Most beginner photographers aim to ace their landscape shots. A landscape shot shows a scene from nature. It’s usually shot from a wider angle, covering more height and width of whatever is being shot. Such shots either can also capture manmade wonders, such as the Eiffel Tower.
For most photographers, learning landscape photography is a passion. Many think that this niche of photography isn’t as difficult as others and is very rewarding. There isn’t any doubt about landscape photography being an enthralling experience.
However, achieving perfection in it isn’t something that one can do in a day. You need to learn many things about capturing such magnificent scenes before you actually step into a professional market as a landscape photographer.
The importance of having a great camera is something a landscape photography learner can never ignore. However, you need to know that a good camera isn’t the only thing to become an ace landscape photographer. Instead, there are some modes and settings that you need to master with whichever camera you use.
Moreover, there are a number of useful tips to help you capture landscapes. If you’ve already invested in a sober camera like Nikon D800, chances are you can become an ace photographer quickly. You only need to invest some of your time using your D800, following some specific tips and tricks.
This SLR camera comes with features like excellent 51 points auto focus, over 36 million effective pixels, immersive magnification, ideal resolution, and the most amazing white balance ever. Here are some tips you can quickly learn and use with this camera:
Take Advantage Of Golden Hour
Do you want to capture something like one of those calendar-featured pictures of golden skies filled with hot air balloons? We’re sure you sure do, which is why learning the best use of golden hour is essential for a landscape photographer like you. Also referred to as magic hour by photographers, golden hour is when the sun is relatively low in the sky and gives off a scattered, warm-yellow, and gold light all over.
This is usually the time right after the sunrise or a few minutes before sunset. Golden hour is the time to capture the best landscape pictures, especially if you want to focus on natural scenes more. Going to your desired spots at this time with your camera ready can get you some stunning landscape photos quickly.
Pictures taken during golden hours have a very warm and golden glow, caused by the diffused light coming over the lens. Usually, the objects have longer shadows during golden hours, giving intensity to whatever you capture. With Nikon D800’s excellent and high effective pixels and sensitive auto focus features, capturing the best of any golden hour becomes easily possible.
You can use the range of camera’s auto features and other exposure-related settings to add more to your golden hour landscape captures. It is important to note here that you don’t always need golden hours to capture great landscape photos. Making use of a golden hour is just a tip to use when you are out of landscape photos’ ideas. This, in no way, implies that you can’t take great landscape shots at other times.
Your Focal Point Matters
Yes, the entire scene you must have chosen for your landscape capture is mesmeric and needs people’s attention, but there must be something within the picture that stands out. This unique part of your image is usually your focal point that needs to be chosen very carefully and with all your aesthetic senses in play.
The kind of focal point you choose and the play of exposure and color you add to it is something many will look for in your picture. As a matter of fact, if chosen wisely, a focal point has a lot of role in determining whether your image is a great one or just an average one.
All of this means that, as a landscape photographer, you need to give a lot of attention to your focal point, choosing it wisely. A focal point does not always have to be very apparent or colorful, standing out of the rest of the picture. It can also be something very ordinary and subtle and can yet give some meaning to your photo with a wise color play that you add to it. If the rays of light are falling very magically at a point, you can make it your focus and capture the picture while keeping that specific point in the center.
In any case, it is just your creative sense and your eye for uniqueness that can help you chose great points to focus on. With Nikon D800, selecting the focus isn’t tricky at all. Its 51 points auto focus with astounding megapixels of resolution and high quality LED can help you see whatever looks best under focus.
Choose To Stay Local
Most photographers spend thousands of dollars traveling to the locations they think are more picturesque and beautiful than others. This is now quite a norm in the photography world where photographers visit remote regions to take some stunning pictures to add to their portfolios.
The question is who can assure you of your ability to shoot the best landscapes once you’ve reached a faraway place. The weather over there might get so bad that you’re forced to return without a single picture taken. Also, chances are you’d not even know more than 2 good spots for shooting there, thus returning with not too much.
This is why expert landscape photographers suggest their disciples try and capture things precisely from where they live. You are likely to know the most about the places you see every day and capture them from unique angles compared to someone who’s seeing them for the first time. This, combined with your knowledge of the weather and sun-light conditions at your locality, help you create stunning images easily.
With Nikon D800’s powerful battery timings and easy-to-grip body, you can keep on hitch-hiking through your locality from dawn till dusk, taking as many stunning pictures as you want. This camera thus ensures you a full-fledged album of your very own place, with a lot of creative and unique shots taken at different times of the day.
Tell A Story
Contrary to what many believe, landscape photography isn’t just about capturing photos that can leave people breathless over the natural beauty of a place. Instead, if taken properly, landscapes can tell a story and can narrate things to interest the audience evermore. When you’re about to capture a landscape, you need to think if the frame you selected and how you aim to capture it has something to communicate to the audience?
Does it come with a background and a frontal scene and has parts with different levels of intensity or not? If your answer to these questions is yes, then go ahead and take the picture. If it’s in no, then either think of something else or strive to create a story or meaning in the same scene.
One way to add a story-like touch to the picture is by playing with the composition of your image. You can compose your landscape’s photo in a way that one object is the most apparent, and the other is at the background of it, supporting its appearance.
This way, your picture would look like a harmonious scene at play, giving its viewers a meaning to extract. Thanks to D800’s incredible focus and exposure settings with some excellent color processing, you can efficiently work with composition and balance the way you want, thus creating fantastic landscape stories.
Capturing The Sky Isn’t Necessary
There is no doubt that purple and orange evening skies look great and add a whole other level of magnificence to your landscape shots. They’re quite popular, and you’ll come across them in a lot of landscape shots.
But there are just some days when the sky isn’t as impressive as the landscape below. If that’s the case, then you don’t need to capture the sky at all. Just because you’re taking a landscape shot doesn’t make you responsible for capturing the sky to add magnificence to your image.
This might seem a crazy idea at first because all of us have grown up looking at landscape shots with skies at the backdrop. However, trying this out can get you some madly awesome landscape shots quickly. If you’re cutting the sky, it means your focus is one of those bottom parts of the landscape that many others don’t really capture. This is in itself, something that can help you capture uniquely stunning images.
Nikon D800 users are at an advantage in following this tip. The camera’s crystal clear screen can easily help you see if the sky looks as great in photos as with the naked eye. If not, you can cut it out, focusing on what deserves more attention of your viewers.