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10 Amazing Ways to Create Dynamic Landscape Before You Click

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Capturing landscape shots that are intense and worth framing is a dream of many photographers. Dynamic landscape photography involves clicking landscapes in a way that the picture seems to ‘pop out’. Such shots appear to give a third dimension to a two-dimensional photograph. If you have always been impressed by such photographs but unable to click one yourself, this article is just for you.

What is Dynamic Landscape

There is no real dynamic landscape definition because the interpretation of the word ‘dynamic’ varies from person to person. In general, this expression is used to express the intangible energy that is depicted in photography composition. There is no standard rulebook that will unfold the secret of this skill. However, there are few points which, if kept in mind, increase your chances of clicking such pictures yourself.

Most Favourable Camera Settings for Dynamic Landscape Photography

The following camera settings are most commonly used to obtain those surreal landscape images that you see on magazine covers.

  • ISO

Keeping the ISO value to the lowest setting possible in your camera is ideal for capturing the beauty of landscapes in their grandest avatar. Generally, photographers stick to a value of 100 or 200.

  • RAW Format

As in all forms of photography, shooting in RAW mode is best for dynamic landscape photography. This allows retention of all details in the image and makes post-processing much easier and more flexible.

  • White Balance

Depending on the natural light at the site of the shooting, you might or might not want to set the white balance to auto. Sometimes, changing the white balance from auto to daylight gives fantastic results.

  • Polarizing Filter

Including a circular polarizing filter makes a huge positive difference in the picture quality of a landscape. These filters are very effective in removing glares and light reflections from water bodies. Also, they enhance the colour and features of landscapes, thereby transforming a simple landscape photograph into one of a dynamic landscape.

  • Aperture

To get a sharp focus, you might be tempted to use a small aperture. But keep in mind that the smallest aperture setting in your camera might decrease the picture quality due to refraction. Therefore, play around with the aperture until you find a value that gives you desired results.

Now that you have the head start for photographing the dynamic landscape, let us move on to the most important tips in this regard.

10 Ideas to Click Dynamic Landscape 

Photography composition should aim at holding the interest and attention of the viewer. An ideal landscape photograph should be able clearly melange the various elements to yield an effective presentation. One may define an element as the ingredients that make a photograph. Examples of elements of a photograph are light, textures, lines, shapes etc.

Just as a recipe requires all ingredients in the right proportion, a dynamic landscape photograph requires all its elements in proper mutual balance. Highlighting one element more than the other will draw the focus away from the subject and result in ordinary photographs.

One can, therefore, define composition as the right blend of all elements of a photograph. Most landscape photography composition rules are actually based on using the various elements justly. Let us now look at the various ways by which we can add a magical touch to our landscape photographs.

1. Look for Lines

Lines of any kind- curved, vertical, horizontal or slanting, have been used as an effective medium to add intensity to paintings. The same principle applies to dynamic landscape photography. Roads, wharfs and the horizon are just some of the examples of elements that add lines to a photograph. Both- converging lines and leading lines are very effective elements of a photograph and should be used to their full potential by the photographer. These humble components of a photograph have the power to add a new dimension to composition definition.

dynamic photography
Leading lines play an important role (source)

2. Make Use of the Foreground

One of the most important landscape photography tips for beginners is to make full use of the foreground. We have covered all the details of foreground photography in one of our articles. We encourage the reader to go through that article for a better understanding of this lovely technique. Using a foreground properly will unleash the full potential of your photograph. Think of the foreground as the first point of contact between the viewer and the photography subject. Many interesting interpretations can be added to your landscape simply by including a foreground.

3. Give Due Importance to Light

Adequate lighting is the essence of composition in photography. If you ignore the quality of light in your photograph, the results will be disappointing. Landscape photographers tend to rely on the sun for most of their shots. It is worth remembering that the quality of sunlight varies between the time of the day and seasons. Therefore, before clicking your shot in the hope of getting a dynamic landscape in your frame, consider the best time for taking this shot.

Due importance should be given to not only the amount of light but also its direction. These aspects will influence photography composition. Generally, sunlight tends to cast off an array of colours in the sky. If you have to choose between too much colour in the photograph and too much light, opt for a middle way because either of these will not look good.

dynamic landscape
Light can make or break a photo

4. Look for Balance

Landscape photography thrives on the concept of balance. Pictures with a balance of the rocks, sun, sea and the sand tend to stand out from the rest. Finding balance in photography is one of the most vital landscape photography tips and techniques.

Positive and negative space elements also contribute to balance in a photograph. The subject is usually part of the positive space in your photograph while the lesser important details like the sky and the background comprise negative space. It is advisable not to tamper too much with this aspect.

5. Use Vignetting

Vignetting refers to highlighting the centre of the photograph with lighter hues while darkening the edges. This simple tip is highly effective in some instances. It serves to move the focus of the viewer towards the centre of the image. This makes for amazing dynamic landscape pictures.

dynamic landscape
Vingette to focus on the subject (source)

6. Remember the Rule of Thirds

When you define the composition, the most vital thing to remember is the rule of thirds. This rule involves division of the frame into a 3x3 grid and then try to place the various elements on the intersections. If it is not possible to place all the elements, then try for as many as possible. This is a proven rule and works magic on your photographs.

7. Suggest Movement in the Picture

Water, wind and clouds are all very common elements of landscape photography. Sometimes, creating the illusion of motion in the photograph gives the desirable outcome. Play around with exposure times to get snapshots of movement in your photograph.

8. Trust Black and White

Sometimes, the intensity of an image can be dramatically increased by simply choosing B&W. This contrast is unbeatable and brings out the texture of various elements to perfection. This technique works especially well for images containing leading and converging lines.

dynamic landscape
Try black and white in post processing

9. Try Different Shooting Angles

Most photographers tend to shoot landscapes from their height. This is because they perceive this view as the most appealing. However, it is possible to capture stunning dynamic landscape simply by changing the angle of click. When you change this angle, you change the perspective of looking at a particular feature and this might just work out for the best. So, take your chances!

10. Try to Convey the Scale

Conveying the scale of your subject is a very useful trick to bring out the most striking features of landscapes. This can be done by including a person in the photograph to reveal the grandeur and enormity of the landscape.

With these top ten tips for dynamic landscape photography, you will increase your chances of clicking amazing shots. These tips and tricks comprise the very basic landscape photography tutorial for a beginner. Remember to practice as much as you can if you want to hone your photography skills because there is no recipe for practice. Let us know in the comments below if these tips helped you.

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