Landscape Photography: My Perception
Landscape photography is a most beloved subject for the photo artists all through the world. The treasure of stunning landscapes waits for photo lovers in different seasons. Landscape Photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, and some other times limited. A Landscape Photographer in general captures the presence of nature but can also focus on man or man-made features. With a few points in our consideration we can achieve desirable landscapes.
1. Basic Requirements
I. SLR Camera.
II. One standard zoom (such as, 18-55 mm, 18-70 mm or 18-135 mm).
III. One tele photo zoom (such as 70-200 mm or 70-300 mm).
IV. Wide angle Lens (10.5 mm, 14 mm Or 16 mm).
(If SLR camera is not within our capacity, a good quality digital compact or prosumer camera can help us well.)
V. A firm tripod to prevent camera shake during low light conditions.
VI. Proper knowledge of equipments with their merits and limitations.
2. Good knowledge of the chief characters of the particular place:
We should have good knowledge the chief characteristics of a place, like Flora/fauna and important geographical features. We have to aim at portraying the places in their true manner by including these chief characters.
3. Photographing in Early Morning/Late Evening Light:
The natural light of early morning and late evening helps us to get gentle images with vivid colours and fine details. This may be one sided or against the camera (Back Light). Both have their own qualities.
4. Story Telling Value:
If a photograph conveys some story, it is always appreciated.
5. Use of Filters
In order to get the excellent images, we can use at least three filters when we are shooting in colour medium.
I. Polarizing Filter: This filter darkens the sky and consequently brings out the blue colour in contrast to the white colour of the clouds.
II. Neutral Density Filter: Neutral Density Filter prevents excessive amount of light to enter the camera. This Filter is useful during extreme bright days, when our camera is not capable to provide us a slow shutter speed. This helps nicely when the light is hard and we need a slow shutter speed to capture the water stream with flowing effect.
III. Graduated Filters: These filters are half coloured and half plain. The upper coloured portion gradually turns into neutral as our eyes sees down. These filters help adding different colours to the dull sky, leaving the lower portion of image unaffected.
6. Great Depth of Field
The sense of depth with all the different elements of the scene in focus makes a photograph dynamic. For this purpose we should use a small aperture (32, 22, 16, and 11). We can set the shutter speed of camera accordingly. In low light conditions, the use of small aperture will need a lower shutter speed. In such situation the use of a tripod is always recommended.
7. Including People and Man-made Structures
Although a landscape is connected to nature, we can include people and beautiful buildings in an image to create interest. A landscape can be balanced by a pretty child, some working people in the fields or an eye-catching structure. But we have to place the human figure or building at an off-center position to create balance.
8. Good Composition
I. Simplicity: We should try to compose the image in a simple manner.
II. So many objects are be neglected. We have to concentrate on one or limited objects.
III. Disturbing elements (like, electric poles/wires, discarded items etc.) are to be avoided
IV. Place the human beings or a man made structure (like hut or temple) a little away from the center. This will add balance to the picture.
V. Tight Composition is to be kept away. Openness in the frame is commendable.
VI. Leading lines play a dramatic role in a photograph. We can find such lines in the form of roads, rail tracks, rows of the trees, fencings etc. These lines lead our vision into the frame or from one point to another. In addition leading lines boost rhythm in a picture.
VII. Coordination between the subjects is another vital factor of an image. If they do not coordinate with each other, the photograph loses charm.
VIII. The feel of rhythm is an important part of a good photograph. This can be created by balanced arrangement of the subjects.
IX. Including the trees in the frame doubles the beauty of an image. If a scenic place has trees, we should not fail to include them in our picture.
X. Horizon of the scene should be straight.
XI. There should be freshness of approach in our composition. We have to be original in our presentation. Copying the idea of others is not a commendable practice.
9. Keeping Extra and Fully-Charged Camera-Batteries and Surplus Memory Cards:
This helps out evading disappointment during crisis.
10. Care of Camera:
As our camera is very important during a trip; we have to take extra care of the camera. A small negligence can harm it.
-Dr. Pankaj Sharma