14 Tips Untuk Memperbaiki Foto Landscape Anda

by Yadi Yasin Mungkin tips-tips ini ada yang terkesan kuno, oldies dan kurang "revolutionized" tapi mungkin ini adalah tips-tips dasar yang bisa dipergunakan sepanjang masa, terutama bagi yang ingin memulai mendalami landscape Photography. Dari tips-tips dibawah akan juga menyinggung beberapa hal lain, seperti Rule of Third, Hyperfocal distance, dll yang hanya dijelaskan singkat krn bisa menjadi satu topik sendiri. Semoga berguna.

Dengan DoF lebar, akibat penggunaan f/20 dan pengaplikasian hyper-focal distance untuk menentukan focus

Masih dgn pengaplikasikan hyper-focal untuk mendapatkan DoF yg seluas2nya 2. Gunakan tripod dan cable release

1. Maksimalkan Depth of Field (DoF) Sebuah pendekatan konsep normal dari sebuah landscape photography adalah "tajam dari ujung kaki sampai ke ujung horizon". Konsep dasar teori "oldies" ini menyatakan bahwa sebuah foto landscape selayaknya sebanyak mungkin semua bagian dari foto adalah focus (tajam). Untuk mendapatkan ketajaman lebar atau dgn kata lain bidang depth of focus (DOF) yang selebar2nya, bisa menggunakan apperture (bukaan diafragma) yang sekecil mungkin (f number besar), misalnya f14, f16, f18, f22, f32, dst.

Dari #1 diatas, akibat dari semakin lebarnya DOF yang berakibat semakin lamanya exposure, dibutuhkan tripod untuk long exposure untuk menjamin agar foto yang dihasilkan tajam. Cable release juga akan sangat membantu. Jika kamera memiliki fasilitas untuk mirror-lock up, maka fasilitas itu bisa juga digunakan untuk menghindari micro-shake akibat dari hentakkan mirror saat awal.

3. Carilah Focal point atau titik focus

Tentu saja dgn semakin kecilnya apperture, berarti semakin lamanya exposure. Karena keterbatasan lensa (yang tidak mampu mencapai f32 dan/atau f64) atau posisi spot di mana kita berdiri tidak mendukung, sebuah pendekatan lain bisa kita gunakan, yaitu teori hyper-focal, untuk mendapatkan bidang fokus yang "optimal" sesuai dgn scene yang kita hadapi. Inti dari jarak hyper-focal adalah meletakan titik focus pada posisi yang tepat untuk mendapatkan bidang focus yg seluas-luasnya yg dimungkinkan sehingga akan tajam dari FG hingga ke BG. Titik focus disini bukanlah titik dimana focus dari kamera diletakkan, tapi lebih merupakan titik dimana mata akan pertama kali tertuju (eyecontact) saat melihat foto. Hampir semua foto yang "baik" mempunyai focal point, atau titik focus atau lebih sering secara salah kaprah disebut POI (Point of Interest). Sebetulnya justru sebuah landscape photography membutuhkan sebuah focal point untuk menarik mata berhenti sesaat sebelum mata mulai mengexplore detail keseluruhan foto. Focal point tidak mesti harus menjadi POI dari sebuah foto.

Sebuah foto yang tanpa focal point, akan membuat mata "wandering" tanpa sempat berhenti, yang mengakibatkan kehilangan ketertarikan pada sebah foto landscape. Sering foto seperti itu disebut datar (bland) saja. Focal point bisa berupa berupa bangunan (yg kecil atau unik diantara dataran kosong), pohon (yg berdiri sendiri), batu (atau sekumpulan batu), orang atau binatang, atau siluet bentuk yg kontrast dgn BG, dst. Peletakan dimana focal point juga kadang sangat berpengaruh, disini aturan "oldies" Rule of Third bermain. Pada contoh foto dibawah, focal point adalah org berpayung yang berbaju merah

Oleh sebab itu carilah sebuah FG yang kuat. Kadang sebuah FG yang baik menentukan "sukses" tidaknya sebuah foto landscape, terlepas dari bagaimanapun dasyatnya langit saat itu. Sebuah object atau pattern di FG bisa membuat "sense of scale" dr foto landscape kita.

Focal point pada contoh foto dibawah adalah pada org berperahu disisi kiri Focal point adalah pada matahari dan pantulannya di sawah.

Focal point adalah petani dan kerbaunya.

Apapun bisa menjadi object yg kuat di FG, dari boat, rumput hingga batu & bintang laut 5. Pilih langit atau daratan Langit yang berawan bergelora, apalagi pada saat sunset atau sunrise, akan membuat foto kita menarik, tapi kita tetap harus memilih apakah kita akan membuat foto kita sebagian besar terdiri dari langit dgn meletakan horizon sedikit dibawah, atau sebagian besar daratan dgn meletakkan horizon sedikit dibagian atas. Seberapa bagus pun daratan dan langit yang kita temui/hadapi saat memotret, membagi 2 sama bagian antara langit yang dramatis dan daratan/FG yang menarik akan membuat foto landscape menjadi tidak focus, krn kedua bagian tersebut sama bagusnya.

4. Carilah Foreground (FG) Foreground bisa menjadi focal point bahkan menjadi POI (Point of Interest) dalam foto landscape anda.

2

di 1/3 bagian atas kalau kita ingin menonjolkan (emphasize) FG nya. kita akan terbiasa melihat lines?shape dan pattern yang terkadang tersamarkan atau berbaur dengan alam atau lingkungannya. Tentu saja hukum "Rule of Third" bisa dilanggar. bumi. tapi justru menguatkan focal point Hanya dengan seringnya melakukan hunting atau photo trip. Juga tidak selalu dead center adalah jelek 6.tangga. Garis atau pattern bisa berupa apa saja. deretan pohon. Carilah Garis/ Lines/ Pattern Sebuah garis atau pattern bisa membuat/menjadi focal yang akan menggiring mata untuk lebih jauh mengexplore foto landscape anda. Angle dan komposisi dapat memperkuat sebuah leading lines atau shape yang ada. andai pelanggaran itu justru memperkuat focal point dan bukan sebaliknya. Pelangaran "Rule of Third" yang meletakkan horizon jauh di bawah. Kadang leading lines atau pattern tersebut bahkan bisa menjadi POI dari foto tersebut... kalau kita ingin menonjolkan langitnya. karena ada pengambilan angle dan komposisi yang memposisikan batu melintang scra horizontal dari ujung atas kiri ke ujung bawah kanan ? 3 . garis jalan.Komposisi dgn menggunakan prisip "oldies" Rule of Third akan sangat membantu. bayangan.dst. karena 3 elemen.. Foto kiri : lines Foto kanan : pattern Pelanggaran Rule of Third yang membagi 2 sama antara langit dan bumi Lines and shape Foto kiri : Apakah ini masuk dalam Rule of Third. gunung dan langit atau justru membagi 2 sama bagian 2 sama bagian kalau dianggap hanya bumi dan BG (gunung + langit) ? Foto kanan : Apakan ini masuk dalam Rule of Third . atau letakkan horizon di 1/3 bagian bawah.. Letakkan garis horizon. Garis-garis. tepi danau/laut. juga bisa memberikan sense of scale atau image depth (kedalaman ruang).

