Landscape Photography is a rather broad subject. It encompasses mountains, valleys, fields, water, birds, animals, flowers and anything that makes up the landscape of our beautiful earth. A photograph can record the vastness of a landscape or the miniscule parts that make it up. In this section, we will explore ten different ways to transform a a landscape image into a gorgeous photograph.
Here are some simple tips that will improve your photographs dramatically:
1) Always use a fast shutter speed (1/250 sec or faster) to darken a blue sky.
2) Shoot wide open (f2.8 or wider) when photographing flowers to create the “selective isolation” look.
3) Lighting is best in the early morning 1-2 hours after sunrise and late evenings about 1 hour before sunset.
4) Use a tripod when you need the slow shutter speeds.
5) Invest in a good lens. A fast lens that opens up to 2.8 is essential.
6) Try a Photoshop trick: Make a duplicate layer of your image and add the blending mode: soft light. Add a layer mask and paint over the areas that you want to remain as original. The areas not painted will pop and be extremely vivid in color. Wow!!
7) Photograph right after a rainfall for a muted, surreal look.
8) Carry a all-purpose zoom lens that covers from wide to telephoto. I recommend the Tamron 18-270 VR lens.
9) Invest in a graduated neutral density filter and use it when the foreground and background are not equal in lighting. The filter will either lighten or darken the foreground or background and result in a much more balanced and well-exposed photograph.
10) Last of all, make sure your sensor is clean. You should have it professionally cleaned twice a year. A dirty sensor can cause spots on your final images.
As you can see, great photographs do not come easy and the hobby is not cheap. It is an investment in time, money, energy but will give you a lifetime of satisfaction.
Below are some examples of photographs using some of the tips listed above.
Example of using a fast shutter speed to darken the blue sky.Here I used 1/500 sec.