape, the best way to maximize the depth of the environment is to focus the focus on a subject in the foreground, such as a flower. This will increase the perception of the distance between the foreground subject and the rest of the scene.
But be careful: if you need all the plans of your photography to be in perfect focus, you will need to set a very closed aperture as explained above.
5. Follow the rule of the third parties
What is the third party rule? It’s a simple rule that helps you avoid the risk of taking mundane photos.
To follow it you must mentally divide the viewfinder of your machine into a grating consisting of two horizontal and two vertical lines, equidistant from each other. Your field will now be divided into nine equal parts.
At this point you just have to make sure that the main subject of your shot is along one of the lines or on one of the intersection points.
When you start to photographing landscapes it is good to remember this simple rule, in fact it returns very useful to decide which element you want to give more importance.
If you are interested in giving more importance to the sky, just make sure that 2/3 of the frame is occupied by it or decide which element to give more importance.
6. Using the “fill-in” technique
Fill-in means filling. Using this technique to shoot your landscape photographs will help you lighten the shadows in the subjects close to the camera in the scene. As? Using the flash.
Let’s say that you are photographing a person during the central hours of the day: the sun is in such a position that the subject’s face is ruined by many small shadows. You only have to activate the flash to make the flash and the ambient light combine, creating a natural and balanced light effect.
Of course it makes sense for close subjects … you cannot think of lightening the side of a mountain. : D
7. Use security time
What’s more ugly than a photo move? Imagine not falling into this error when you find yourself capturing your favorite landscapes.
If you have a tripod (tripod), most of this risk will be avoided by default. In case you choose to shoot without, I advise you to help with the security time rule. It works like this : set a shutter speed equal to the focal length.
If you are using a 50mm focal length then, you will need to use a shutter speed equal to ( or faster ) than 1/50”. Remember that 1/80 of a second is a “faster” time than 1/50″ This little foresight can make a big difference.
Practically, your camera will tend to focus on the closest or predominant subjects: this may be not very functional in case the subject you want to capture is not the closest to you, but is in another place in your framing; maybe decentralized because of the third party rule you’re applying.
Your reflex focuses on subjects thanks to a sensor that detects larger, predominant or luminous elements. You can decide whether to let her deal with it for you automatically with the risk that you’re wrong, or you can use the manual function to control these points of fire.
Some cameras allow you to manually set the focus point, but I recommend setting the camera to use only the center point. In this case, just frame the subject to focus on, press the shutter button halfway down so that it is in focus and lock the focus, recompose the scene and shoot.
9. Balance the white
It is possible, indeed it is highly probable, that in the landscape you have chosen to capture there are different lights. This can cause a disturbance in the colors and dominant of the photo, a disturbance to which every good camera tries to remedy by resorting to the white balance.
This is an automatic operation, which broadly behaves very well, but to get a really impeccable result I suggest you take care of it personally, with the manual mode. In fact, in certain “abnormal” light conditions, like the sunset light, the cameras go into crisis and the color balance is completely unbalanced.
Instead of using the automatic white balance mode, try setting the shadow mode or cloudy sky when you photographing landscapes. The photo will tend to have a dominant “hot”, but this effect is generally appreciated more by the observer than a picture too “cold”.
10. Photos of natural landscapes
The last piece of advice may seem the most trivial, but it is not. The choice of the landscape is the starting point for every good shot.
Take time to search for the perfect landscape, and when you’ve found it, check the lighting conditions, choose which perspective to work on, find the perfect location for you and your camera.
It’s true that shooting in digital offers the possibility of making mistakes endless times, and starting again. But not for this you have to settle for mediocre shots!