Landscapes with Bill, Pete and Simon. Clee hill here we come!!! Click an image to view the Learning Gallery.
Bill’s Landscape amateur photography 1 page survival guide.
- PLAN. Check the weather, sun position, tide times, anything which will have an impact on your trip and potential results. The Photographers Ephemeris software will help which is free for desktop but pay for mobile. Don’t drive / walk miles only to have your trip spoiled by the wrong conditions.
- PACK. With great care, don’t forget anything, make sure you have a charged battery and spares. Memory cards should be available and have enough spare capacity for your outing, carry extra cards. DON’T carry things you won’t use; your bag will be unnecessarily heavy and spoil your enjoyment.
- CLOTHING. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing…..This can absolutely ruin a trip, cold and wet or too hot, have the correct clothes and leave dry spares in the car, just in case!! Wellies are brilliant for standing in rivers, bogs and at least letting your feet have a nice time!
Settings: - there is no right or wrong in any settings, but these will help get you somewhere near to getting that cracking shot.
a. Depth of Field (DOF) maximum for front to back sharpness in your image.
b. Exposure mode- A or M
c. Focus mode – Manual
d. Metering mode – Evaluative (use exposure compensation to lighten or darken in A and use the histogram to do same thing in M)
e. Shutter speed – in A the camera will set, in M use the histogram to set, left for dark, right for light. (don’t forget the tripod as then any length of timed exposure can be taken, whereas below 125th handheld you will almost certainly get blur & shake)
f. ISO – 100
g. Aperture – f16 is always seen as a good place to start. However, most lenses are sharper if used around their middle settings, so f8 is normally good. All this needs to be linked to where you focus in your landscape, what you want in focus throughout the image, and where infinity starts on your lens. A lesson for another day.
h. Drive – single shot
i. White balance – daylight if in JPEG, doesn’t matter in RAW (change in Post production)
- Lenses – Wide angle, although not definitive, are best because of their field of view for capturing dramatic scenes. Telephoto and primes can also be used to excellent effect. If APSC camera is used 10 – 20mm lenses are good, if full frame, then 15 – 30mm.
- Tripod and cable release – These can make a huge difference to the quality of your final image. Avoiding any form of contact with the camera, once set, means that you reduce the chance of your image having any blur, which can be very obvious in “BIG” vista images.
- Filters verses HDR for capturing wide dynamic light range within your image is personal choice and you need to experiment. Another days lesson.
- Experiment – Have foreground, middle and distant interest in your shot. Use “lead-in lines” to draw your viewer’s eye into the image. Ensure you capture the drama within the sky, and expose for the sky not the ground. Blue hour is a fantastic light to shoot in.
- BREAK THE RULES!! It doesn’t matter…….
But throughout all this, have fun and enjoy yourself, there is no right or wrong. The best camera to use is the one in your hands and the best picture to capture is the one which you take.
Here are a selection of images captured on the evening. "Wear more clothes" should have been the words of the evening. It's chilly up there even in high summer.