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  • 7/30/2019 Photography Techniques Landscapes



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    Photography Techniques: Landscapesby Christopher ODonnell

    Landscape photography is more than simply finding a beautiful location and capturing what

    you see you need some specialized gear and in-camera techniques in order to producepro-quality images. While there are many different avenues you can pursue, most landscape

    photographers employ the following t echniques wh en t hey capture those magazine g lossies.

    Rule of ThirdsYou ve p robab ly heard of t his rule befo re, but its o ne to abide by espe cially in t he realm of

    landscape photo graphy. The simple co ncept behind this is that a phot o is more balanced

    when its divided into thirds two vertical lines and two horizontal lines evenly spaced. Your

    horizon (or any other prominent line) should fall on one of the two horizontal lines.

    Additionally, t he four inte rsect ions are where you sho uld p lace any focal point in your image

    o r at least t he most obv ious on e.

    Whe n you compose your image in t his manner, t hings just seem more balanced with anoverall good flow to it.

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    Photo byRaymond Larose

    FiltersLandscape photography is probably where filters are most commonly used and its easy to see why. Its

    hard to control the landscape environment particularly lighting so filters are used to create the images

    we w ant.

    ND (neutral density) Filters T hese w ork to slow dow n our shutter speed so that w e can capture moving

    objec ts in slow-motion t hink of t hem as a pair of sunglasses for your lens. In landscapes, t his is typically

    done du ring the daytime to capture wate r and cloud movement in an ethereal way.

    Photo byChristopher ODonnell

    ND Grad Filters Working on the same concept as ND filters, they decrease the exposure time by limiting

    how much light is let in through the lens. However with t he grad filters, the y only block out a certain

    portion of your frame.

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    Photo byCarl Jones

    Why would this be useful in landscapes? For one, most landscape images have the sky in-frame which

    often has a completely different e xposure than the ground. Since your camera cant have tw o different

    photo settings within the same image, an ND grad filter can be lined up with your horizon line to reduce

    the exposure of the sky -thus giving you a perfectly exposed image despite different lighting situations.

    Photo byJuan Diego Jimenez

    While many of these effec ts can be created in post process (such as combining different exposures vs.

    using an ND grad filter), its always bett er to use a filter t o create the effect in-camera. Th e out put w ill beof a higher quality and less work for you in post process.


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  • 7/30/2019 Photography Techniques Landscapes


    of the difficult limitations of landscape photography as you have little to no control over lighting although

    its lots of fun to overcome this in the dark room.

    Photo byTrey Ratcliff

    Photos t aken by point-and-shooters are ofte n disappointing with blown out skies of w hat w as a dramatic

    sunset, or blacked out foregrounds of lush green islands they very rarely represent what you see in

    person and many vacationers complain of this when they bring their travel photos back home.

    With auto-bracketing, you can set your camera to t ake three ( or more) sequential images of the same

    exact scene only at different shutte r speeds. One p hoto will be an evaluative exposure taking all

    aspects of your image and averaging out a weighted exposure setting and the other t wo p hotos w ill

    have slowe r and faster shutt er speeds than t he e valuative.

    Trey Ratcliff also known as the Stuck in Customs guy has one of the most detailed tutorials on how to

    use Phot omatix to automatically tone-map (i.e. combine the wanted aspects of each expo sure into o ne

    image) your photo. You can also do this manually in Photoshop using layer masks.

    PanoramicsAnot her popular phot o t echnique for landsc apes is creat ing panoramics from seve ral images t his is

    especially popular for those scenes t hat nee d 180 degrees or more t o t ruly appreciate.

    Photo byGarry

    However, panoramics need specialized software to merge the photos seamlessly and theres usually a

    learning curve associated with the software. Photoshop has a stitching program built-in, but it does have

    its limitations when combining complicated images.

    You also need to make su re t hat your pho to s are uniform in set tings and focus ot herwise, you ll be

    stitching images that look nothing alike and ruin your panoramic. Ive detailed how to make sure your pano

    photos are ready for post process in my article here on capturing panoramics.

    These are just a few technical aspects of landscape pho tography the re are many more t o look into, andthere is a substantial learning curve to them as well. Be patient and take baby steps with your

    photography. Remember as long as you learn one important skill from each photo shoot, youre well on

    your way to becoming a true professional.
  • 7/30/2019 Photography Techniques Landscapes


    Read more great articles by Christopher ODonnell on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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    Fotografia lubna wrocawsaid:

    Good examples and inspiring photos. Thanks for the tips.


    great tips. I w ill try it all. t hanks.

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