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Thread: Landscape photography

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular Kel's Avatar
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    Landscape photography

    Hi everyone

    Well I have been looking around at all the wonderful landscape photo's and doing some research on how to take this wonderful photo's. As I have never been very good at them as I talking group of kids to the bunya mt for the day I though I would take my camera and try out some landscape photo's I just looking for any hints on what setting to use and what focus setting your mainly use as I have a Nikon d3100 with a 55mm and 200mm lens and what would be the better lens to use I looking in to getting a tripod for the this week as well to hope get some better shots

    Thanks for any hint and help

    Kel

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    iso 100, between about f8 and f16, and then shutter speed as required to get good exposure. Filters can be a great help, esp polarizer and neutral density filters. Definitely a tripod and even a remote shutter release. I would say you need a wider lens. Look at something like a sigma 10-20.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    I 2nd everything mentioned by Rick. Also consider the time of day/dawn/dusk for the varying lights/contrasts. If your camera has a timer facility then you can use this to assist camera shake reduction in the absence of a remote shutter release.

    Roy

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    Thanks for that but the time of day is one thing I will not be able to control as we won't be leaving intill about 8.30 and have to be back by 4pm but as if I get a some good spots to get some photo's I want to go back at better times of the day with my only daughters when they bigger but though it will be great chance to get some practice in still as I still have a lot to learn Thanks very much for the helpful hints

  5. #5
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Other than the technical, the really big thing with landscapes is the composition, You need to have both foreground elements of interest as well as the scene in general, but you want a scene that is simple. As in not cluttered. To many major elements become a distraction for the viewer. Most good land and seascapes have three main parts, foreground, background and a third element.

    So you could be shooting a lovely sunset, so you need the sky, but instead of taking it from a fence at the side of the road, look for a fence that runs off towards the setting sun. This creates what we call a 'leading line' to help the viewer follow it, into your photo. Also there might be some nice long grass nearby that has died and yellowed under the summer sun. This grass might be the third (secondary) element to your photo. Have a look in the land and seascape forum and look at what is in the photos, where they are placed, how something in the foreground works to lead your eyes to the distant part of the scene. Study the ones that you like, look at how the photographer has setup in a place to ensure the major elements are in specific places in a shot. Consider what would have happened if they had shot being closer/further away, more left or right. A good land/seascape comes cause the photographer understands how to seek out the best spot. They scout the location looking for a specific place to take photos from. You need to learn to 'see' that and find those spots for yourself.

    The more you study the work of others and not just look at it and think 'wow' but really study how the photographer picked their spot, and where things are in the scene, the better you will become. Simple things, like where is the horizon, in the middle, one third of the way up from the bottom of the photo, or one third of the way down from the top? Once you 'see' how these photographers composed their photos, you will start to do the same, from your understanding the 'rules' of good land/seascape photography. Also remember a location can be great one day, and really bad the next. Most of this is to do with light. Some days you get great light for photography and other days you don't. Ever got up to watch the sunrise and really nothing happens. The sky goes from black to blue, the sun comes up but there are no warm inviting reds and yellows. Doesn't mean the location is wrong, just that the timing is. The next day, the sunrise could be magnificent at the same spot.

    Think along the lines of the classic photo taken in the middle of the road, where the road heads straight off into the distance and the white line does the same. These are powerful leading lines that make the viewer look along them.

    Once you get the technical down and can correctly expose your photograph, then composition is the MAJOR factor that sets a good land/sea scape apart from being just a happy snap. And yes time of day is usually very important to a land/sea scape photographer, but you can still get some stunning photos during the day, once you understand the principles of it all

    Have a look at this for some hints and tips. http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...Hints-and-Tips

    To give you a start. Look at this photo of mine. See how the horizon is about 1/3 of the way down from the top? See how the brightest parts of the sky are not in the centre. Notice how the main foreground rocks are to the right of centre. How the sweeping white of the incoming wave heads off to the left lower corner, which would be quite bland without the white wash being there. See how the other rocks create 'stepping stones' to lead your eyes out to the colours of the sunrise and the clouds. All this is planned. I scouted the location by wandering up and down the beach a few times, till I was happy with this spot. Having found my spot, setup my camera on a tripod, using the viewfinder got my camera into this composition and locked it tight, and then I waited for waves to roll in and took the shot. Sometimes I waited quite a few minutes till a wave arrived that did what I was looking for. Everything was planned, that is what you have to learn to do. It will take time, but with the right mind-set and knowledge, you can do it, there is really not anything magically or secret about it. What we do is not some secret skill that others cannot learn of.

    The biggest thing I find for those starting out is this desire to go 'oh look a great sunrise' and grab the camera, stand there and take photos. Learn to slow down and think about why you are taking the photo, then what you want in the photo, scout the location and find it! Then and only then setup your shot and take it. I can spend 3-4 hours out all up at a shoot, and come home generally with less than 100 photos. Resist the urge to take a heap hoping one will be good. Stop, slow down, and make every photo a keeper. When you force yourself to slow down and think about each photo, your photography will improve.
    Last edited by ricktas; 02-01-2013 at 5:47am.

  6. #6
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    Thanks very much as this has been very helpful I am quite interested in to see what the Bunya Mt is like know as I have not been their seen I was about 8 but looking forward to the day out with all my schoolies that I talking on vacation care and put some of this practices to build on some photography skill as since I have not used my camera in months due to been to busy and sick with this pregnant an just not happy with how my photo's are so the more practice I get the better I will get and with all your helpful advise and hints have been very grateful and put to well use.

  7. #7
    As Keen As Mustard NikonNellie's Avatar
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    Great advice from Rick - especially the slowing down part. It took me a good couple of months to take the time to first think about what I wanted to achieve and what settings was I going to use to achieve the desired results. I even got to the point where I made myself some little flash cards for different genres of photography/techniques with settings/tips written on them that I could refer to when I was out on a shoot. I found these very helpful when I first started out and still do to this day occasionally when I try something totally new, e.g. I just did some firework shots on NYE and because I had never seriously attempted them before, I did my research, jotted down some settings and tips and made sure I looked at them on the night.
    CAMERA: Nikon D800, Nikon D7000
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    Sigma 70 - 200mm f2.8 APO EX DG OS, Tamron SP 24 - 70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG, Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm F/4 ED VR
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    My one piece of advice would be to try not to get everything in the one shot. What often makes a good view does not always make a good landscape photo. You need something in the view as a focal point, a road, well placed tree, fence line etc

    jj

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