Landscape Photography – Tricks Of The Trade

Heads-up: No matter how much you read up on the sights you expect to see at a location you’re travelling to, Mother Nature will always surprise you. So, STAY ALERT! 

On a sunny day, a good place to start is at 1/320, f/8 and ISO 100. A few variations may be required depending on cloud cover and light intensity.

Make a start. You’ll probably end up with an image like this. It’s decent, but there’s something missing.

DSCF1008

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Fujifilm HS30EXR

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/250

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 100

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In the previous image, there’s a reference point missing – that is, something in the foreground to give the image some depth. Find a reference point – a tree, for example – and shoot again.

DSCF1019

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Fujifilm HS30EXR

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/250

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 100

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Get creative with your reference points in the foreground.

DSCF2364

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/500

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 100

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Compose your shot. Look for interesting ways to position your subjects. Timing is everything. The tree isn’t going anywhere, but the ostrich is lightning quick and can vanish in a flash.

IMG_2659

Maasai Mara, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 35mm

Shutter speed: 1/320 seconds

Aperture: f/11

ISO: 100

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IMG_2671

Maasai Mara, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 55mm

Shutter speed: 1/250 seconds

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 100

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Sometimes you have nothing to work with. Literally. Use that to your advantage. Remember, your subject doesn’t always have to occupy the centre of your frame.

IMG_4196

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/500 seconds

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 100

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Make peace with the fact that you can’t shoot everything to perfection. I swear, the following image looked so much better in real life.

IMG_4858

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/1600 seconds (Using a faster shutter speed helps when you’re in a moving vehicle.)

Aperture: f/4

ISO: 100

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Just as you’re done cursing your camera for failing to capture your dream sunset, it pulls off something like this, leaving you in awe.

IMG_4997

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Don’t be afraid to slow down your shutter speed. A tripod and a remote-trigger is required for this kind of a star-trail shot. Set manual focus to infinity and let the camera do the rest.

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 35mm

Shutter speed: 1200 seconds (20 minutes)

Aperture: f/3.5

ISO: 100 (Keep your ISO as low as possible to reduce noise.)

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Converting to b/w during post-production makes for an interesting image.

IMG_4675

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 35mm

Shutter speed: 600 seconds (10 minutes)

Aperture: f/3.5

ISO: 100

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Use the Rule of Thirds. Place your subject at the intersection of the Thirds.

DSCF2349

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/500

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 100

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IMG_3093

Maasai Mara, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/125

Aperture: f/4

ISO: 400 (Notice a spike in the ISO due to an increase in cloud cover. This led to slight over-exposure.)

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Experiment.

IMG_5346

Lake Natron, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/250

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 200

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Place your subject off-centre. This gives you some perspective.

Lake Natron, Tanzania

Lake Natron, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/125

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 100

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Use natural objects to lead your viewer’s eyes onto your subject.

Lake Natron, Tanzania

Lake Natron, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/200

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 100

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Take advantage of the Golden Hour – the hour either side of sunrise/sunset.

IMG_7253

Khao Lak, Thailand

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/500

Aperture: f/10

ISO: 100

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Experiment with your subject-placement.

IMG_5286

Lake Natron, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/640

Aperture: f/5

ISO: 200

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

IMG_5296

Lake Natron, Tanzania

EXIF Details:

Camera: Canon 500D

Lens: 18-55mm

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/500

Aperture: f/5

ISO: 200

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Most importantly, enjoy yourself.

DSCF1178

Maasai Mara, Kenya

EXIF Details:

Camera: Fujifilm HS30EXR

Focal length: 18mm

Shutter speed: 1/320

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 100

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Improving Your Photography Using ND Filters | TidalWave

  2. Pingback: The Disappearing Art of Large Format Photography | Myonlinephotograhytips's Blog

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