Selain kesabaran dalam "menunggu" moment. tapi semua elemen alam. kita langsung mengemas/beres2 gear/tripod kita.7. Before Sunset 4 . bisa menjadi sebuah subject dari sebuah foto landscape. Ini berlawananan dgn IR landscape photography yg tidak mengenal golden hours. atau pada saat matahari sudah terik. saat golden hours juga akan membuat bayangan pada oject. dll. Biasanya dgn long exposure. Justru pada saat ini kita bisa mendapatkan sebuah scene yang bagus dimana langit akan berwarna biru dan tidak hitam pekat. tapi justru pada saat akan hujan atau badai atau setelah hujan atau badai. baik object yang statis maupun yg secara dinamis bergerak. atau orang menjadi panjang dan bisa menjadi leading lines spt yg disebutkan pada #6 diatas. Capture moment & movement Sebuah foto Landcsape tidak berarti kita hanya menangkap (capture) langit. Golden Hours & Blue hours Pada normal colour landscape photography. Untuk itu lihat #13. kabut. Golden hours adalah saat. Jika kita memotret pada saat golden hours sudah lewat. aliran sungai. Oleh sebab itu menentukan kapan saat terbaik untuk memotret adalah sangat penting. kesiapan dalam setting peralatan dan kejelian dalam mencari object dan Focal Point seperti awan. Bekerja sama dengan alam atau cuaca Sebuah scene dapat dengan cepat sekali berubah. Sunrise 8. dst. Jadi adalah kurang tepat. Pada saat ini langit akan berwarna biru. baik itu pohon. pergerakan awan. tapi langit belum gelap hitam pekat. dimana saat terbaik justru pada saat tengah teriknya matahari. saat terbaik biasanya adalah saat sekitar (sebelum) matahari terbenam (sunset) atau setelah matahari terbit (sunrise). dimana "golden light" atau sinar matahari akan membuat warna keemasaan pada object. Blue hours adalah beberapa saat. biasanya hasilnya akan flat atau harsh lightingnya krn matahari sudah jauh diatas. dapat menjadikan sebuah foto landscape yang menarik. tapi sebuah isolasi detail. dimana matahari sudah tebenam. bumi atau gunung. awan pun (walau kalau kita lihat dgn mata telanjang sdh tidak tampak) masih akan terlihat jelas dan memberikan texture pada birunya langit. 9. biasanya 1-2 jam sebelum matahari terbenam (sunset) hingga 30 menit sebelum matahari terbenam. seluas luasnya. dan 1-3 jam sejak matahari terbit. dimana langit dan awan akan sangat dramatis. bahwa pada saat matahari sudah terbenam dan langit mulai gelap (oleh mata kita). baik itu diam atau bergerak seperti air terjun. Sebuah foto landscape tidak harus mengambarkan sebuah pemandangan luas. pelangi. Kadang kesempatan mendapat scene terbaik justru bukan pada saat cuaca cerah langit biru. Selain itu. ROL (ray of light). biasanya hingga 20-30 menit setelah matahari terbenam (sunset). pohon2 yang bergerak.

kita bisa memperbaikinya. biasanya Rule of Third akan sangat membantu membuat komposisi menjadi lebih baik. Ubah sudut pandang/angle/view anda Kadang kita terpaku dgn sudut pandang atau angle yang umum kita lakukan. BlueHours 11.. atau mencoba berdiri lebih ketepi jurang. Tapi kalau tidak dgn terpaksa. Memang dgn croping nantinya di software pengolah gambar. atau mungkin kalau kita mengunjungi suatu tempat yang sering kita lihat fotonya baik itu dimajalah atau website seperti di FN ini. tentu saja dgn lebih mengutamakan keselamatan anda sendiri sbg faktor yang lebih utama dan menghitung resiko yang mungkin didapatkan. 10. Oleh krn itu horizon saya letakkan pas ditengah saja. mencoba dengan sudut pandang yang berbeda tidak selalu otomatis gambar kita akan lebih bagus atau lebih baik. low level. tapi jika scene yang akan kita buat tidak cukup kuat (strong) elementnya.Golden Hours Contoh foto dibawah adalah salah satu dr foto yang saya ambil amannya (save) untuk posisi horizon pada saat eksekusi. ada beberapa cara untuk bisa mendapatkan horion lurus saat eksekusi di lapangan. Satu hal yang harus dipahami. atau bahkan tiduran ditanah. tapi begitu sekali anda mendapatkan yang lebih bagus. dan hasilnya memang berbeda dan unik). dgn harapan pada saat itu.. lihat #12 . saya bisa melakukan cropping nantinya (baik dicrop bagian atas atau pun bagian bawah). Atau mencoba mencari spot atau titik berdiri yang berbeda atau tempat yang berbeda. lebih baik pada saat eksekusi kita sudah menempatkan horizon pada posisi yang sebaiknya. Ada 2 hal terakhir saat sebelum kita menekan shutter: . kita menjadi "latah" dan memotret dgn angle yang sama. Cek Horizon Walaupun sekarang dgn mudah kesalahan ini dapat di koreksi dgn image editor tapi saya masih berkeyakinan "get it right the first time" akan lebih optimal.Apakah horizonya sudah lurus. waist-level angle. dst. Coba dgn high-angle (kamera diangkat diatas kepala). lihat #5 untuk pengaplikasian Rule of third. 5 . misalnya dari atas pohon (ada memang fotografer senior yang saya kenal yang senang memanjat pohon untuk utk mendapatkan view yg berbeda. coba berbagai format horizontal dan/atau vertikal.Apakah horizon sdh di komposisikan dgn baik. dijamin pasti berbeda dgn yang lain. Banyak cara untuk mendapatkan fresh point of view. Peraturan/rule kadang dibuat untuk dilangar. Tidak selamanya "eye-level angle" (posisi normal saat kita berdiri) dalam memotret itu yang terbaik.

change orientation (landscape <-> portrait). Ada kalanya kita ada pada suatu spot dimana foto dari lokasi itu sudah merupakan lokasi "sejuta umat" dimana ratusan bahkan ribuan fotografer pernah memotret di spot yg sama dan menghasilkan foto yang mirip atau beda-beda tipis. Terutama jika anda sering travelling. atau bahkan berjalan jauh. baik itu ke tempat yang sudah umum atau ke tempat yang jarang di kunjungi fotografer.2 Ada 2 type Graduated ND: Soft Edge & Hard Edge 6 . misalnya antara langit dan daratan. menghilangkan pantulan. ND8.6 hingga 1.Dengan sering ber-experimen dgn berbagai angle.2. Make a difference. CPL filter : untuk lebih memekatkan/ saturasi warna. look back. Gunakan foto-foto yang sering anda lihat tersebut sebagai referensi. Juga sesekali coba untuk menoleh kebelakang untuk melihat. change lenses". dst. 0. Pergunakan peralatan bantu Penggunaan beberapa peralatan bantu dibawah akan sangat membantu untuk mendapatkan foto landscape yang lebih baik. 0. Cobalah untuk bergeser beberapa meter kesamping atau kedepan. Dari ND2. change spot. ND filter : Untuk menurunkan exposure. ND400 hingga ND1000 Graduated ND filter :Untuk menyeimbangkan exposure antara bagian atas dan bawah.1. kadang bisa mendapatkan angle yang menarik dan berbeda. memekatkan warna biru pada langit. 12. lama-kelamaan insting anda akan terlatih saat berada di lapangan untuk mendapatkan tidak hanya angle yang bagus. tapi juga berbeda.3. pelajari dan aplikasikan tekniknya dan coba menemukan sesuatu yang berbeda. 0. Dari ND 0. 3-5 exposure/jepretan pada satu titik dan "move on. Jangan memotret berulang2 pada satu titik/spot. untuk mendapatkan slow exposure speed. ND4.

