Photography - Knowledge

Landscape Photography: Ingredients for a Spectacular Click

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At some point in life or the other, we have all had this experience of driving through a splendid landscape, stopping at every scenic spot to capture the grandeur of what you see. When you get back home and look at the pictures; you find them all uninteresting and dull. All of the elements of nature which were able to amaze you at that time are all in the image but that feeling is just not there. Why is it so? There are a lot of landscape photography ingredients that can affect that.

There are various factors to look at while clicking landscape photography, from right light settings to perfect camera settings, everything plays a major role. To spice up your photographs with right ingredients,  We have listed down a few tips that can help you to get those brilliant shots which everyone would admire. 

Landscape Photography Ingredients for a Stunning Image

Ingredient #1 A Good Lighting is Pivotal 

There are undoubtedly a lot of components that aid in getting that brilliant shot but one of the most crucial landscape photography ingredients is good lighting. When we talk about landscape photography, light is one its most pivotal element. A location might be stunning but if you attempt to take a picture of it in the harsh mid-day light, it would fall flat completely. On the other hand, a location might be boring but if you manage to take the picture at the right moment (try photographing at the golden hour) when the light is magical, the image would turn out to be truly stunning and you would be amazed by it yourself.  

For a lot of photographers the golden hour, blue hour and twilight are the best times to take a picture. But, any kind of light can be used if you know what to do with it. For instance, if you have a day with really bright, harsh sunlight, you could look for interesting shadows that would enhance the image. If the day is a cloudy or a stormy one, you could use the dramatic clouds in your picture by adjusting the camera settings. You can use 28mm focal length on a 35mm camera for wide angle capture. It all depends upon how well you can deal with the lighting conditions you are presented with. 

landscape photography ingredients
Click in good light (source)

Ingredient #2 Choose an Interesting Subject 

One of the Ingredients for Compelling Landscape Photos is its subject. An interesting subject is what makes the picture complete and engages the viewers. Of course, it might sound too obvious, but a lot of people tend to forget that and get too carried away with other things. For instance, a lot of photographers try to make an image of some general landscape without a clear subject. It might be grass here and there, a water source let’s say a lake and a few trees. You need to decide what your subject is and that will help you make an image that is more captivating.

When you go to a spot and think about what it is about the place that grabbed your attention that should be your main subject. The simple reason being that if it caught your attention, there’s a high chance that it would look stunning in pictures.  That’s not to say you cannot then turn your attention to some other main subject later. However, if you have too many subjects in your scene, none of them would be the main subject and your image will be too general to seem compelling. A few interesting landscape subjects would be forests, flowing water, deserts, Plains and Prairies, mountains, seacoasts etc. 

Ingredient #3 Try Capturing Pictures of Trees 

To get the best of the best photography, it is ideal to focus on the greenery of the landscape, which is the trees. Trees are one of those landscape photography ingredients which make a picture seem interesting. Trees either on their own or stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a huge forest, are strong structures which have the capability to add interest to wide landscapes. They can become striking when photographed on their own.

So, it is ideal to use a 35mm camera to get the perfect wide angle click. They are photogenic at literally any time of the year and by using your creativeness, you could enhance the beauty of the picture even more. They can create amazing textures which could be added to other pictures and also can offer pictures a sense of scale when they are photographed up close. 

Read: 35mm vs. 50mm: The Battle of the Lenses

landscape photography ingredients
Click the trees to bring interesting touch

Ingredient #4 Keep the Background Clean 

Choosing a clean background is as crucial as choosing the main subject and hence is considered as one of an essential landscape photography ingredients. Distracting or cluttered elements can ruin an otherwise potentially stunning picture. When we talk about landscape photography, perspective is important and you need to find a proper angle to photograph your subject so there are no intrusive elements in the background. 

This could mean that you have to get really low and point your camera upwards so that your background consists of just the sky. You might also have to get up high and then attempt to shoot down on your subjects which would ensure that the background is filled just with one texture. As can be guessed, you need to be adventurous and experiment with various angles until you get the best result. Attempt to isolate your subject and simplify the image as much as you possibly can. 

Ingredient #5 Attempt to Capture Textures and Patterns 

One of the key elements of the good photograph is to capture the textures and patterns. In fact, you would notice that the best photography tips on landscape would recommend you to emphasize more on patterns, shapes, and textures which appear in nature.

Have you ever wondered why?

It is because; they can help in creating a very strong image when they are isolated from what’s around them. A lot of photographers say that it works particularly well for black and white shots when you wish to separate the various elements present in your frame. 

This happens when you are clicking landscapes in colour, it becomes quite easy to see the different elements present in the landscape. However, as soon as the colours are taken away, all of those elements tend to blend together more as the tones are quite similar when turned into black and white. 

However, as discussed above, you can experiment with various textures and both colour and black and white photography. Look out for strong shapes in the landscape like trees, rock formations, walls or anything else which might offer a leading line into the landscape. It might seem pretty obvious but stronger shapes are quite easier for the eye to distinguish and comprehend. A strong side-light would enhance those textures so try to head out early or late in the day when the lighting is just perfect.

landscape photography ingredients- texture and pattern
Focus on patterns and texture

Ingredient #6 Shoot Captivating Patterns of the Skies 

The sky unquestionably is one of the most interesting landscape photography ingredients and can completely transform the way your picture looks. How much of it you include in the frame can also determine the overall feeling of the image that you are trying to shoot. Skies change constantly and interesting patterns can occur literally at any time of the day.

All you need to do is be aware of the weather conditions and keep your eyes open for what’s happening around. White clouds sitting in a clear blue sky are interesting while dark, rain-filled clouds would add some drama to the picture. 

ND filter
Try using ND filter for bright sunny days

If you notice that the sky is filled with captivating cloud formations, you need to make sure that the clouds are really too bright. If you are unsure about that, you could check the histogram for a better understanding. As soon as you notice an interesting formation in the sky, you need to be ready to shoot it as quickly as possible. This is because clouds tend to shape way too quickly. 

You could also try to blur the cloud’s movement so as to create an interesting effect. When shooting on a really bright day, you would need to use an ND filter so that you can use the slower shutter speeds without too much light reaching the sensor. Also if you notice that the clouds itself are fascinating, lose some of the ground in order to make the sky your main focus. Shifting the horizon down would mean that the sky would dominate the frame. This way you still would have some of the lands in the picture.

Summing Up 

As a photographer, when you are composing your shot, you already have all the landscape photography ingredients with complete details right in front of you. You would be required to eliminate certain things from your frame until you are left with things that are most important to click a brilliant picture. You need to use your skills and creativeness to arrange all those elements so that form a really compelling pattern. 

Remember that you might not succeed the very first time but with continuous practice, you would succeed in getting that perfect shot. You need to experiment with a variety of lighting conditions, click the same shot from different angles, choose different element as your subject and get as innovative as you possibly can. 

Did you find the above-mentioned landscape photography tips helpful? Please feel free to do in the comment section below. We are always looking forward to hearing from you. 

Happy Clicking Fellas!

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