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LANDSCAPES (Sept. 09)
Here are some ideas to help you get started in landscape photography. Hope you
try one or two ideas in this outline.
A. Lenses: Wide angle to telephoto
Wide angle: Use to emphasize something close up. If flowers, may want to shoot
down on the flower. The rest of the image supports the foreground. Can be used
to add depth to the image. Distant objects will look more distant.
Telephoto for distant objects. Compresses distant making distant objects appear
closer together and larger.
Polarizer: Should be used when your shoulder points to the sun. Will increase
contrast. It can be overdone so be careful how much you turn it. Using it when
the shoulder does not point to the sun may cause a dark sky on one side and a
much lighter sky on the other side. Seldom used for sunset/rise.
Warming filter: May put back color that has been taken out by overcast skies.
May also be used to add color to a poor sunrise or sunset, but remember, the
color cast will go on everything.
Split neutral density filter: Used with film but there are better ways to handle
light differences on the computer. My guess is that the computer is better.
Some scenes do require long exposures. The tripod will give you a sharp
For us “old timers”, it also gives the ability to check for possible
distractions and to play around with framing. Although you may crop later, you
want to minimize the amount of crop to keep a high quality image that can be
Bug spray, sun screen and knee pads.
Best time of day: Early and late. Mid day often result in washed out images.
Photoshop can do a lot to correct this, but natural light is still the best.
Also. in many cases, the wind is your enemy and may make trees and flowers
appear blurred. The best time for no wind is early, and to a lesser extent,
Side light adds texture and therefore depth. Backlight can add depth.
Front light makes things appear flat and should usually be avoided. When
shooting into the sun with the sun in the frame, avoid flare ( the red or white
spots leading away from the sun). Do this by shading the lens if possible.
Adverse/unusual conditions such as fog or having a subject spotlighted with a
dark sky makes great images.
For fog, listen to the weather forecast. High humidity, Low temp, and no wind.
The sun star is created by allowing only a small portion of the sun being
visible behind a solid object (ex. rock or tree) and using f16, 22, 25 etc.
Aperture priority: sharpness and a good depth of field are essential. Unless
you are shooting at infinity ( as you may do with a telephoto lens) , Think f16
Stop movement. On a windy day, you may want your wide angle lens. The rule of
thumb for film was: The time must match your lens length or better. Ex. 50 mm
lens requires a time of 1/50 of a second or faster to stop motion. 200 mm
requires 1/200 of a second. I haven’t tested it on the digital, but it should be
similar, but look out for camera multipliers.
Metering: Let the camera do the work. Evaluative works well. Check your
histogram often. Any change of light may require a compensation. Days when the
sun goes in and out can be a real pain here and on white balance.
White balance: They say auto white balance works well. They say you can change
it in Photoshop. I have learned that for the best color, it is best to change
the white balance on the camera. The colors will come out much truer.
Depth of field preview. If you have this on your camera, get in the habit of
using it. It does show how much of your image is in sharp focus. Scenes need
sharp focus throughout in CACCA competition. Because less light enters the
camera, you can also identify hot spots you hay have overlooked. (very important
in macro work)
If you want to be creative, you can reverse the thought process and keep only
your subject in focus. That is called selective focus.
Other: To control perspective, control your own level. Ex. Too much lake becomes
boring. Get down low and the lake takes less space in the picture.
Think: Foreground/mid ground/background.
puts something in the foreground and has a mid ground and background.
Listen to weather forecasts; Partly cloudy with some pollution is good.
Look behind you. Mountains and trees can be lit up beautifully.
Consider silhouettes Remember not to make too much black around the edges and
that you have bright colors supporting the subject. Common subjects might
include rock formations or birds.
Wait for the afterglow or get the pre sunrise glow. The sky can have great soft