9 dengan posisi batas gelap terang hampir level/ rata. sedangkan pada fotokanan.85mm). untuk melihat dan mencari suatu bentuk unik atau pattern dari luasnya sebuah scene landscape. denganGrad ND softedge 0. Graduated Blue Fluorescent. (50mm . dibandingkan kalau foto itu harus dipermak habis-habisan nanti hanya agar bisa tampak "baik". wide (20mm 35m). Contoh foto landscape dgn lensa 200mm Contoh foto landscape dgn lensa 300mm 13. Tidak selalu penggunaan fish-eye menghasilkan foto yg "bagus" walau memang berbeda.Tapi kadang sebuah tele bisa Penggunaan lensa fish-eye 7 . tentu dgn pengunaan pada saat yang tepat. akan lebih terbuka luas lagi kemungkinannya untuk mengolahnya dgn lebih sempurna nantinya.600mm). tapi peletakan batas gelap terangnya dimiringkan (titled) sesuai batas2 tebing. seperti graduated Sunset. Semua range lensa bisa dan dapat dipergunakan. dengan berbagai kepekatan dan type (mirip dgn normal Graduated ND) Bubble level : Untuk mendapatkan horizon yang level/datar sempurna. Lensa wide/super wide kadang dibutuhkan jika kita ingin merangkum sebuah scene seluas-luasnya dgn memasukan object yang banyak atau yang berjauhan atau ingin mendapatkan perspektif yg unik. Jika tiba pada suatu lokasi/spot. Kadang diperlukan kejelian. digunakan untuk mengisolasi scene sehingga lebih un-cluttered. 16mm. dari lensa super wide (14mm. Jangan terpaku pada satu lensa dan memotret berulang-ulang. Tapi dalam membuat sebuah foto landscape. digunakan Grad ND Hard-edge 0. Semua itu tergantung atas kebutuhan dan scene yang kita hadapi. medium. Penggunaan lensa yg tidak standard seperti fish-eye (baik itu yang diagonal maupun yang full-circular) bisa juga mendapatkan view yang menarik.Graduated color filter. dst). Bisa juga menggunakan grid pada view finder atau menggunakan focusing screen yang mempunyai grid. dsb. tapi umumnya "get it right the first time" akan bisa menghasilkan foto yang lebih baik dan natural. Contoh foto penggunaan grad ND Pada foto kiri. simple dan focus. Graduated Tobacco. sehingga kita dapat mengisolasi dgn menggunakan lensa yang tepat. semua lensa dapat dipergunakan. Jika sudah melakukan segalanya dgn baik dan benar. baik itu object apa yang harus dicari ataupun lensa apa yg harus dipergunakan. hingga tele/super tele (100mm .6. usahakan mencoba dgn semua lensa yang anda bawa. Memang dgn semakin mudahnya penggunaan software dan semakin canggihnya feature software pengolah gambar untuk memperbaiki/koreksi kesalahan pada saat eksekusi yang bisa mengatasi kesalahan exposure atau kemiringan horizon. Hanya dengan sering memotret dan menghadapi berbagai scene di berbagai kondisi yang dapat mengasah insting anda. penggunaan alat2 tersebut diatas kadang terasa kurang diperlukan. Lensa yang dipergunakan Kadang sering ada asumsi bahwa sebuah foto landscape itu harus menggunakan lensa yang selebar mungkin.

Catat juga semua model dan serial numbernya. walau hanya sebentar. kayu tempat tidur atau meja. baik dikamar hotel atau mobil. jenis Microsaver. Persiapkan diri dan sesuaikan peralatan Walau ini tidak berhubungan langsung. penjaga pintu/doorman. dll. Biasanya yang saya lakuakan adalah saya menggunakan kamera bag hanya untuk media transportasi peralatan saya. terutama jika mengunjungi tempat yang berbeda jauh iklim maupun cuacanya. baik itu dgn googling atau bertanya dgn fotografer yang sudah pernah kesana ke satu lokasi sebelumnya. adanya kamera backpack dipunggung anda hanya mengiklankan dan mengundang orang2 jahat. Tas dapat dengan mudah di “kail/pancing” dari luar. Sebelum berangkat. baik itu lensanya. #### END #### 11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips by Darren Rowse 8 . tidak bijaksana untuk membawa backpack kamera anda untuk memotret. pastikan anda memilki checklist perlaatan apa saja yg anda bawa. Sering kali kita membutuhkan research atau tanya dulu kiri kanan. tapi kadang sangat menentukan. Untuk hunting saya mempergunakan kamer a bag yang lebih kecil atau kamera holder seperti Toploader/Topload. selain dikunci gembok/padlock. _ Jika anda menginap diasuatu hotel/ motel/ hostel. baik saat meninggalkan kamar atau pada saat anda tidur. sambil bersih2 peralatan/lensa. baik itu hanya day-trip. Sering bertanya. baik tentang cara menuju kesana. yang dapat di ikatkan/ dilingkarkan ke suatu benda yang fix/ tetap seperti meja kayu. Mungkin suatu trip hanya membutuhkan satu atau dua lensa saja. khususnya bila kita hunting di daerah ayng tidak ketahui atau lokasi yang kita tidak hapal. gunakan pengaman laptop . Untuk kiat-kiat melindungi peralatan/gear anda: _ Simpanlah peralatan kamera anda dalam tasnya jika tidak dipergunakan. atau justru membutuhkan lebih dr itu krn kita sudah mempunyai gambaran atau informasi atau trip tersebut merupakan pengulangan trip yg sudah pernah dilakukan. Kadang2 didaerah yang rawan. misalnya setiap malam sebelum tidur. Masukkan kembali kedalam tas dan kuncilah. _ Jangan malas-malas. overnight trip atau trip berhari-hari bahkan berminggu-minggu. Membawa semua lensa yang kita punya kadang tidak bijaksana. seperti kabel pengaman laptop (Notebook lock) buatan Kensington. Bahkan kadang dgn membawa peta (atau mungkin GPS) akan membantu kita menemukan suatu tempat atau spot. jangan meletakkan tas anda dekat jendela.14. dengan jendela yang dapat terbuka. situasi keamanan atau daerah yang harus dihindari. misalnya dari resepsionis. Beli dan pergunakanlah padlock/gembok dgn kualitas yang cukup baik untuk menguncinya. missal dari satu kota/tempat ke tempat yang lain. misal untuk keluar makan. krn itu akan menentukan kesiapan kita baik fisik maupun peralatan yang harus dibawa. Cek ulang dan test semua camera dan lensa yang akan dibawa. untuk sering-sering melakukan check-count/list atas semua peralatan yang dibawa. gunakan jaring besi pengaman seperti Pacsafe yang sangat kuat melindungi keseluruhan backpack anda dengan prinsip kerja yang sama seperti pelindung laptop yaitu dengan dikaitkan/lingkarkan kesuatu benda yang fix seperti tiang besi. baik itu peralatan fotografi maupun peralatan penunjang. kursi mobil. _ Untuk peralatan lain seperti laptop. jangan tinggalkan peralatan anda tergeletak diatas meja atau di atas tempat tidur jika meninggalkan kamar. _ Sangat penting untuk mengetahui informasi tentang keadaan sekitar suatu tempat tujuan dari orang-orang setempat. Mengetahui alam dan lingkungan dan adat (jika ada penduduknya) dari lokasi pemotretan juga akan sangat membantu. _ Jika anda menginap di suatu cottage (biasanya didaerah pantai) atau hotel dengan kamar dilantai dasar. _ Pengalaman saya di negara2 dunia ketiga (bukan Indonesia). sehingga multiple source adalah lebih berguna dari single source. Hal lain yang tidak kalah penting adalah melindung seluruh peralatan yang anda bawa selama photo trip/hunting. Akan lebih baik kalau semua perlataan yang akan dibawa dalam keadaan bersih. Jadi kalau ada satu item yang hilang dapat diketahui lebih awal… bukannya pada akhir perjalanan setelah tiba dirumah atau meninggalkan tempat tersebut. filter2 maupun kamera (sensor) nya. _ Jika anda terpaksa harus meninggalkan seluruh atau sebagian peralatan anda dalam tas backpack. atau tiang besi.

