Composition - The Heart of the Photo
Composition is the soul of the photo. Composition results in the work of art that starts from inspiration. Inspiration begins when you free the spirit to experience the universe around you and disconnect together with the domestic battles of everyday life. Truly being in the moment and experiencing nature links you with all around you.
Comprehension of your surroundings without hindrance of outside ideas clears the mind, although it may sound like meditation and sharpening your senses. Where you did not see them pictures appear. The components start to align and art emerges.
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Joseph Cornell in his book 'Listening to Nature How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature' had this exercise. Walk into a place that you'd like to photograph. Rather than shooting and setting the camera up. Sit down. Wait. Relax. Be still and sense the minute. Quite softly become conscious of nature. The Native Americans called this 'quiet hunting'. You personally will be spoken to by nature, but you should be quiet. Nature talks softly. Nature will show herself to you, in the event that you are patient. And unbelievable pictures will appear.
There are lots of times that I've entered the woods with camera in hand and not found anything that I wanted to photograph. It could be that I was not ready or nature did not wish to reveal herself. That day perhaps she didn't feel photogenic. Scenes appear as if by magic, other days. If you can't find anything to shoot on any specified day, so do not be disappointed. Utilize that time to scout the place for future chances and revel in the fact that you've got an opportunity to be outdoors.
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Take this as the opportunity to plan for future shots. At these times think, what if the light was coming from an alternate direction. A better image may be produced by coming back in the early morning or late day. Seasons change the landscape. Perhaps shooting together with the foliage in brilliant colours, in the autumn, or winter with a fresh layer of snow would create the photo that you want.
When seeking that image, don't rush yourself. Time with nature is a joy all by its self. The absolute joy of being one with the outdoors is worth the experience in the event you don't find anything to shoot.
A great landscape photographer is always well prepared. Don't leave home without these ten items.
10. Filters for Black and White If you're planning on shooting black and white photos, you'll desire yellowish, red and orange filters to darken the sky, and green to emphasize the various hues of green in the plant life.
9. A neutral density (ND) filter allows you to use a slower shutter speed, to blur transferring water and make it appear wetter.
8. Filters for Color A graduated filter allows you to even up the light between the ground and also the sky. When the ground is covered with ice or snow, put in the bottom. At all other times, put to the top. A polarizing filter will reduce reflections on glass or water (but not polished metal) and will make the sky bluer without affecting other colors. The effect is most noticeable at 90 degrees to the sun.
7. Spare Batteries When you've got a magic landscape in front of you, it's infuriating to find your camera battery's gone flat. Always take a spare. Make sure that your cell phone is charged, just in case while you're about it, and recall batteries for the following item.
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6. Torch the optimum time to take landscape photographs is nearly always the 'golden hours' -- an hour after sunrise and an hour before sundown. That's when the grazing light from the sun that is low emphasizes the contours of the property. And it's also when a honey color that is magic turns. The catch is that should you need to be on top of a mountain for the hours that are gold, you trek down after sundown, or have to hike right up in the dark before dawn. Either way, you will have a safer, more pleasant journey using a flashlight.
5. Lenses The truly amazing thing about SLRs (or DSLRs) is that you can alter the lens to suit the occasion. A wide angle lens gives you the ability to fit everything in, but also has the effect of making everything except the foreground appear smaller than it did in real life. In contrast, a telephoto lens allows you to pick out one detail of the landscape. Sometimes the detail that is correct is much more evocative compared to the entire mountain.
4. Tripod In order to have a sizable depth of field, you have a need for a small aperture. Occasionally, this requires a long exposure to compensate. That means unless you utilize a tripod there is a risk of camera shake.
3. Photoshop or similar. Editing your photo on the computer can rescue all manner of issues, including errors in framing or exposure. In the event you do not need to pay for Photoshop, there's a free shareware program called GIMP which covers all the basics.
2. Camera Clearly you can't possibly shoot photographs without this. There are lots of cameras available on the market, as everyone knows. Bear in mind that a more costly camera will give you more flexibility, but not necessarily more quality.
1. And the most important piece of equipment at all - your brain.
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The very best camera on earth will not shoot good photographs if a monkey's using it. On the other hand, I've seen amazing pictures shot with a biscuit tin. Yes, really, a biscuit can, with a pinhole in the front and photographic paper interior. Of course, it is much more easy to take photos that are great with an excellent camera, but you still need to know what you are doing. Otherwise you'll have 'all the gear and no idea.'