How to get started in landscape photography

Landscape photography is considered one of the most difficult types of photography to get right. In spite of this, you can follow a few basic rules to ensure that your landscape pictures are worth your trouble. Getting started in landscape photography involves:

Using ISO 100/200

To get high quality photos, you need to set your camera to the lowest ISO settings available in the ISO menu. For most cameras, this is ISO 100; however in some models it may be ISO 200.Setting low ISO is critical for ensuring that you have noise-free and rich landscapes.

Setting quality to shoot in Raw and JPEG

If your camera has raw and JPEG features, use them when shooting landscape pictures. If you get the exposure spot-on in camera, JPEG will be good enough, however if you need to tweak it in Photoshop, a raw file will be more appropriate. In addition it has more tone and colour information especially in wide areas of colour including the skies.

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Shooting at f/16/A/AV

Normally, the smaller the aperture the greater the depth of field, having said that, you should avoid going below f/16 since small apertures can lead to very soft shots. To set the camera to small aperture, select aperture priority and dial in the aperture.

Composing off-centre

When shooting landscapes, some shots will look great with the subject in the middle of the frame, however you will get more balanced shots if the subject is off-centre. Once you compose images, place key element on 3rds in the frame. In addition look out for leading lines and foreground objects to add depth.

Using a tripod

When you have set your camera, place it on a tripod. Ensure that you extend the thickest parts of the legs first and place the feet firmly on the ground. Set mirror lock-up to reduce the possibility of mirror slap shaking the camera. You can also attach a remote shutter and release or set the self-timer.

Focusing a 3rd in

Getting started in landscape photography involves focusing a 3rd of the way into the scene to maximize depth of field. If one of the focus points is over the edge that you intend to focus, use it for autofocus. If you do not want to use this option, select the nearest point, auto-focus using that point and switch your lens manual to lock focus.

Adjusting the exposure

In some instances, you may need to move the histogram to the right or left. Press and hold +/- button and use the dial to adjust exposure compensation.

Getting started in landscape photography involves taking a test shot. Before you embark on taking landscape photos, you need to ensure that everything is working right. To be certain that all is well, take a test picture and check the histogram graph. Generally the graph should be in the midtone scenes, over to the left for dark scenes and over to the right for brighter scenes. Whatever you do, it is important to ensure that the graph is not clipped or cut off.

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