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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 31 Jul 2006 (Monday) 00:21
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How about Landscape Photographers providing some tips?

 
wayne_eddy
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Perth, 'straya
Jul 31, 2006 00:21 |  #1

I noticed that this part of the forum has lots of very experienced persons giving great tips.

"Wouldn't it be great to have a FAQ for Landscape Photography", I thought. Perhaps we could start with a Sticky.

No General Discussion please. General Chit Chat should be done in the appropriate thread/PM - so please keep the thread short and to the point.

Perhaps we could look at preferred lens types, image dimension ratio's.

Tip #0 - I heard that a Stock Panorama should be 6x19 inches.





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sando
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Aug 04, 2006 00:06 |  #2

#1 Find some foreground detail.

A sunset is pretty, but it's boring to be frank! It will look 1,000 times more interesting with some sort of foreground detail to help keep your interest. Some rocks, some people, a funny looking woman... anything! Just dont have a shot of the sea filling half the frame and the orange sun and sky in the other half!

:)


- Matt

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weka2000
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Aug 04, 2006 02:17 as a reply to sando's post |  #3

#2 tip. Sit for 5 min and look at all the things around you. Really look the more the look the more you will see.




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12345Michael54321
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Aug 04, 2006 03:30 as a reply to weka2000's post |  #4

Tip #3 - When photographing landscapes, resist the temptation to zoom down as wide as your lens will go, for a shot that will "include everything." By getting everything in the picture, each detail is so small as to be insignificant. Fact is, while such all encompassing photos have their place, most of the time you're better off choosing one or two points of specific interest, and concentrating on them.

Tip #4 - Landscapes needn't be shot as horizontals. Try framing a few shots as verticals. (I particularly like shooting verticals if I'm going to be stitching together multiple shots into a panorama.)

Tip #5 - Polarizers are great, but it is possible to overdo it. Cutting glare and darkening a blue sky is well and good, but you don't always have to set your filter for maximum polarization.

Tip #6 - The tripod is your friend. Even if you could shoot handheld at high enough speed for razor sharp results (and if you want really razor sharp results, that usually requires faster than the old "1 over focal length" rule for acceptably sharp results), a tripod can still be a highly useful aid to careful composition, getting horizons level, keeping the camera aimed at precisely the same place while you vary shutter speed, aperture, etc. Also, it's easier on the arms than holding a camera up to your eye for half an hour.

Tip #7 - I don't care if you don't live in a pristine valley between majestic snow-capped mountains - No matter where you are, there are opportunities for landscape photography.

Tip #8 - It's not cheating to study what the masters have done, and adapt some of their techniques, preferences, tools, etc., to your own vision. Students of painting study how Rembrandt did things. Students of the piano study how Bach did things. Similarly, students of photography would be wise to study how the great photographers did things. But most don't. Don't ask me why. (Hint - Even though they're not the Internet, museums and libraries are valuable resources.)

Tip #9 - Midday light is often the worst light. Early morning and evening light is often the best light.

Tip #10 - Equipment matters. It can even matter a lot. But it seldom matters as much as all too many people seem to think it does. I'd like to own the finest cameras and tens of thousands of dollars of top quality lenses, but if all I've got is a Digital Rebel and an 18-55mm kit lens, I know I can still get outstanding results. (Michael's Corollary to Rule #10 - Owning a big, expensive, white lens doesn't mean someone's a great photographer, nor does the absence of impressive gear mean someone lacks talent as a photographer. Don't go judging people by the contents of their camera bags.)




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Stime187
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Some national park...
Aug 04, 2006 10:07 |  #5

Tip #11 - When shooting a sunrise/sunset, try underexposing a little on some shots. Try 2/3 under, 1/3 under, and regular. Sometimes the underexposed shots bring out more color in the sky.

Tip #12 - Don't be afraid to get off the beaten path. People get bored with seeing the same shot from the same beautiful overlook off the same road everyday. Switch it up and go hike to new spot/angle, the results might be surprising.

- Scott


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KYBOB
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Aug 04, 2006 12:49 |  #6

Tip # 13 - Do not take your spouse along if he/she is not a photographer (exception: he/she is willing to help carry equipment):-)


I don't have anything against Nikon cameras, just the people who use them.