I thought I’d jot down a few of the lessons that I learned in my early years of doing it. a boulder or rock formation. Photo by Auto matt Related Reading . Also consider a cable or wireless shutter release mechanism for extra camera stillness. Think Foregrounds One element that can set apart your landscape shots is to think carefully about the foreground of your shots and by placing points of interest in them. Landscape Photography Tips 1. In fact even if you’re able to shoot at a fast shutter speed the practice of using a tripod can be beneficial to you. Look for a Focal Point All shots need some sort of focal point to them and landscapes are no different . The simplest way to do this is to choose a small Aperture setting (a large number) as the smaller your aperture the greater the depth of field in your shots. a striking tree. There’s something about getting out in nature with the challenge of capturing some of the amazing beauty that you see. Related Reading: Getting Foregrounds right in photography Photo by hkvam 5. I’d love to hear your own Landscape Photography tips in comments below. Photo by OneEighteen 4. a silhouette etc. Use a Tripod 9 . Consider the Sky 2.the normal approach is to ensure that as much of your scene is in focus as possible. scoping out an area for the best vantage point and then seeing the way that the light changed a scene over a few hours. Perhaps it fits with my personality type .As a result of the longer shutter speed that you may need to select to compensate for a small aperture you will need to find a way of ensuring your camera is completely still during the exposure. The rule of thirds might be useful here. PS: of course there are times when you can get some great results with a very shallow DOF in a landscape setting (see the picture of the double yellow line below).Introduction to Tripods Get more tips and tutorials like this one by subscribing to Digital Photography School via email or RSS 3. Do keep in mind that smaller apertures mean less light is hitting your image sensor at any point in time so they will mean you need to compensate either by increasing your ISO or lengthening your shutter speed (or both).but I loved the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot. While I don’t get as much time as I’d like for Landscape Photography these days .in fact landscape photographs without them end up looking rather empty and will leave your viewers eye wondering through the image with nowhere to rest (and they’ll generally move on quickly). Related Reading . Think not only about what the focal point is but where you place it.Focal Points in Photography My first love in photography when I first got my trusty old Minolta SLR as a teenager was landscapes. Focal points can take many forms in landscapes and could range from a building or structure. When you do this you give those viewing the shot a way into the image as well as creating a sense of depth in your shot. Maximize your Depth of Field While there may be times that you want to get a little more creative and experiment with narrow depth of fields in your Landscape Photography .

wind in trees.don’t let it dominate your shot and place the horizon in the upper third of your shot (however you’ll want to make sure your foreground is interesting). Look for storms. If you have a bland.unless you have one or the other your shot can end up being fairly boring. These ‘golden’ hours are great for landscapes for a number of reasons . waves on a beach. Related Reading: lines in photography“>Using Lines in Photography (mini-series) 7.let it shine by placing the horizon lower. Work with the Weather A scene can change dramatically depending upon the weather at any given moment. use some sort of a 10 . Examples . 9. Think about Horizons It’s an old tip but a good one .creating interesting patterns. mist. Is it straight? . boring sky . rainbows. scale and can be a point of interest in and of themselves by creating patterns in your shot.before you take a landscape shot always consider the horizon on two fronts.but I find that unless it’s a very striking image that the rule of thirds usually works here. As a result. dimensions and textures. Capture Movement When most people think about landscapes they think of calm. sunsets and sunrises etc and work with these variations in the weather rather than just waiting for the next sunny blue sky day.a compositionally natural spot for a horizon is on one of the thirds lines in an image (either the top third or the bottom one) rather than completely in the middle. choosing the right time to shoot is of real importance. Lines give an image depth.however an overcast day that is threatening to rain might present you with a much better opportunity to create an image with real mood and ominous overtones. Work the Golden Hours I chatted with one photographer recently who told me that he never shoots during the day .Another element to consider is the sky in your landscape. birds flying over head. filter or even shoot at the start or end of the day when there is less light. Of course this means more light hitting your sensor which will mean you need to either go for a small Aperture. water flowing over a waterfall. Photo by 3amfromkyoto Consider enhancing skies either in post production or with the use of filters (for example a polarizing filter can add color and contrast). dramatic clouds. 8. The other reason that I love these times is the angle of the light and how it can impact a scene . 10. Most landscapes will either have a dominant foreground or sky . Many beginner photographers see a sunny day and think that it’s the best time to go out with their camera .while you can always straighten images later in post production it’s easier if you get it right in camera.his only shooting times are around dawn and dusk . serene and passive environments however landscapes are rarely completely still and to convey this movement in an image will add drama.none the least of which is the ‘golden’ light that it often presents us with. moving clouds. Capturing this movement generally means you need to look at a longer shutter speed (sometimes quite a few seconds). Lines One of the questions to ask yourself as you take Landscape shots is ‘how am I leading the eye of those viewing this shot’? There are a number of ways of doing this (foregrounds is one) but one of the best ways into a shot is to provide viewers with lines that lead them into an image. Related Reading: Getting Horizons Horizontal Photo by hkvam 6. Where is it compositionally? . sun shining through dark skies. wind. However if the sky is filled with drama and interesting cloud formations and colors . Of course rules are meant to be broken . mood and create a point of interest.because that’s when the light is best and he find that landscapes come alive.

