Every photographer behind the camera has a certain passion. Some find photo journalistic style of shooting exciting whereas there are many like myself who like to capture the wide expanse of natural beautythroughthelens.Whencapturing landscapes, there are simple rules. Find a good perspective, have your gear with you at all times and above all have the right gear with you.
Here are a few tips to capture the finest of moments -
1. Time of the day – This is my favorite. When shooting landscapes, shooting early in the day and much later in the day is a definite plus. Shooting shortly before and after noon will result in loud offensive lighting. i.e. strong shadows. Shooting during the ‘Golden Hour’ allows the colors in nature be more pronounced.
2. Having the right lens – When it comes to lens, landscapes require wide angle lens. My two favorites are <a title="Tokina12-24Lens Review”href=”http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/tokina_12-24_4_n15″rel=”nofollow”target=”_blank”>Tokina12-24andthe Canon 10-22. I find these two lenses indispensable. Although I have traded my Canon in for a Tokina, they are equally superlative. If you wish to check out the reviews for each, I strongly urge you to do so before you purchase them. Having said that, I have seen creative use of the 24mm to capture a nice wide-angle format photograph.
3. Having the right camera – Although a decent film or digital SLR should suffice a beginner’s need for landscape photography. I cannot stress enough how imperative it soon becomes to have a full sensor DSLR. Yes, there are the two kinds – Cropped Frame Sensor and Full Frame Sensor. Cropped sensor essentially takes the 12mm and multiplies that with a factor of 1.6 which means you are not shooting as wide you think you are. When you putthesamelensonafullframesensor,youwill see the landscape come throughtoitsfullest.The camera I have Canon Rebel XSi is a cropped, where as Canon 5D and many higher end cameras have full frame sensors. However the higher cost may not warrant the interest of the beginner.
4. A good tripod – Yes. No camera and lens can capture a stunning landscape with crisp colors without a solid tripod. When selecting a tripod, make sure your gear can rest steadily and safely on your tripod. No point in getting a cheap tripod that is weak and unworthy of holding up gear worth thousands of dollars. I like the Manfrotto brand; but there are many other good brands.
5. Lens filters – Neutral Density, Circular Polarizer, UV Haze are some of the filters that come to mind when talking landscapes. Although if you are a filter fanatic, there are a dozen more that will peek your interest. The idea of capturing solidcolorsmeansworkingontheimage at the time of capture rather than in post-production. i.e. on the computer. If you want to color the blues and greens like you see them with the naked eye, you might want to consider a polarizer. I will cover these in detail in a separate post, however a well positioned filter can largely improve the color composition of your image.
I cannot stress enough, how sometimes, the greatest tool for landscape photography might be you. You might have to climb a hill, or walk past the rubble and get behind some scrap pile to get that wide open vista. Having your camera gear in the trunk of your car and being at the right place at the right time are key to getting the best shots!
As a beginner, shooting makes you perfect. So don’t hold back! Now get out there and shoot.
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