AmSnaps - Digital Photography Basics For Amateur Snappers

The Key To Great Digital Landscape Photography Is Patience And Composure

Digital landscape photography: What do you enjoy most about it? Do you love getting out into the countryside to take pictures of your favourite surroundings?

Peace, tranquillity and beautiful hills, rivers and valleys for you to capture and turn into your own impressive masterpieces.

One of the best digital landscape photography tips when shooting a scene is to compose the shot with elements placed in an interesting way that leads the viewer’s eye into the photograph.

Composition and lighting are the two most important properties when it comes to creating beautiful and captivating landscape shots.

How Do You Do It?

Well the best place to start is to include some foreground interest in your composition. This will add a depth of perspective to the scene and provide a logical entry point in the picture for your viewer’s eye.

A good foreground can be made up from all sorts of things. You can use a river, wall or path to lead the eye or even a tree or boulder.

I personally love photographs that use a wall or path leading from the bottom corner of the picture right through into the background.

Once the viewer’s eye is drawn into a scene, it helps to have another element sitting waiting in the middle of the frame such as another tree or building.

Finally, using the rule of thirds, you should complete the scene with an interesting skyline or cloud formation. You can also use another building or object in the distance instead.

Useful Books From Amazon About Landscape Photography

Have a look at this picture by Patrick Smith. It's an excellent example of digital landscape photography technique.

Digital Landscape Photography - Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Taken with an 8-second exposure @ F22 and ND grad 0.9 + 0.6, Canon 5D and a Canon 17-40L @ 18.

His digital landscape photography techiques included using a long exposure to define and emphasize the rocks in the foreground. This reduced the distracting motion of the waves while the glow of the water was retained.

He also adjusted his camera's auto-focus point to focus one third of the way into the shot. The allowed him to keep everything sharp using the large depth-of-field.

There are other times, however, when showing the motion of the water is the better choice. You need to experiment sometimes to determine the best approach. You can see more of his work at Patrick Smith Photography

Summary Of Digital Landscape Photography Techniques

Plan Your Shoot. Choose the location that you want to photograph and do some research on the area to find good elements for your shot. Check the direction that the sun is shining and get up early to capture the best morning light.

Go Wide. Shoot at the highest resolution that your camera has and use a wide angle lens. This allows you to squeeze as much of the scene as possible into your shot.

Use Aperture Priority. Use small aperture settings to ensure a deep depth of field. This allows you to have the whole scene in focus and sharp from front to back. Usually a F-stop number of around f/11 is best.

Keep Your Camera Steady. Use a tripod to keep your camera steady. When photographing a large landscape area, you can also try using a cable release to ensure minimal movement and that everything is kept as sharp as possible.

If you don't have a cable release system, don't worry, use the camera's self-timer instead. It works just as well in most situations.

To improve your shots even further you may need a lens hood to stop glare from the sun and a couple of filters. The most useful, I find, is the polariser. This handy attachment allows you to deepen blue sky in sunny weather, reduce glare on foliage and helps cut out reflections in water.

More Digital Landscape Photography Tips & Techniques

Landscape Photography Tips & Techniques
Learn these professional landscape photography tips, techniques and skills to transform your landscape photos into stunning, well composed, scenic masterpieces. Tons of help, hints, advice and ideas.

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David Coote
Wedding Photographer
Northern Ireland