While I’m not always a fan of sticking strictly to the ‘rules’ of photography I think they are well worth knowing and keeping in the back of your mind as you shoot (whether it’s so you can follow them or break them for effect). turn it on. Read more about using Diagonal Lines in your digital photography. rotate left and right a little. Here’s the four ‘rules’ that they suggested are worth knowing (with a few of my own thoughts on each): 1.Photo by curious_spider 11.however this process doesn’t generally lead to the ‘wow’ shot that many of us are looking for. The ‘lines’ need not be actual lines . raise the camera to your eye. Explore the environment and experiment with different view points and you could find something truly unique. walk up to the barrier. Change your Point of View Photo by Feuillu Using diagonal lines can be a very effective way of drawing the eye of those viewing an image into it and to the main focal point. look for new angles etc).but it is one technique to get balance in a shot and if you’re clever. Using Geographic Shapes in this way isn’t something that I’ve done a lot of . We’ve all done it . to lead the eye into it (in a similar way to the diagonal lines rule above). The Rule of Thirds 11 . Take a little more time with your shots particularly in finding a more interesting point of view to shoot from. a line of trees. Converging lines (two or more lines coming from different parts of an image to a single point) can be all the more effective. You can see this illustrated (to a point) in the photomontage image to the right. a fence. 3. Diagonal Lines “Positioning key aspects of a landscape on points of a geometric shape hep create a balanced composition. This might start with finding a different spot to shoot from than the scenic look out (wander down paths. grab your camera. river or any other feature in an image. Geometric Shapes Photo by Mattijn You drive up to the scenic lookout. zoom a little and take your shot before getting back in the car to go to the next scenic lookout.they could be the shape of a path. 2. get out of the car.” Perhaps the most common and easiest way to do this is to use a ‘triangle’ shape between objects in an image with three objects in a frame positioned with one to each side and one more central. 4 Rules of Composition for Landscape Photography by Darren Rowse Photography Monthly Magazine (UK) had a useful feature on landscape photography in their April 2007 edition. could mean getting down onto the ground to shot from down low or finding a higher up vantage point to shoot from. As part of it they had a page outlining four basic compositional rules that can be used when framing landscape images.

The key is to think about what the place means to you. a cracked pavement tile. Position key points of interest in a landscape on the intersecting point between imaginary ‘third’ points in an image and you’ll help give your image balance and help those focal points to really capture attention. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact. Perhaps the most common way of framing a landscape shot is to include an overhanging branch in the upper section of a shot. and find that they are absolutely packed full of interesting subjects.Practice these techniques . how it makes you feel. While sometimes it can feel a little cliche it can also be a very effective technique in landscapes (although keep in mind that breaking this (and other rules) can also produce dramatic and interesting shots). Then look around for a way to introduce this feeling into your photo. I just love the excitement and vibrancy of a busy city. 4.a similar technique is to ‘frame’ the shot by adding interest to other parts of the edges of an image.but don’t get so worked up about them that they kill the creativity that you have. The fast pace of change also means that there's always something new to photograph.” Read more from our Composition Tips Category Urban Landscape Photography Tips Urban landscapes are one of my favourite photographic subjects. Read more about Framing Images Rules are Made to Be Broken? Of course while knowing the rules can be important . Framing Images Capture the feel of your subject. Read more about using the Rule of Thirds in composing your shots. and what places are special to you. so try to include them alongside the more obvious subjects such as impressive buildings or monuments. Image by Thomas Hawk. Things like an overflowing rubbish bin. and help to give your urban landscape shots context. Let me finish with a quote about Rules of Photography from Photographer Edward Weston to help give us a little balance on the topic: “To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Capture the Vibe Photo by james_wicks The Rule of Thirds gets trotted out more often than any other in all types of photography and is one of the first rules of composition taught to most photography students. they are the products of reflection. Don't forget that the vibe of a city doesn't always need to be a positive one . A successful urban landscape photo should capture this essence. It's the small details that can really add atmosphere to an urban landscape photo. but it isn't always an easy task. or a traffic jam tell a story in themselves.sometimes you might 12 . The following tips describe how I go about photographing urban landscapes. Towns and cities often have their own unique 'feel' that makes them different from anywhere else. and hopefully they'll help you to think more creatively next time you're out and about with your camera. Similarly framing a shot with a bridge might work.knowing when to use them and when to break them is a talent that great photographers generally have. Photo by Leviathor While adding points of interest to a foreground is an important technique for adding interest to landscape shots .

If you want to take this idea a step further you could completely ban yourself from taking the usual cliched shots. Get Off the Beaten Track development or a tragic destruction of history. This is particularly true of famous landmarks. These areas often have a fascinating collection of neglected. But these differences extend beyond lighting to things like how much traffic there is and the number and type of people on the streets. run-down buildings which are packed full of character. Your photos should always tell a story from your point of view . where people are so used to seeing them photographed in a certain way that they automatically do exactly the same themselves. Image by DetroitDerek. But don't neglect the suburbs. The suburbs are also the areas where you can find a lot of renovation and new developments as a city expands beyond its current limits.want to show just how dirty and unfriendly a place is. because that's an obvious place of interest. because that's where some of the most intriguing photos can be found. Image by Owen B. When photographing urban landscapes it is often our first instinct to head straight for the city's centre. you'll find mostly commuters during the rush hour. Some urban landscape photos have been shot in exactly the same way so many times that they begin to lose their interest and appeal. The contrast between old and new makes a fascinating subject in itself. and what features you find interesting. Put a New Spin on an Old Idea The most interesting subjects are often found in the suburbs. and spend some time thinking about how you want to capture it.something which is in stark contrast to the feeling of decay that went before. For example. As with any naturally-lit subject. Time of Day Many city streets are deserted early in the morning. Image by moriza. Most cities are in a state of constant change. you might find an old church nestling in amongst modern skyscrapers. with old buildings being torn down to be replaced with shiny new ones. Each lends your shot a different feel and atmosphere. forcing yourself to be more creative. Image by swisscan. Whether you see this as necessary 13 . For example.after all. treat the subject as if you've never seen it photographed before. These projects tell a story of change and growth . Photograph the Old and the New Shoot common subjects in new ways. Another interesting feature of having old and new buildings next to each other is that you can capture some great photos showing their juxtaposition. urban landscapes look dramatically different at different times of the day. and revellers at night. shoppers in the middle of the day. urban landscape photography is just as much about self-expression as it is about showing off a town or city. look for a shot that conveys your point of view. Rather than getting sucked into the same trap.

