Many articles have been written about landscape photography. There is no single recipe. In this article I will share my experience. To shoot beautiful shots you need an inner sense of harmony, which can be innate or developed over a long time of practice. Shooting is best done during “working hours”. Regime time is a period that includes one hour before sunrise and an hour after it. And vice versa: one hour before sunset and one hour after it. Because then the light is soft and diffused. In hard light (the sun is at its zenith), little is removed. It all depends on the tasks. The landscape can be photographed both with a camera with a whale lens and with a phone. The size of the sensor affects the grip — the larger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field at the same angle of view and the same number of pixels. Larger sensors have wider dynamic range and more natural colors. Also, the sensitivity is greater and, therefore, less noise. The lens affects the angle of view and the quality of the captured image by the camera sensor. For landscapes I use Nikon D750 + Nikon af Nikkor 70-210mm 1: 4 and Nikon D90 + Nikon 35f / 1.8 af-s dx, and rarely Nikon 50mm f / 1.8g af-s.
To protect the front lens from water, sand, dust, scratches, prints, I use UV filters (Hoya UV HMC). A good UV filter allows you to make the frame more realistic by removing excess blueness and adding contrast to the image.
I also use various tripods. Most of all I have are handheld shots, and even on the go (travel photo). When shooting you need:
• monitor the settings of the camera;
• keep an eye on the horizon, ie. he must “cut the frame harmoniously”, carefully and thoughtfully compose lines and proportions in the frame;
• watch out for light sources (sun).
D750 + 70-210F / 4 settings. I usually set the aperture number to F / 8 or F / 10. To separate objects in the foreground and blur distant shots — F / 5.6 or F / 6.3. I try not to shoot at fully open apertures. The slowest shutter speed is 1/200. Sensitivity (no more) — IS0 100. When shooting, I use the aperture priority mode or manual. All shooting parameters depend on lighting and tasks.
When composing a shot, you need to mentally divide the scene with two horizontal and two vertical lines (rule of thirds). The Rule of Thirds states that an image should be viewed as divided into nine equal portions using two equidistant parallel horizontal and two parallel vertical lines. Important parts of the composition should be located along these lines, or at their intersection — in the so-called points of force. Proponents of this principle argue that aligning important parts behind these points and lines creates the impression of emphasis, more tension, energy, and more interest in composition than simply placing the subject in the center of the frame.
Photo 1 demonstrates the use of the “rule of thirds”. The horizon line is located along the horizontal line separating the bottom third of the photo from the top two thirds. The person is close to the intersection of two lines (point of power).
The rule of thirds is not necessary in every situation. Sometimes by breaking it, you can get much more exciting and interesting pictures. Experiment and try different ways to compose your shot, even if it goes against all the rules you’ve learned before. However, you should learn to use the useful features of the rule of thirds before you try to break it. This will keep you experimenting meaningfully to improve the composition.
Make sure that the sun does not shine directly into the lens. The exception to this is shooting sunrise and sunset. You should also try to avoid sun glare (photo 2). Although over time you will learn how to beautifully include them in the frame. And in this case, glare can add beauty and charm to your photos (photo 3).
In photo 2, we see the flare in the upper right corner and sun glare. They run from the top right edge to the bottom left, as if dividing the photo diagonally in two.
In photo 3, the setting sun through the windows of the throne room of the Catherine Palace (Tsarskoe Selo) was reflected in a flash on the water of the pond.
For shooting landscapes, they also use: wide-angle lenses, which are best suited for landscapes due to a wide field of view and a large depth of field; Long exposure neutral density (ND) filters to avoid overexposure; polarizing (PL) filters are mainly used for sunlight photography because they reduce glare from non-metallic surfaces and add color saturation.
In general, as one popular photographer put it, “shooting a landscape is not difficult, it’s hard to find a good place”.