Sunday, March 14, 2010

Landscape Photography -- Tips & Tricks (Part #1)

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer; and often the supreme disappointment – Ansel Adams

When Ansel Adams, The Master of landscape photography, talks about landscape photography in this fashion, it makes sense for all of us to take care of some basic aspects when taking landscape photos. Thankfully, taking care of a few aspects would make sure that the photos that we take are visually pleasing and compositionally brilliant. In the coming articles, we will look at these techniques to take small but significant steps towards becoming better landscape photographers.

Tip #1: Scout the spot for different angles
Our first instinct when we come across a picturesque location would be to start shooting without actually looking around for the perfect angle & composition. We would be better off if we can hold off our instincts for sometime to find an ideal location; a location where we can use the angle of light, patterns or textures, lines or curves for making our composition even better.
Tip #2: Make use of the golden hour
Early mornings (½ hour before sunrise & 1 hour after sunrise) and late evenings (1 hour before & ½ hour after) are the best times to capture the mood of the place. The light is not too harsh and offers great play of lights to be captured.

Tip #3: Always use a polarizer
Polarizers help in cutting down reflections and enhancing the colors. Sky colors are darkened and dark skies offer a great background for landscape shots. The usage of a polarizer filter is different from the other filters and the important point is that it needs to rotated, the frame checked for color enhancement and then the picture clicked. Not rotating the filter would leave the possibility of getting enhanced colors entirely to chance and not choice!

Tip #4: Carry a tripod around
The pains of carrying a tripod will vanish the moment you capture a stunning picture which would have been impossible to take without a tripod at hand. It is not only useful for taking photos without shake but also to expand the creative possibilities like slow shutter speed shots, panoramic shots or multiple exposure shots that are used in generating vibrant looking HDR’s.

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