All amateur photographer aspires to produce high quality and professional photos. In creating outdoor shots, you need to learn a few basics to nail that perfect shot. There are many aspects and techniques when dealing with outdoor or landscape photography.
Lighting and Exposure
Remember that time while you were driving through a beautiful and picturesque scenery and you took a photo of it, only to discover that your photos did not do justice when compared to reality? Capturing outdoor shots is not just about having it on a perfect weather. There are several lighting techniques you need to learn such as how to control and manipulate natural light and a balanced exposure. There are cases when some landscape photographers need to balance the brightness and exposure of the sky and the landscape. To address this, they use natural density graduated filters.
A bright and sunshiny day may seem as the best time to start shooting outdoors but you need to determine the right timeframe. Most photographers prefer to shoot early morning or late afternoon. During this window, the sun is lower, less glaring and shows off a mixture of mild colors and hues. This is often referred to as the magic hours which covers the time before dusk and after dawn.
Composition is always crucial when shooting landscapes. It is recommended for beginners and amateurs to master the rule of thirds. Technically, you just divide your frame into three and place your subject or focus where the imaginary lines intersect. However, this is not a mandatory technique. You can compose your own photo as you see fit. Landscape photography isn’t all about taking stunning scenic shots. Sometimes, the most beautiful photos come from raw and natural badlands. This kind of composition and shot tell a story by itself.
Depth of Field
If you want to focus on making the elements in your photo sharp, you can follow the principle of depth of field. The smaller the aperture, the area of your focus will be wider. On the otherhand, if you want your photos to appear smooth, another technique used by most photographers is to use slow exposures. This kind of method produces smooth and creamy pictures.
Choosing the Subject
When picking your subject or landscape, it is best to do some research first. Prior to your shoot, get some information about your chosen subject and study the location so that you know what to expect. On the day of your photo session, try to walk around the surrounding area. You might find interesting objects and new subjects to shoot. Get inspired by the nature of your environment. Exploring is the best way to discover new things. Experiment with your subject and composition. You’ll learn a lot based from first-hand experience.
Send in the Clouds
Never underestimate the element of the clouds and the sky. The most stunning landscape pictures usually include a beautiful composition of sky and clouds. Different cloud formations against a vivid and colorful sky will create a dramatic photo.
If you want to learn more about landscape photography, experience is still the best teacher. Master the techniques through your lens. Practice with many subjects and use different methods. Just go out there and do your thing.