Landscape Photography Guidelines
We will continue our review of techniques and landscape photography hints today. Add these suggestions to your landscape and cityscape photographs and you'll begin winning photo contests! It's nearly a given!
Yesterday we discussed light.
First we discussed the colour of light... You have to get up early in the morning and begin shooting in the 20 or so minutes before daybreak. AND you also need to keep shooting for about 20 minutes or so previous sunset.
At those times there is a phenomenon we will call a 'fictitious' dawn and sundown that may create some absolutely beautiful colours in your landscape and cityscape photographs.
Next we talked about the angle of the light... Think of bodybuilder photographs. The light is coming from about 90 degrees to the subject. This creates plenty of shadows that define their muscles and highlight.
At dusk and daybreak, the glancing light from the sun is right at the perfect angle to make a great deal of shadows that are defining. This will definitely add your pictures and lots of third dimensionality and make them come alive!
Attempt shooting the same scene at both twilight and dawn, then compare the results to the exact same scene shot at midday. You may never sleep in again!
Next we mentioned shooting when there are clouds in the sky. This can add plenty of visual interest to the scene - in addition to lots of shade. Now the setting or rising sun has something to bounce off of! When the weather is bad... Get out there! That is the time you'll get the top shots.
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Today, let us add a couple more landscape photography tips and techniques.
Utilize a tripod! Post sunset times and when shooting landscapes, particularly in the daybreak - you will need a very long exposure! (Creating an acceptable depth of field demands shooting at minimal apertures - which means long shutter speeds.) Do not even think of trying to get a contest winner by shooting handheld. It won't occur.
Afterward, use the mirror lockup feature in case your camera has one. Most of the better DSLR cameras do.
For the ultimate in photo sharpness - in addition to locking up the mirror, make use of a shutter release that is timed. It may seem like a bit of overkill, but these sharpness techniques can and do make a major difference.
As far as composition is concerned, pay attention to the foreground! Use it to draw the viewer's eye into the photo. Use leading lines, framing, diagonals and so on.
Another compositional element to think about is the horizon, make it level! What's the most important element in your landscape or cityscape photo? Is it the sky? If so, set the horizon on the lower third of the shot. Is it the ground? Put in the upper third.
They are rare while there are times that placing the horizon in the middle is the correct call. Be sure to have a special reason to do that!
Last but not least... Make sure that your photo has a 'star'. What attracted you to the scene? Make certain you stress that attribute and drive the viewer's focus to it. Do not make the error of trying to make the whole scene equally significant. You will need a star.
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I hope this review of landscape photography hints and techniques can help you begin getting competition winning landscape and cityscape pictures!
In the exhilaration of the moment, it really is simple to forget to do some of these admittedly basic but vital landscape photography tips and techniques (there are more coming tomorrow)...
Here is your duty - begin to make up a checklist (of these and any other landscape photography hints and techniques you'll be able to think of), have it laminated and put it in the side pocket of your camera bag.
Each time you are shooting, you can pull out your landscape photography hints and techniques checklist and won't forget anything! Finally you will possess the landscape photography techniques needed to let your artistic side shine through!