Show the Surroundings Include surrounding scenery to add context. ghost-like feel. Image by Today is a good day. Castles are crammed full of fascinating objects which make great photographing subjects in their own right.Early morning is a great time for photographing urban landscapes because it's often the only time when the streets are almost empty. intricate carvings. Be on the lookout for these interesting features. and allows you to focus your attention on the buildings and structures rather than the people. almost eerie scene. directional lighting really brings out the details in the castle walls. and rusting cannons. A symmetrical composition conveys a feeling of power and importance. Image by ingirogiro. Look For Interesting Details Early morning mist adds a great deal of atmosphere to your castle. as they can add real character to your castle photography. and the vivid colours add drama to the scene. Early mornings can be a great time to photograph your castle surrounded by mist. Capture the Atmosphere Sunrise and sunset are perfect times for castle photography. Image by mike nl. Castles are very grand. Perhaps your castle sits overlooking miles of rolling hills. usually set in stunning landscape. Use a Wide Angle 14 . and covered with interesting details. Castles are full of interesting details. lavish buildings.sometimes the best castle photos are those that are zoomed right in to show an interesting and easily overlooked detail. and that sense of grandeur often extends into the surroundings. An empty city makes for an unusual. Image by Hugo*.archways and entrances are a particular favourite of mine because they invite the viewer to wonder what they might find on the other side. Follow these tips to give your castle photography a bit of a shake up. or maybe it is surrounded by an impressive moat. and allowing them to imagine the sort of person who might once have lived there. Common examples are decorative gargoyles. The low. which is ideally suited to imposing buildings such as castles. Use Symmetry Symmetry adds interest to your castle photo. Castle Photography Tips Castles make perfect subjects for photography they're very grand buildings. Don't feel that every shot has to show the entire building . Castles are full of opportunities to photograph a symmetrical composition . But it is all too easy to come home with a memory card full of images that you've seen a hundred times before. giving the viewer a better idea of what the area is like. Including some of the surrounding scenery in your castle photography helps to give your castle some context. This gives it an eerie.

feel free to zoom right in on one particular area and crop everything else out. Don't be afraid to use an unorthodox camera angle. Then base your composition around that. Image by Thomas Hawk. It is often our first instinct to shoot sculpture front-on. a wide angle lens skews the perspective. Image by gari. Side-front lighting usually works best because it casts long shadows across the sculpture. from a purely practical side. Using a wide angle lens for castle photography serves two important purposes: Firstly. Lighting plays a key role in adding depth to a photo. and you should aim to reflect that in your sculpture photography. An important question to ask yourself when photographing sculpture is whether you should try to show off the artist's vision by photographing the sculpture as accurately as possible. Background Try to inject some of your own personality into your sculpture photography. The best time for this type of lighting is around sunrise and sunset. from a creative point of view. so be prepared to experiment. Sculpture is by its very nature a three-dimensional medium. Personally I think that both approaches have their place. Next time you're photographing sculpture. a wide angle lens makes it easier to fit a large castle into your photograph without having to chop off the tops of towers. from the most obvious viewpoint. giving your castle a slightly distorted. when the sun is low in the sky. Image by metrogirl. or whether you should capture it in a way that expresses what you see in it. Put Your Own Spin on Things Choose a composition with an uncluttered background. breaking up the rigid square lines. such as lying on the ground looking up. but you might find that you can get much better lighting by shooting from the side. you will find some sculpture that appeals to you. modern metallic abstracts or anything in between.Wide angle lenses skew your castle's perspective. If you don't have the option of choosing your lighting. remember that you still have the freedom to move around the sculpture and choose the most eye-catching angle to photograph from. Wander all around it and examine it from different angles. and see what features and details stand out and interest you.otherwise you can be left with a photo which is little more than a snapshot of somebody else's work. Regardless of which you prefer. The lighting on this sculpture adds depth to the photo. and don't feel you have to capture the entire sculpture . first make sure that you actually spend some time taking it in before you get your camera out. 15 . How to Photograph Sculpture Whatever your personal taste. whether it be ancient statues. Lighting Secondly. but I prefer to put my own spin on things wherever possible . there are certain techniques that you should follow to produce some truly stunning sculpture photographs. Image by Lorrie McClanahan. picking out the contours and details on the sculpture's surface.baldi. sinister appearance.

but what looks good in real life can often end up looking bland and flat in a photograph. Perfect examples include a meandering stream or a line of trees moving into the distance.When choosing your composition. Alternatively you might want to show your sculpture in the context of its surroundings.it's very disappointing to take what you think is a fantastic photo only to get home and notice a big distracting sign post in the background. look around for the best place to shoot from. Of course by narrowing your aperture you increase the required exposure time. Foreground. Choose a local area of interest and set about fully exploring it. enhancing the feeling of depth in the photo. A landscape with depth is always more engaging than one which appears flat. Once you're at your location. Include elements in the foreground. Instead. middleground and background to add depth to your photo. so be sure to mount your camera on a sturdy tripod. Include interest in the foreground. The key to great landscape photography is photographing your landscape at a time of day that will enhance its natural beauty. and before you even take your camera out of its bag. not the background. Using a wide angle exaggerates your landscape's perspective. Image by christopherdale. You will often find that you can include more foreground interest by moving a few steps to the side. The start and end of the day are the best times for landscape photography. A plain and uncluttered background usually works best for sculpture photography because it keeps the viewer's attention focused on the sculpture itself. directional lighting creates interesting shadows. Lead the Eye Compose your landscape photo so that a natural feature leads the viewer's eye into the scene from the foreground. We are surrounded by opportunities for great landscape photos. Time of Day 6 Landscape Photography Tips Interesting landscapes can be found all around us. (Also see Creating a Sense of Depth in Your Photos). It is all too easy to just arrive and set up your equipment in the most obvious place. The low. The bright sunlight at this time of day creates a lot of contrast in your photo. middleground and background to create depth. Follow these six tips to shoot stunning landscapes first time. Use a narrow aperture to maximise the depth of field. Middleground and Background Morning and evening provide the most dramatic light for your landscape. and to invite the viewer to explore the scene in their mind. but this is where everyone will photograph from. This will throw the background out of focus. so that all areas of your landscape photo are in sharp focus. It also has the added benefit of increasing your depth of field. reducing its impact significantly. If you're having trouble finding a plain background for your photo then try using a shallow depth of field. Choose an Interesting Spot We are surrounded by opportunities for great landscape photography. Image by l'etrusco. should be the main focus of your shot. from rolling meadows to imposing mountains to arid desert scenes. and the colour of the sky adds atmosphere. or create a better composition by clambering on top of a rock. try to find a different view of your chosen landscape. Avoid the midday sun if possible. remember to think about the background . bringing more of you landscape into focus. bringing out the details in the landscape. for example showing a statue in front of a stately home. finding new and unusual ways to photograph it. This can add great interest to a sculpture photo but remember that the sculpture. and taking the time to choose a viewpoint and composition that convey real depth in your scene. making it easy to lose detail in the highlights 16 .

