Landscape photography can be both hard and easy. The easy part is the gear. You can start out with just a camera, a wide angle lens, tripod and cable release. This is pretty standard equipment, so it is not hard to get started doing landscape photography.
The hard part of landscape photography is finding your subject and what to include in your photograph. Finding the subject of you photograph can be challenging. It requires researching areas and watching for areas that have the right elements in them. Once you find a location, then it is a matter of timing. Do you photograph it in the morning near sunrise or in the late afternoon right before or during sunset.
There are three important elements to your photograph. They are the foreground, middle ground and background.
You need something of interest in the foreground to lead you into the image, it could be a stone, brush, pathway, river etc. Something that draws the eye into your image and moves you to the middle part of your image. The foreground can be the first third of the frame, but does fade to middle ground. The middle ground which can be the middle third of your image will usually be the main subject of your image. It could be a mountain, stream, waterfall etc. From your middle ground, you go to the background, which is usually the top third of your image. It could be the sky or clouds to bushes or trees. It can be dramatic in either color or light, but should keep your eye in the image.
Here are some more tips for great landscapes:
- Shoot at sunrise or sunset, or a couple of hours before and after, that is when the light is the best.
- Do not shoot during the middle of the day. The light is too harsh, great time to search for different locations and planning your evening.
- Always use a tripod and cable release to get the sharpest of images.
- Close your lens down to f/16-32 for maximum depth of field (area in focus), if you want your foreground to background to be sharp.
- Open your lens wide (f/2.8 or wider) to isolate your middle ground subject. This will have just your subject sharp, the rest will be out of focus.
- These are not set rules, this is more of a guide line to help you create beautiful landscapes that hold your attention. They can be full of detail parts to simple forms.
For more information on landscape tips see Matt Kloskowski’s blog at: http://www.mattk.com. Go to the May 28th 2014 Using the rule of 3 in landscape photography. Plus check over his blog for good landscape tips. So get out there either in the early morning or late afternoon and shoot those landscapes. Enjoy!!