Best Photography Tips – Shooting Landscapes 1

After a trek, it is very exciting when you relive the thrill of the trek with your trek mates over coffee. Seeing each other’s pictures is part of this fun.

Nevertheless, there are times when we are disappointed. The reason – we are not able to capture what we see. Has this happened to you anytime? The tips here will help.

Create a striking foreground interest

A photograph is a two-dimensional medium. To add a third dimension, it is critical to have some foreground elements in the frame. This creates an illusion of depth in the picture and makes the photograph more interesting. This technique is a favorite of all landscape photographers.

When a person sees a picture, the eye notices the foreground elements first, which then leads the viewers’ eye into the middle and the background elements.

In this picture adding the rocks in the foreground creates the same effect.
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Shoot at the golden hour – dawn and dusk

We might have heard this a hundred times but not many follow this advice on a trek. But, as one photographer says – you snooze, you lose. Early mornings and late evenings are the times when you get the most dramatic landscape pictures. Why? Because the sun is at a very low angle, you get a lot of depth in all the elements in your frame. Besides, the sky colours are dramatic during these times.

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Wait for the right sky

Situations change in the mountains from clear skies to hailstorms and to sudden snowfalls very quickly. There were several times when I have got disappointed not being able to see the beautiful snow-capped peaks due to the cloudy sky and, lo and behold, the peaks appear within moments — like magic.

Do not hesitate to capture the same frame at different times. Your picture will look radically different if you take the same frame at a couple of hours’ interval.

This is because of the change in position of the clouds and the sun. At times, the sky might look pale and uninteresting, while at others, you may get an absolutely dramatic sky. Awesome pictures need a bit of luck but why not try?

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Carry a tripod

The four legged dog is a man’s best friend but the three-legged tripod is a photographer’s best friend. Carrying a tripod on a trek is a difficult decision to make – most of the times you have to carry your own backpack and a tripod might add to your tiredness. But believe me, every effort that you make will he highly rewarded. If you do lot of treks, keep in mind to buy a tripod which is light weight yet sturdy.

For a good depth of all the elements in a frame, from the foreground to the background you need to shoot at narrower apertures (large f values). This means that your shutter speed has to be slower to compensate for the less light coming in. Unless you are a master at playing a statue, you cannot hold the camera steady at shutter speeds slower than 1/60 of a second. This is where tripod plays it role.

How do you take a picture after mounting the camera on your tripod? If your answer is – by pressing the shutter release button, think twice. Though your camera is on the tripod, pressing the shutter release using your hand will shake it enough to ruin your pictures. Then what is the way out? The answer is simple – use the Self Timer on your camera.

A tip: if you want to capture night skies or thunder clouds, a tripod is an absolute must.

The night skies on treks are just unbelievable. The firmament is so full of stars that it is difficult to find empty spaces between two stars. This is a great opportunity to shoot star trails. For this, the Self Timer won’t be of much help. You need a wireless or a wired remote to control the shutter.

These pictures would have been impossible to capture without a tripod.

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Star trails and snow capped peaks – a highlight of all treks
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Tasting the thunder at Lohargang – Roopkund trek

Put these easy tips into practice and see the difference it makes to your pictures.

For any questions regarding photography, post your questions to Saurabh on the comments box below.

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Thank you for reading the post. You might like to read my previous posts.

This article is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a professional photographer and a photography trainer. He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer’ through his photo tours and Photography workshops.

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