and for good reason . and eliminating distracting reflections. Cut Out the Sky If you are faced with a dull. making a tripod even more important. featureless sky. cut them out.. Image by Lastexit. Experiment with wide angle lenses to produce extreme perspective. Use a Polarising Filter A polarising filter will enrich the colours in your landscape scene. When photographing old architecture. Bear in mind that any filters you use will increase the required exposure time. and one that surrounds us on a daily basis.they really do work wonders on landscape photos. A Guide to Architectural Photography Architecture is a broad subject. and also draws your attention back towards the landscape itself. because modern buildings are often squeezed in very close to one another. you can crop in tightly on the building without making the photo feel unnatural. It usually helps to include some of the surrounding scenery to give context to the architecture and make it feel less cramped. If the scenery compliments your building then shoot a wider photo. 17 . or Don't Include some scenery to put your architecture in context. consider cutting it out of your landscape altogether. As well as a polarising filter.. or both. you may consider using a graduated neutral density filter. These filter the light to a varying degree along their length. Ask yourself whether putting your building in context would add to or detract from the photo. Many landscape photographers swear by their polarising filter. Put Your Architecture in Context. or will at least get you thinking more deeply about how you can best portray a particular piece of architecture. a straightforward and simple composition usually works best. But despite its diversity there are a number of simple rules that apply in most situations.or shadows. abstract style. bringing out the lush greens in surrounding foliage. or photograph the building from unusual angles. but if the surroundings don't fit with the message you want to convey. It comes and no surprise then that it is also a very popular topic in photography. and are perfect for reducing the contrast between the land and the sky. The harsh overhead light at this time of day also tends to flatten the details in your landscape. Modern Architecture Use a more abstract style for modern architecture. Also. When photographing modern architecture you can get away with using a much more modern. making it even more challenging to capture a sense of depth in your photo. showing the natural beauty and elegance of the building. turning the sky a rich blue. Old Architecture Old architecture looks best with a simple composition The question of whether to show your building's surroundings depends on the situation and the message you want to convey. Doing so creates a more unusual photo (we are used to seeing the sky in landscape photography).

But if you just want to emphasise the beautiful old architecture then the newer buildings would only detract from the photo. Back lighting is the worst kind for architectural photography because it creates very uniform.As an example consider an old building in the middle of a modern city. Image by alvazer. Image by Gianni D. Lighting Some buildings really come to life at night. After dark these buildings are lit by dozens of lights which bring colour and vibrancy. as if the whole building is bulging outwards. Image by Stuck in Customs. If you wanted to capture this sense of not belonging then it would be important to include some of the surrounding modern buildings. so you should crop them out. 18 . When photographing architecture at night be sure to use a tripod and set your camera to its lowest ISO setting to reduce digital noise to a minimum. Side-front lighting usually produces the best architecture photos. Reduce Distortion by Using a Longer Lens Front-side lit shots bring out detail and depth. interesting shadows across the face of the building. Of course we have no say over the position and orientation of a building. or photograph the building as a silhouette. It provides plenty of illumination and also casts long. The best way to deal with a backlit building is to either crop out the sky and use a longer exposure to rescue some of the detail. Pick Out Interesting Details Look for interesting details on your architecture. By using a telephoto lens and photographing your architecture from further away you will find that your building's walls and lines appear acceptably straight. Image by Aghman. If you photograph a building from too close it can leave the walls looking distorted. By photographing your architecture from a long way away and using a long focal length lens. Lighting is a crucial part of architectural photography. You can also use a telephoto lens to create some great abstract effects.. Instead we have to make do with what nature provides. we usually want to reduce it so that it doesn't become distracting. Even the most boring architecture can come alive at night . and cast fantastic shadows across the face of the building. Alternatively you could wait until it gets dark. dark surfaces. you will flatten the perspective.in fact many modern buildings and city centres are designed specifically with night time in mind. making its surface details stand out and giving the building a more three-dimensional look. giving your photo a slightly surreal feel. Shoot at Night Use a telephoto lens to flatten the perspective and eliminate distortion.. and lighting the building ourselves is usually out of the question (not to mention expensive!). making the lines of the building appear parallel. Although this can be an interesting effect in itself.

crabs.Most architecture is covered with small-scale details which make fascinating photos in their own right from ornate windows to patterns of rivets to decorative cornices. barnacles and birds. or arrange them into a more abstract pattern for a close-up shot. Be on the lookout for these details and crop in tightly on them for a more intimate photograph that conveys the character of the architecture. or channels where water is flowing back to the sea. such as starfish. Architecture covers a lot more than just buildings. it usually produces a disappointing. Rocks .bridges. Find an Interesting Subject Beaches are full of interesting subjects. A personal favourite of mine is taking a close-up photo of some rounded pebbles in the wet sand. Look for eye-catching dunes. flat-looking photo which lacks an interesting focal point.The ocean washes all sorts of interesting debris onto beaches. Each has a distinct appearance and a different visual appeal. Beach Photography Tips Whenever I go on holiday. I particularly love beach photography. beach sand is constantly being pushed by the waves. such as chunks of driftwood or intricate shells. creating an everchanging array of interesting shapes and textures. waveworn pebbles.Beaches are full of rocky areas. Find a point of interest and base your photo around that. Wildlife . towers. and in fact most man-made structures come under the architecture umbrella . blown by the wind and trampled under foot.Beaches are packed full of wildlife if you look in the right places. Crashing waves. Rock pools are often teeming with creatures. Here are some ideas: Sand . Think laterally and see if you can find some interesting photos that most people would miss. While this might look great at the time. windmills.Being a soft substance. When photographing architecture it is easy to get stuck in the mindset that 'architecture equals buildings'. When photographing beaches it can be our first instinct to just point the camera at a large expanse Water .Of course water is an important part of any beach. one of the things I love to do most is just grab my camera and head out for a day snapping anything and everything in sight. Also consider man-made sand structures such as sand castles and sculptures. You can photograph them as they lie. because there's such a wide range of photos to be had in such a small area. Image by Jim's outside photos. 19 . It's Not Just About Buildings of sand or sea and shoot away. Image by fotos_celtes. which can make great beach 'character studies'. and even lamp posts. streams and tranquil pools all make perfect focal points. from craggy cliffs to clusters of rock pools to smooth. monuments. and find a way to base your beach photo around them. and then base your composition around that. Debris . and can really add to a photo. Of course this couldn't be far from the truth. Image by Lab2112. Therefore the first thing to do is find something of interest which will act as the main feature in your beach photo. These are the tips I use to help me capture some great beach photos.

