Everyone has their own view on how to take excellent landscape pictures. Whatever the situation is, there are a few simple points to follow, resulting in grand landscape photos with that extra edge everyone is looking for. Consider the 8 easy steps below and you’ll get a top class picture every time you go out.
1. Set the quality to Raw+JPEG
Arrange your camera to capture in raw and JPEG, if possible. If you can set the exposure spot-on in the camera, then JPEG is fine, but if you need to modify it later in Photoshop, a raw file is more flexible. It also includes more tonal and color details, particularly in extensive areas of color, like landscapes.
2. Use ISO 100/200
Fix your camera to the minimum ISO setting offered in the ISO menu, while not actually selecting the Extended ISO selection. For the majority of cameras, this will be ISO 100, but it may also be ISO 200. Low ISOs are necessary for providing rich, noise-free landscape.
3. Follow the light
Landscape photography is all about using the most of the light. Not only you have to find the right time of day, but also at the right time of year. Early sunrises and late sunsets are perfect, they provide softer, more vibrant light with extended shadows that will allow your landscape shots that extra level of detail and depth.
4. Shoot at f/16 in A/AV
The tinier the aperture (the higher the f-number), the more increased depth of field you get. However, refrain from going lesser than f/16, as very small apertures can result in somewhat soft pictures. To set it, choose Aperture Priority (A/Av) setting, and dial in the aperture.
5. Use a durable tripod
After your camera’s all established, put it on a solid tripod. Expand the thickest parts of the legs first and be sure the feet are solidly positioned. Set Mirror Lock-up to minimize the risk of ‘mirror slap’ shaking the camera; and finally, connect the remote shutter release button, or specify the self-timer.
6. Prepare the off-center
Some shots can perform well with the subject in the middle of the frame, but normally you’ll get a much more well balanced shot if the subject is slightly off-center. While putting together the shots, position key components or features on ‘thirds’ in the frame (this is known as the rule of thirds). Besides that, look for prominent lines and foreground objects for adding more depth and detail.
7. Focus of third
Focus a third of the path into the shot to increase depth of field. If one of your focus details sits above the edge you want to focus on, use it to auto-focus. If it’s not, choose the closest point, auto-focus using that point, and then swap your lens to manual to lock in the focus.
8. Take a test shot
Just take a test shot and then examine the histogram graph. The graph have to be approximately in the middle for ‘mid-tone’ scenes, above to the left for darker scenes, and above to the right for whiter scenes. In every cases it’s essential that the graph isn’t cut-off or trimmed at both ends.
9. Modify the exposure
If you feel you need to modify the histogram left or right, click and hold the +/- button and use the dial to fine-tune the Exposure Compensation. Set it to -1 to shift it left to darken the exposure or +1 to shift it right, which lightens the exposure. Make more test shots and examine them again.