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SuzyView
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Aug 04, 2006 13:01 |  #7

I second #13. :) My husband is great about this.

#14 - Be prepared to get up very early for several days if you are vacationing in the same place for more than a day. For sunrises and sunsets the clouds are what you want because they reflect the sunlight in different colors and intensifies the rays. Also agree with #1 on this tip.

#15 - After a heavy rain, the same spot can have totally different interesting features, you may want to run out to take shots as soon as the weather clears. There have been some wonderful "after the rain" landscapes here lately. I love those.


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Lesmac
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Aug 04, 2006 14:26 |  #8

16: Boss your camera, don't let the camera 'boss you', i.e. you need to know your camera inside out, it's strenghths and weaknesses, and be able understand them without giving it a conscious thought.
For example canon 20D can generate quite noisy shadow detail in underexposed shots, you should be able to manage and compensate for this weakness without thinking about it.

17, Landscape photographers don't photograph objects, scenes, etc, they photograph light. So you need to be able to understand light, be able to interpret that light, and what it means for a photograph, For example most photographers know that shooting in that magic period between dusk and dark can produce images that can sing, but you need to be able to understand that light to make the best use.

18, All good images have a beginning, middle and end, and need all three to work, for example I have seen some reasonable sunsets posted, usually over water. These images have a middle and end, but no beginning, therefore don't work as well as they should. The author has (probably) been overawed by the glorious sunset, that any thought of FG interest (beginning) has gone.

19, Photographs are 2D, although we see in 3D, therefore you need to be practice seeing in 2D (previsualising), and arrange the composition to give a perception of 3d in the final image. For example, most mountain ranges look glorious, we can see them in 3d, the camera interprets them in 2D, so often look flat and lifeless. You need to be able provide enough visual clues/elements to give perceived depth (3D) this could be simply including a FG tree, using a twisting road to invite you into the image.

20...Ignore points 1-19 above, throw the rule book away sometimes and jump out of the box.


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corinto
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Aug 04, 2006 15:05 as a reply to Lesmac's post |  #9

Lesmac, I just visited your gallery. In one word: stunning. But then, you already knew that.:)


Julio.

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bachscuttler
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Aug 04, 2006 15:25 as a reply to corinto's post |  #10

Google sites for information on weather forecasts, maps, tidal patterns (if your'e doing seascapes) and sunrise/sunset times.
Do your homework and get a good chance of getting the right light in the right place.

If you can't find any foreground interest, get down low and it will jump out at you.

Don't be afraid of using longer lenses to focus in on detail.

Edit: sorry guys...I goofed on the numbering


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Stime187
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Some national park...
Aug 04, 2006 16:01 |  #11

#21 - Keep a compass and notepad with you whenever you're going to be in potential landscape settings. Reason: The sun rises in the East and sets in the West, note locations that would be potential good sunset/sunrise spots, go back at a good time, and capture it.


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johnthebaptist
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Aug 04, 2006 16:13 |  #12

I really like comment #21. Something so simple I would have never thought to do it. Keep a compass with you. Excellent tip. Sorry to single out one comment - they're all really helpful!


:) johnthebaptist :)
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Robuk
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Aug 04, 2006 16:15 as a reply to corinto's post |  #13

corinto wrote:
Lesmac, I just visited your gallery. In one word: stunning. But then, you already knew that.:)

I'll second that :D you have a stunning eye for whats going on around you

Rob


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wayne_eddy
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Perth, 'straya
Aug 04, 2006 18:33 |  #14

I noticed that this part of the forum has lots of very experienced persons giving great tips.

"Wouldn't it be great to have a FAQ for Landscape Photography", I thought. Perhaps we could start with a Sticky.

No General Discussion please. General Chit Chat should be done in the appropriate thread

Threads alreadly breaking down

No Chit Chat!


:lol:


wayne eddy
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HrcRacing
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Aug 04, 2006 22:53 as a reply to wayne_eddy's post |  #15

#22 Use a dual axis (vertical and horizonal) hotshoe spirit level to keep your horizons true. It's an easy enough fix in post processing but you will loose part of your image in the process (perhaps a lot of it).

#23 Carry a Maglite, or some other small flashlight, with you during night photography (eg, so you can actually see that spirit level ;) :D ).


Robert

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How about Landscape Photographers providing some tips?
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