Important Lessons You Need to Learn About Landscape Photography
- Get a Well-Exposed Landscape Photo Every Time With This One Simple Trick
- 3 Common Landscape Photography Mistakes and What You Can Do To Fix Them
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It's been a long time since I first picked up a camera, and I like to think that over the years that I've learned a thing or two, especially about landscapes.
When I'm out shooting, landscapes are my favorite subject and the subject that I shoot most often.
And while it's a difficult pursuit to get a fantastic landscape photo, there are a few tried-and-true lessons that have helped me step up my game.
Here's a few landscape photography tips I've learned that will help you maximize the results you get when photographing landscapes.
Patience is a Must
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People that know me know that I'm not the most patient person in the world.
That's a personality trait that has gotten me in trouble more times than I can count, especially in my pursuit of gorgeous landscape photos.
But what I learned long ago is that if I want the best images, I have to be patient. There's simply no way around it.
Sure, there's times when you can pull over on the side of the road, grab your camera, and take an incredible shot without all that much effort. But those sort of shots are few and far between.
What's much more likely to happen is that you have to plan your outing, do a ton of research on the location, walk or hike to your chosen destination, and hope that the weather works out.
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On a smaller, scale, you have to be patient with the process of every shot, too.
For example, early in my career I rushed from one location to the next trying to get as many epic shots as I could.
But that approach hindered my results. I ended up with a ton of photos, none of which were especially good.
Instead, focus your time and energy on one location. Sometimes, you might spend the entire outing working on a single shot!
Naturally, that kind of approach demands the utmost of patience, but it's an approach that could very well get you the spectacular shots you dream of taking.
Filters are Not Optional
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Today we have more tools at our disposal for creating breathtaking photos than ever before. That includes the likes of Photoshop and Lightroom to correct mistakes and enhance our photos.
But as great as post-processing software has become, it still can't match the look and feel added to your photos by using real-life filters.
Call me old school, but I've found that the images I create with filters are much more dynamic and satisfying than the ones I create using only post-processing techniques.
In addition to getting better-looking results, filters also get you more deeply involved in the photographic process.
For me, I like the hands-on nature of filters and attaching them to my lens and adjusting them to get the perfect result. I also enjoy the problem-solving component of it - like what density of neutral density filter I need to get the desired look.
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Of course, success with filters depends not only on your talents and skills as a photographer but on the filters you use as well.
I've tried a ton of filters over the years, many of which were terrible. Some were okay, too.
But by far, the best filters I've used are those by Formatt-Hitech. In fact, Formatt-Hitech's Colby Brown Signature Edition Filter Kit is an ideal purchase for any landscape photographer.
This kit has a Firecrest Ultra ND 1.8 filter, a Firecrest Ultra ND Soft Edge Grade 0.6 filter, and a Firecrest Ultra ND Reverse Grad 0.6 filter.
That means you can tackle long exposures, manage difficult lighting, and take better sunset photos, all with just three filters.
What's more, if you get the 100mm kit, you also get a Firecrest 100mm Filter Holder, an adaptor ring, three step rings, and a soft touch outer case.
Also included is a Firecrest 82mm Ultraslim Polarizing filter, pouches for each filter, and an exclusive booklet by world-renowned photographer Colby Brown.
I don't mean to gush here, but to say that I've been impressed with my Formatt-Hitech filters is an understatement.
If you're ready to take your landscape photography to the next level, trust me when I say that a good set of filters will help you do just that.
Tell a Story With Your Photos
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If you ask me, what sets great photos apart from good photos is that the great ones tell a compelling story.
Photos can tell stories in many different ways - with the setting or the lighting, by changing the composition or framing, and by the mood or emotion in the shot.
For example, the golden light of a sunrise or sunset can be used to create an image that tells a hopeful story or one of renewal.
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As another example, you might take a very low shooting perspective and shoot upwards towards a subject - a waterfall or a tall stand of trees - to make the viewer feel small and appreciate the vastness of the natural world around us.
Heck, you might even add a person to your landscape photos and utilize their presence to tell a story that weaves the human experience in with that of the landscape around them.
The point is that photos that tell stories are more meaningful to you and have more visual impact for viewers as well.
Combined with the other tips I've outlined above, these landscape photography lessons are a great place to start for improving the quality of your photos!