We know how much you love landscape photography and how you want to turn it into a serious hobby or maybe even a career. If that’s the case, you are also probably aware that you’re going to make a mistake or two down the line, which is totally acceptable. But have you ever thought about how it would be if you could avoid these mistakes, or at least some of them?
Here are the most common ones made by young landscape photographers, and the proper way to do things in each case.
I have to say I am a big fan of shadows. They create a sense of space, they add drama and they can look amazing a lot of times. Just not in landscape photos. If you have powerful shadows in a landscape, that means you also have harsh light, and that is one of the biggest a landscape photographer has.
The solution: Shoot in the early hours of the morning or just before sunset. That’s when the light is soft and so are the shadows.
A blown (or overexposed) sky is what happens when you or the camera measure the exposure having only the land in mind. It’s actually pretty obvious. The sky, where the sun is if you haven’t noticed, is going to need an entirely different exposure than that beautiful tree on the hill in front of you.
The solution: There are these things called ND or Neutral Density filters that you can buy. Basically we’re talking about a piece of glass or plastic that has one side darker than the other. You mount it on the lens with the dark side covering the sky and all you have to do after is get a proper exposure of the land.
Too much use of ND:
Now that we’ve introduced you to ND filters, you should know there are times when you have to forget about them. One of the most common missuses of ND filters happens with long objects such as trees. Specifically you will have the upper side underexposed and you don’t want that.
The solution: Find a different angle, one that leaves the longer object on either the upper or the lower part of the frame. Either that, or make a composite frame, using at least two shots: one that has the sky exposed correctly, and one with good exposure on the land.
Details are extremely important in landscape photography. You have to let your eyes enjoy whatever is in the frame and poor details will just make the viewer frustrated.
The solution: Get the details you need by using a sharp lens, a tripod, an f-stop range of f8-11 and a short exposure like 1/250th.
I personally have little appreciation for them. They have been used and abused since the Dutch angle first came out. But I will admit there are photographs where it works. However none of them are landscapes.
The solution: Just leave the horizon straight as it is and use other techniques to make the frame more interesting.