Landscape photography involves taking pictures of either natural or man-made landscapes, with extended width and length fitted in a single frame. This niche of photography, just like night sky photography, hardly ever goes out of vogue. Many beginners in the photography business start by capturing landscapes, trying to copy various expert landscape photographers, and learning their tricks.
As a novice landscape photographer, your biggest wish might be to get your captured landscape published on a prestigious website. You may also dream of becoming so good at capturing landscapes that you get hired by a relevant magazine as their official photographer. Where all such dreams can surely come true, you shouldn’t expect to achieve so much just by investing in a good camera.
Undoubtedly, a powerful camera like Nikon D500 is important to capture good landscape shots. This Nikon camera comes packed with features that allow beginners to excel at landscape photography. A 20.4 MP DX sensor, fast shutter speed, wide range ISOs, efficient autofocus, viewfinder, and a crystal clear LCD screen all allow you to compose your shots carefully. These features, along with the camera’s ease of use, also work together to make Nikon D500 your best friend in landscape shooting sessions.
However, even with such a great camera, you’d need to spend a lot of time learning the complex art of landscape photography. There are a lot of intricate details and various aspects to keep in mind when trying to capture masterpieces in the landscape photography niche. Here are some tips for you to follow using your Nikon D500 for landscape photos to achieve perfection in what you do:
Take Sharp Photos
Novice photographers usually get excited whenever they find a good landscape to capture. This often leads them to start shooting right away, without considering anything about their cameras’ settings and focus much. As a result, the pictures they capture with such haste end up a little dull and blurry. As a landscape photographer aiming to achieve big, your major focus should be on capturing the sharpest possible pictures.
To set great sharpness, you’ve to work a bit to set up the best composition so that the resulting image looks crisp. The sharpness of a frame or capture can also be defined well if you maximize its depth and work on its shadows. You can do so by setting up a smaller aperture and working with the most suitable ISOs (usually the ones on the lower end).
Also, the sharpness of any shot can be ensured by ensuring the best possible light available to shoot and keeping the camera fixed in one place. Photographers with shaky hands usually can’t take sharp photos and are, therefore, advised to use tripods. With your Nikon D500, you can easily set the needed ISO level, get the best composition.
You can narrow down the aperture within seconds on this excellent camera. This means that anyone using this camera won’t face any difficulty setting it up for sharp mode shooting. Such quality in landscape cameras is especially important because it can significantly affect your landscape shots.
Choose The Right Focal Point
Many photographers usually don’t care about focusing on a specific element in a landscape shot. This is probably because they find the entire landscape worth the focus and can’t pinpoint the most elaborate portion in their frame. On the other hand, some novice photographers think that they can only capture a landscape with a huge element to put their focus on. Both these approaches to focus on landscape photography are a little messed up.
Not choosing any proper focus in your shot makes it lose its sense of balance. Shots with an improper focus or none at all often fail at captivating the viewer. Moreover, you need to understand that your focus in a picture could be on anything that has the power to stand apart. Your element of focus doesn’t need to be gigantic, even if you’re capturing a huge landscape.
To capture great landscape shots with a good sense of focus, you can choose the central element of your frame as your focal point. It can either be a small, colorful stone, a blooming flower, or even a bird. Focusing on a certain element in a wide shot usually makes it look balanced and well-angled.
This captures a viewer more towards your picture and proves your expertise. Nikon D500 comes with a great autofocus feature coupled with efficient sensors to help you easily chose your focus. Even when you turn the AF sensors off, you can use this camera’s grid screen feature to find the exact center of the frame to focus on. Either way, you can take well-focused landscape shots using your D500 with no difficulty at all.
Use Lighting Smartly
Finding a good time and the most suitable light is just one of the many steps of shooting a perfect landscape picture. The actual beauty of your shot depends on how smart you play with the available light. As someone trying to make a name in landscape photography circles, you must be brave enough to ditch the conventions of photography.
Try to shoot something with the light not directly falling on the object you’re capturing. Rather, play with the light creatively. Move around the landscape and select an angle from where the light makes the landscape look unique. Maybe, play with the shadows and focus more on a landscape’s refection in water than on its actual build. You can also use the available light smartly to create a contrast in your picture.
For example, you can try to set your ISOs and work with the available light in such a way that half of your picture’s subject is well-lit, and the other half isn’t. Once you understand that there are varying possibilities to capture a landscape creatively, you can become a potential landscape photographer. Thankfully, the users of Nikon D500 are allowed to easily play with the ISO, composition, and exposure. You must benefit from all these features in your camera to use the available light in the smartest possible way.
While there’s no harm in traveling to far off places to shoot the historic landscapes over there, the best idea is to stay local. As a novice landscape photographer, you’d be better off capturing the landscapes and the monuments you know the best. Having an idea about what time and season is the most suitable to shoot at a particular place is a blessing.
The same is the case when you can spend as much time as you want, capturing a single landscape. With more than enough time on your hands, you can easily try out newer angles and different lighting to capture your subject. This usually results in the best possible shots that are both aesthetic and well-captured.
When you travel to a new place, you aren’t sure about the weather. If, by chance, it rains too much the day you go to a place for shooting, you will have to return home without any picture taken at all. Also, capturing a landscape you’ve not seen before means you’ll simply take the picture from whatever angle you look at it from. All of this explains why you should stay local when capturing landscapes, making the best use of whatever resources you’ve.
If you’ve Nikon’s D500, you’re at par from other in terms of staying local. This camera’s easy to carry the body, and its long battery life makes it possible for you to roam around your locality all day without any problem at all. This makes taking the best local shots possible and easy for you without putting in a lot of effort.
Tell A Story
Usually, landscapes you capture are glorious enough with a deep history behind them and tell a story on their own. However, this isn’t the case with every landscape you capture. This means you’ve to give a story-like touch to every landscape you capture on your own too. To do so, you’ve to find out the means to capture a landscape in such a way that it can interest the viewers.
You can add a background, contextual clue, a subtle touch of reality, and a climax to your shot to make it look realistic. Shots captured with all these ideas in mind usually attract people enough, and they keep coming back to have a look at your work.
The simplest way to tell a story through your shot is to work smartly with the lights and the contrasts. You can keep a brighter and elaborate element in the foreground with an intense and dramatic element at its back. You can also focus on a minor element that relates to the background elements meaningfully. If you’ve Nikon D500, you can use the ISOs and exposure features easily to your advantage. They’ll help you turn a simple landscape shot into one that is capable of telling a story.