If you love nature and the outdoors, there’s no better way to capture their natural beauty than through landscape photography. At the same time, there is no camera more perfect for helping you do that than the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9. When you take this camera with you on your landscape photography journey, you’ll be able to capture some stunning pictures. So gorgeous that viewers will feel like they’re standing right at the same location that you occupied to capture that image.
Just like any other form of photography, capturing snapshots of landscapes has its pros and cons. The pros are plentiful; beautiful scenery, a chance to be out in nature, and much more. But photographers rarely speak about the cons.
For starters, you’ll have what some refer to as ‘locational clichés’. That means that if you’re taking a landscape photo of a popular location, you’ll be one of the thousands of photographers who have done the same. Sure, you might compose your shot slightly differently, and it might look better because you’re using the Panasonic G9. Still, it’ll be hard to achieve a high degree of originality with your snapshots.
The locations you choose aren’t the only clichés, so are the subjects that you focus on with your camera. Hasn’t the photography world seen enough of rocks, skies, and clouds? Remember: as a photographer, originality is key. You want your viewers to recognise your photos at first sight.
Despite the great clichés, you can still get some great landscape snapshots with your Panasonic G9. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
If you want to try and stand out from among the many other photographers taking landscape shots at the same spot, try doing it during the Golden Hour. In case you’re not familiar with the term, the Golden Hour is a brief period after sunrise or before sunset. The reason it’s so crucial is that this short period offers some of the softest and reddest natural lighting possible. Given how scarce it is, not all photographers can be there at precisely the right time.
So, imagine yourself at the location with your Panasonic G9 in-hand. Even though you’re capturing the very same landscape as everyone else, your image will look even more impressive to your viewers.
Armed with the Panasonic G9 and its 20 megapixels, you’ll be able to capture big, beautiful, and high-resolution shots of your location in all its glory.
But how do you make sure that you’re at the right place and at the right time? Well, you’ll need to plan. These days, a quick Google search will tell you the precise time when the sun will rise and when it’ll set. Factor in any travel time, as well as however many minutes it’ll take for you to set up your equipment.
Of course, be sure to have the batteries fully-charged on your G9, and make sure you’re carrying the correct lenses that you intend on using. The window for Golden Hour will be brief, but with proper planning and excellent preparation, you’ll be able to capture with many other photographers can’t.
Choose The Best Focal Point
This tip is where things get a bit tricky. When it comes to landscape photography, your choice in focal point will be one of the key things that set you apart from other photographers.
Still, some might wonder why a focal point even matters at all. Aren’t we just taking pictures of the landscape as a whole? Well, with an excellent focal point, you’ll draw your viewer’s attention in much further. People naturally focus their eyes on the most substantial element in a landscape snapshot or any other kind of photo for that matter. On top of that, having a focal point allows you, as the photographer, to frame your shots much better.
So, it’s essential to avoid the clichés that are so common in landscape photography. You don’t want to be yet another photographer taking a picture of a rock or an uninteresting building as your focal point.
Open your eyes, think out of the box, and try to notice objects that most photographers might have missed in the area. The 6.5-stop image stabilisation in your Panasonic G9 will make it much easier for you to capture great photos while you scan the landscape with the viewfinder.
There are many traditional photography rules that you can follow to decide on an ideal focal point. The Rule of Thirds is a classic, and it’ll work well in most cases. Similarly, some recommend placing the focal point ⅓ from the bottom of the picture.
Never forget that photography is a form of art. Rules provide excellent guidance but don’t be afraid to break them once in a while.
Use Minimalist Compositions
When everyone is rushing in one direction, you’ll be better off going the opposite way. The same is true when it comes to landscape photography as well.
Most photographers instinctively try to capture everything that’s going on in the landscape by including the animals, the scenery, and of course lots and lots of skies, all in one image. Still, it’s important to remember that there can be too much of a good thing. A landscape photo with too much going on will overwhelm the viewer, doing the opposite of inspiring calm and tranquillity like landscape shots are supposed to.
If you’d like to stand out, try and take a ‘less is more’ approach to your landscape photography. Take advantage of the Panasonic G9 and its fully-articulated viewfinder to search for an angle where there are fewer elements in the frame.
When you use this approach, you’ll also add a touch of originality to your image. Understand this: there are plenty of photographers who have been to the same location that you’re using for your landscape photography. Still, by taking the less-is-more approach, your photo will give the viewer a unique perspective on that location that they’ve never seen before.
On top of that, a landscape photo that’s more minimalist than usual will make the viewer feel calm and at ease. With fewer subjects in the frame, they won’t feel overwhelmed by your photo. Instead, they can appreciate the landscape for all its natural beauty. That’s precisely the kind of feeling that landscape photography is supposed to inspire in people!
Use Your Nearby Areas
Here’s a tip that you might not find in many guides to landscape photography. It’s regarding the locations that you choose for your landscape photography. Instead of travelling far and wide to popular tourist locations to capture landscape shots, why not try it in your backyard?
Well, maybe not literally your own backyard, but somewhere closer to home. Quite often, our local geography offers lots of beautiful landscapes that few photographers have captured on their cameras. You could be one of the few that do.
You can always start your search online. Do a quick Google search or browse photography forums to see if there are any known spots in your area. For all you know, other photographers may have already identified several ideal locations for photography around your area.
Alternatively, you could be a little adventurous, hop in your car and drive around. Think of it as doing a photo walk, but covering a broader area in search of landscapes you might use for your photography.
Depending on where you live, some photographers might not enjoy photography walks in their locality because of the bad weather. For some, it’s too hot, or it rains too often to enjoy a good day out with a camera. With the Panasonic G9, that’s not a problem. The camera is environmentally-sealed, which protects it from water, dust, and other contaminants from finding their way into the camera’s body. Plus, it only weighs about 658 grams, so you won’t get tired carrying it around while you search for the best vantage points.
Tell A Story
Last but not least, remember that photography aims to tell a story, and that’s what your landscape photography could do as well. While straightforward landscape shots are nice to look at, you don’t want your photos to end up as simple decorations hung on a wall. What you want is a piece of art that stimulates thinking and gets people talking. To accomplish that, you’ll need to add much more depth to your snapshots. You can do that by framing them in such a way that viewers can see there’s more going on, and it inspires them to think about it much deeper..
When you frame your landscape shot broadly, you might not be able to see the ‘story’ behind the photo. You could, however, use the Panasonic G9’s 2x-4x digital zoom to get just a little closer to where the action is happening.
Perhaps you could capture an additional subject or two in your frame. Or, you could also attempt to capture movement; like a bird flying through your landscape from one end to the other. People often say that a picture is worth a thousand words; well, a moving subject that captures the viewer’s attention well adds another thousand to that picture.
These are just some of the tips you can use to make your landscape photography with the Panasonic G9 much more impressive. As you practice, you’ll start to uncover your photography style. The best way to do that quickly is to practice, practice, practice!