- Use Long Exposures to Create More Unique Landscape Photos
- Photography Gear That Can Totally Change Your Landscape Photography
If you aren't satisfied with how your photos are turning out, there are a ton of really easy things you can do to change things up.
In fact, there are some beginner photography tricks that literally take seconds to do, but can have a huge impact on how your photos look.
That being the case, here are a few of my favorite quick tips on learning how to create a more interesting photo.
Get In Close
When you think of a portrait, what do you think of?
Something like the person's face or even their whole body, right?
What about a landscape?
You likely think of a wide-angle shot with lots of details, right?
Those types of photos are all well and good, but there's beauty in the details that can be missed when you take a "traditional" shot.
By highlighting things like textures or patterns in a landscape, individual features like a person's eyes or hands in a portrait, and so forth, you create an image that's instantly different from all the others that you take.
That means that not only is the photo more unique, but as a result, it's also more interesting as well.
Shooting the details of a subject allows you to tell a different - and more intimate - story about what you're photographing.
It gives viewers a closer look, sure, but it also helps them to understand the subject a little bit better.
Slow Down the Shutter
Introducing long exposure effects into your photos is a surefire way to make them more interesting.
This is especially true when photographing landscapes during the daytime.
The problem, of course, is that if you extend the shutter speed to blur movement of things like clouds or water during the daytime, your images will be wildly overexposed.
That's why you need a solid neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor so that long shutter speeds can be used.
I've used Formatt-Hitech neutral density filters for a while now, and I will never go back to my old brand.
These things are rock-solid with a build quality that's unparalleled. What's more, because Formatt-Hitech utilizes a rare earth metal coating, their ND filters are hyper neutral with no color casts.
Beyond that, the 2mm Schott Superwite glass is strong and durable while its multicoating offers incredible scratch resistance.
By using one of these filters, you can get ethereal-looking waterfalls and streams, as shown in the image at the beginning of this section, as well as flat water effects on lakes and oceans and streaky clouds, too.
Use a Tripod
When I first started out in photography, I all but refused to use a tripod.
I shoot mostly landscapes, and I felt that a tripod held me back in the mobility department.
In other words, I was sacrificing image quality for image quantity. Needless to say, those early images weren't all that good...
A tripod can help you create more interesting photos in a lot of different ways.
For starters, with a tripod like the Sirui A1205 shown above, you can give your camera the stable base it needs for taking ultra-sharp photos.
One of the most common ways that beginner photographers' photos fall flat is when they're blurry.
That blur is often chalked up to camera shake when hand holding the camera. Naturally, with your camera on a tripod, that's no longer a concern.
Just put your camera on the tripod and use the camera's self-timer or a remote shutter release to trigger the shutter, and sharper photos will be yours.
A tripod also enables you to compose shots from interesting angles.
In looking at the Sirui A1205, for example, the dual-stage center column inverts so you can get ultra-low-angle photos.
Incorporating foreground elements into your images is a great way to add depth to them, and with a tripod that lets you put your camera just inches from the ground, you can make easy work of composing more interesting photos.
And if you're worried about carrying all the extra weight of a tripod, don't be.
Tripod manufacturers have become highly adept at packing features into their tripods without adding tons of weight.
The A1205 tripod by Sirui weighs just two pounds. And if that's still too much, it quickly converts to an even lighter monopod, that way you have something to stabilize your camera even when you're wary of carrying too much gear.
Take Your Time
There's something called the "spray and pray" method in photography that involves taking as many photos as possible and simply hoping that some of them turn out.
As you can imagine, this method is not the way to get the most interesting photos...
Naturally, when you're photographing action, firing off tons of shots is necessary.
But otherwise, taking a slower approach will help you find the scenes that look great (and take better pictures of those scenes, too).
By taking a slow and steady approach, you can reap the benefits of better scene selection, improved compositions and framing, less mistakes with camera settings, and sharper photos, just to name a few.
With that, you have a few can't-miss tricks for better photos.
Remember, these are beginner photography tricks that will get you started on the right path to improved photography. But to master photography and really kick it up a notch, you'll need to dedicate yourself to continued learning and practice.