Image by BURNBLUE.Most beaches. Because they are constantly exposed to the elements they're often quite battered by the weather. underexposing and leaving you with a dark and dull beach photo. adding depth. Choose which area you want properly exposed and use spot metering to make sure it comes out right. Sand. Protect Your Camera from Sand One of the surest ways to kill your camera is to get sand inside it. These times of day also produce some fantastic colours. remember the rule of thirds and place the horizon off-centre in the frame. ever put it down in the sand. contain some man-made structures. Image by cuellar. giving them bags of character. For areas with lots of contrast. This creates a more balanced. Getting the Right Exposure Lead the viewer's eye into your beach scene. This will give you a photo with lots of contrast. like snow. They can also be used to affect the appearance of water . to create a path into the photo. Man-made objects . with very bright highlights and very dark shadows. such as beach huts or fishing boats. natural looking shot than if you were to place the horizon smack bang in the middle of the frame.making it easy to lose detail in either the bright or dark areas. and never. sending a lot of light to your camera's sensor. when the sun is glaring The problem with this is that it can produce some very harsh lighting. Try adding a stop of so of exposure compensation to restore the natural vibrancy of your beach shots. Instead. try shooting around sunrise and sunset for a softer light quality with less contrast. When shooting a beach photo which includes the sea and sand. put it in its protective bag whenever you aren't shooting. such as the border between brightly lit sand and a shadowy area. or turn it the other way to increase the water's 'sparkle'. Use a Polarising Filter Composition Polarising filters work wonders in beach photography. with long shadows that bring out the beach's texture. Shooting your beach photos away from the bright midday sun will also help you to expose the whole scene properly. Lighting Exposure can be tricky to get right in a beach photo. Sunrise and sunset give the most dramatic lighting. particularly in touristy areas. Look for a composition which will lead the viewer's eye into the scene.always wear the safety strap around your wrist or neck so you don't drop it. Most people photograph beaches in the middle of the day. As with any type of photography. allowing you to see right through the water to the sea bed. enhancing the rich blue of the sky and generally making the colours more bright and vivid. such as the curving shore line or a trail of seaweed. This can often be best achieved by including some sort of foreground interest. Image by phitar. Also make sure your horizon is straight. If you put your camera in auto exposure mode it will often over-compensate for this brightness. composition is an important part of beach photography.turn the filter one way to reduce reflections. you probably won't be able to exposure both areas properly. Keep this in mind at all times when shooting beach photos and do your best to protect it . Photographing Dramatic Skies 20 . or by using leading lines. is a highly reflective substance.

Sunrise and sunset provide the most dramatic skies. if you're aiming for an abstract shot. particularly on a sunny day when the sun really brings out the bright. landscapes. mountains.try using the sunset or daylight setting as a starting point. Creative Grass Photography We take grass so much for granted that we often overlook it as a potentially fascinating subject in our photography. Most cameras offer white balance presets . rather than just an empty. Include clouds and other objects to add interest to your sky scene. planes and so on. so that it is no longer so separate and abstract (Of course. directional lighting is perfect for creating a photo with bags of atmosphere. allowing you to capture a wide range of photos in a short period of time. Conditions around these times of day also tend to change rapidly. Time of Day In the same way that clouds add interest to your sky photos.the combination of strong colours and low. exaggerates the perspective in your scene. Interesting Objects 21 . but it isn't always easy to capture their full potential. White Balance Your camera's white balance setting is critical in determining how the colours of your scene appear in the final photo. adding drama. This is by far the most influential factor when photographing dramatic skies. feel free to ignore this!). vivid colours in the sky and surrounding landscape.just an endless expanse of flat colour. giving the impression that the clouds are rushing dramatically overhead. A wide angle will also allow you to capture more variation in light and colour. birds. making them a popular subject in photography. With a little thought and some practice you'll be photographing dramatic skies with ease. and help to break up the monotone flatness of the sky with changes in colour. Using a wide angle lens. Types of Grass When photographing the sky it is often our first instinct to look for a clear patch. Choose the wrong setting and they will look completely different to how they did to you at the time. but experiment to see which produces the most dramatic and eye-catching result. But its abundance and variation can make it perfect for practicing your creative talent. soulless sky. They give the viewer something to actually look at in the scene. such as buildings. Nature provides a wide variety of colours and light quality each day. Image by redmann. Use a Wide Angle Using a wide angle exaggerates the depth in your scene. But in reality this usually produces a boring photo . Sunrise and sunset generally give the most dramatic skies . You can also get some great sky photos around midday. or zooming out. Use these tips to give you a head start. Image by kamneed. Image by F. particularly at sunrise or sunset.Nature provides us with dramatic skies on a daily basis. leaving you spoiled for choice.j. and will also put your sky into some sort of context. so do other objects. Include Clouds These additional objects can add depth to your scene. Clouds add interesting shapes and textures to your photo.

peering through the grass. inviting us to study and explore the photo. and grass has it in spades . Grass comes in a variety of colours other than green. Due to the nature of grass (outside!). Experiment with different viewpoints to achieve different effects low and close to show all the intricate details and textures. Image by Seymore Sinn. or looking down from above to emphasise the patterns it forms. Grass comes in a huge range of varieties.from the lines on an individual blade. Image by samk. thin. To bring out the detail and texture in your grass.play with your camera.from lush greens to fiery reds to pastel yellows and more. A bright. But you can still achieve a great deal of control over the lighting by choosing the time of day. densities and colours. sunny day will give you a photo with vivid colours and high contrast.from far away to very close up . Because grass is so accessible. Colour One of the most intriguing aspects of grass photography is the variety of interesting textures and details available for you to work with . and engages the viewer more because it isn't immediately obvious what the photo is of. Examine your grass at all levels . and so on. or upside down. Go for a walk and see just how many different types of grass you can find. different shapes. thick. Zoom in as far as you can to capture the fascinating textures and lines on an individual blade. to the way several blades entwine. Experiment With Angles Colour is very important in photography. Texture and Detail Get up close to capture interesting textures and details.to see what stands out for you. This usually produces a more interesting photo than one of a large expanse because it offers us a much closer view than we are used to. perhaps towards another object. If you want to focus on the grass's shape. See if you can find an interesting angle to shoot from. Light You can control the lighting by carefully choosing the time of day and shooting direction. overcast day gives a softer light. Image by bhermans. right up to the patterns formed on a large lawn when it is mowed.short and regimented. don't feel you have to limit yourself to photographing the grass growing on your back lawn. Challenge the viewer . sideways. all with different characteristics . Do you want it to be composed of variations of a single colour or many different ones? Should they complement each other or do you want to use contrasting colours to add a focal point to the image? By shifting your position and reframing the shot you can achieve the desired effect. light it from the front or side. This gives the grass a more abstract appeal. and adjusting your viewpoint to control the light's direction. you'll most likely be limited to using natural sunlight. Image by DRB62. tall and tangled. we usually have full range of motion around it. use back lighting to reduce the prominence of the textures. some without heads. Then base your viewpoint and composition around this interesting feature. Image by gemmafactrix. turning it at an angle. some with heads.Experiment with photographing different types of grass. Consider the colours you'll be including in your photo. or even to create a silhouette. while a duller. Early morning and evening 22 .

Including objects of additional interest helps to create a focal point in your photo. from people to the sky. From dew to insects. Include Other Objects Include additional interest to add a focal point to your grass photo. feel free to cheat and introduce your own objects into the scene! 23 . If you can't find any natural points of interest. use a simple piece of plain white paper or card as a reflector.are both perfect for photographing grass silhouettes. and your personality. the choice is endless. so pick something that reflects the mood of your scene. Image by moog. For even more control over your lighting.

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