There’s nothing that captures the beauty of the natural world like landscape photography. The number of beautiful vistas in this world are all there to be captured. If done correctly, a landscape photograph will ensure that your audience is left captivated and mesmerized.
One of the reasons why landscape photography is so popular is that it’s easy to get into. Anyone can find a beautiful view and snap a picture of the subject. However, while landscape photography might have a low barrier to entry, there’s a very high ceiling for skill.
Photographers that know what they’re doing can take their landscape images to the next level. You can clearly see the difference between the landscape photograph an amateur shoots and one by a professional photographer. That’s not any reason to feel discouraged though, there are a few tips that you can follow to make the difference in your landscape photography.
Before we get started on these tips, let’s talk about the camera first. One of the best options for landscape photography is the Nikon D750. The D750 sits between the Nikon D610 and the D810. It features Nikon’s 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor that produces high quality images and is a fast shooting camera.
One ideal feature of the Nikon D750 is the 51-point 15 cross-type auto-focus system. It’s an upgraded version of the same system that you’d find in the pro grade Nikon D810. The DSLR also gives you the opportunity to adjust your aperture through the Live View interface and get a better preview of the composition.
Get Sharp Details
One of the most important requirements of a captivating landscape photograph is a sharp image. That’s why it’s important getting a camera that’s capable of delivering high-resolution quality images. The Nikon D750 is the perfect camera for these situations because thanks to its 24MP CMOS sensor it’s capable of capturing high-quality images in different lighting conditions.
While the camera will do its thing, there’s a number of things that you need to focus on to ensure that the image is as sharp as possible. One of the first tips is to shoot all your photographs in RAW format as they provide higher image quality. Instead of the pre-processing that you experience with JPEG format images, RAW format images are completely standard and you the best blank canvas.
Another tip to keep in mind is always shooting in the highest possible aperture values when capturing landscapes. If you’re attempting to take landscape photographs with low aperture values you’re doing it all wrong, and the images will be a blurry mess. Higher depth of field values will mean that the camera manages to capture the maximum amount of detail in the landscape photography.
Handshake is also a common phenomenon that can cause landscape images to seem less sharp. To avoid suffering from handshake, navigate through the settings of your D750 and use self-timer mode. Setting a small timer to go after the button means that you can avoid shaking the camera while taking your photographers. The more stable the camera, the sharper your image will be.
Keep Your Composition Simple
One of the most important things to keep in mind when capturing a landscape is not overdoing the composition of the image. Often times photographers can get lost trying to capture as much detail as possible. In their pursuit for extra detail, the often forego the advantages of keeping their composition simple. Some of the best landscape photographs offer a simple composition.
Nikon understand how important the composition of an image is to the photographer, which is why their expanding the range of features that the live view provides. The live view on the D750 gives you the option to view the adjustments you make to the shutter speed and aperture. You can also set up a grid on the image so you can follow the rule of thirds to focus on the subject of interest.
Using the rule of thirds when taking a landscape photograph is slightly different. If the subject of the interest in your photo is the sea, then two-third of the image should be the sea and one-third of the image will be the sky.
Photographers also need to focus on framing the landscape properly. Framing involves the use of objects to help bring more focus on a particular point of interest. Trees and other landmarks serve as a perfect way to properly frame a landscape of photograph. Ideally, you should frame a shot in a way that it highlights the foreground as well. The foreground will help add more depth to the shot. Keeping all these tips in mind will help you always keep your composition of point.
Make Use Of Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important variables you work with when capturing landscape photographs. The Nikon D750’s brilliant 24MP CMOS sensor features a very high dynamic range that makes it more sensitive to both shadows and highlights. It’s more receptive to different lighting situations and can effectively recreate what the sensor sees.
An additional advantage of the high dynamic range is that it comes in very useful while post-processing. Thanks to the sensor’s sensitivity, it gives photographers more room to work with the lighting without any noise. Adjusting the lighting will not add any significant noise to the image.
One of the best ways to find good lighting during a landscape photograph is going at the right time to take your shots. The best time for natural lighting is the golden hour. Those that are into portrait photography will already know about the advantages of shooting in the golden hour. Those same advantages translate into landscape photography as well. The golden hour is typically one hour after the sun rises and one hour before sunset.
Photographers also have the advantage of getting creative and working with lighting in ways that you normally wouldn’t expect. You don’t have to strictly shoot during the golden hour. One of the best ways to take unique landscape images is to take the pictures at night. Long exposure shots are a great way to highlight the landscape in a unique manner. It can take some practice to perfect but the end result is definitely worth the effort!
Take Risks With The Weather
The general rule of thumb with landscapes is that you need to forecast the weather in advance. Pick a day with favorable conditions so you can get the easiest shoots. However, even in the most beautiful of locations, sometimes the landscape just isn’t captivating enough. Always shooting on days with good weather might mean that you’re missing a chance to capture some truly dramatic landscapes with powerful weather conditions.
Instead of going out to take pictures on a day where everything is completely normal, maybe change things up and go out on a day where the conditions don’t seem ideal. The presence of dark clouds can help make landscapes seem much more powerful and can elevate the image significantly.
Braving the storm can be an opportunity to take some of the most captivating landscape photographs that you can imagine. The presence of rain and clouds will dramatically improve any existing scene. They completely adjust the ambient lighting and add different textures to an otherwise bland image. Instead of just having an empty sky as the background, the presence of storm clouds will add significant more depth into the image. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get the chance to encounter some cumulonimbus clouds.
You don’t need to worry about taking the Nikon D750 into adverse weather conditions. It’s tightly sealed which ensures that the body is water-resistant to a certain degree. If there’s more rain in the area, you easily prepare the D750 by investing in a rain cover. These are widely available and will protect your camera from the rain even further.
Use Camera Filters
A great way to add more oomph to your landscape images is by using a camera filter. One of the most important features in the composition of an image is the lighting. If the lighting is off it can be very difficult to take high quality landscapes. Amateur photographers will often struggle to identify what lighting scenarios qualify as good lighting. That becomes especially disadvantageous during landscape photography because natural light is always very variable. It might be great sometimes other times it’ll be disappointing.
For those times when natural lighting isn’t enough, that’s where image filters come into play. Unlike studio photography, the photographers have very little control over the existing lighting while taking landscapes. That’s why filters are essential in giving photographers the power to get the best out of the natural light available. There are different types of filters available on the market, and each of these have a different purpose and interact with light in a different manner.
The three types of filters that see the most use are the; graduated neutral density filters, neutral density filters, and circular polarizers. Graduated neutral density filters are required to balance the exposure in unfavorable lighting conditions.
On the other hand, neutral density filters cut down the level of light that hits the sensor in a given time. It’s really helpful when you want to take longer exposures in the daytime. Lastly, the circular polarizer filters are responsible for ensuring that there’s no reflection of the sky in the water. It’s a subtle effect that adds significant depth to the image. The D750 is compatible with all these types of filters, and you can increase the compatibility by investing in an adapter.