Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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48

The approach you take will probably depend on whether you wish to photograph star trails, do short-exposure astrophotography, or long-exposure astrophotography. Star trails are relatively easy to capture, however short and long exposure astrophotography must be done with a little more care. These tips assume you are using a DSLR. Required Gear To take ...


43

You can digitally enhance your pictures by increasing the brightness and adjusting the contrast. You can also crop out any parts of the image that don't contribute to the impressive nature of it. Take advantage of angles to convey attributes such as size and distance. Using perspective can also help liven up your images. I think the main concern is that the ...


43

I think Stan said it best in regards to composition and light, but I'll try to be a bit more specific about your pictures. What are you trying to show? This is the most important question to ask yourself before clicking the shutter. If you don't know, or don't address it, the audience won't know either and the picture will look sortof "pointless". Your ...


32

The Black Card Technique is a workaround for the problem of the limited dynamic range of digital cameras. The dynamic range of a camera describes the difference in light levels it can record. The limits of dynamic range are often seen in landscape photography - you will often see photos where the sky is nicely exposed, but the ground is underexposed, or ...


26

Depth of field depends not only on aperture but also on distance to the subject. Depth of field increases as the subject gets farther away. If the wave and boats were all relatively far from the camera, but not terribly far from each other, then it's not surprising that they were all reasonably sharp. You can use DOFMaster to run the numbers yourself. Some ...


25

This picture, and others similar to it, aren't pictures of the woman. These are travel snapshots, with some landmark and a woman in the same frame. There's nothing wrong with such snapshots per se. In fact, they're pretty great: they show where you were, remind you of the good times, and they're not anything like the travel postcards you could buy, even ...


23

Filter Types There are essentially 3 kinds of GND filter: Soft, Hard, and Sunrise/Set. All these come in various 'strengths'. Soft GND filters have a gentle gradient from dark to transparent and so are good for landscapes with irregular horizons such as mountains, hills and to some extent buildings. Hard GND filters have a more sudden change between dark ...


22

Short of asking Peter Lik himself, or finding he posted the techniques online, I could only speculate on which techniques he actually did use. I am assuming he did post processing. Some possibilities include: Start with a good dark sky location. The Australian outback has a lot of that. Some places elsewhere are also good (at times). Use prime focus ...


21

A very long exposure doesn't help with shots like this due to the rotation of the Earth. Depending on your field of view you can get star trails (where instead of individual points of light you get lines where the stars have moved relative to the camera) with exposures of only 10 seconds. With a wide angle lens you can get away with longer exposures, e.g. 30 ...


21

The mountain and the valley obviously are static -- even more from that distance. The clouds, however, move. If you chose a low ISO value, e.g., in the range of 50 to 100, the exposure time might be enough to get washy/faded/blurred clouds. If I calculated it correctly, an ISO value of 100 with the other settings (exluding shutter speed) staying the same ...


19

If you're not using a polarizer, try that first - it will often help to cut through some of the haze. Heres a link with an example close to what you want even: http://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/How_to_use_polarizing_filters/reduce_haze_deep_blue_sky.shtml


18

I think an application called "The Photographer's Ephemeris" might be what you are looking for. It's available for iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X.


18

You need to shoot from an angle - if all the trees/signs are in front of you then they will all appear vertical in the image regardless of the slope. This is actually a well known illusion that gives rise to "gravity hill", a road which slopes downhill but looking head on in the absence of any visual cues the brain interprets it as flat/sloping up, which ...


17

There is overlap between the two terms, as you'll see as you browse the lists of both at LensHero. Basically, they're two different directions from which to approach the problem of narrowing down lens choice, and the site offers both approaches. A wide angle lens has a specific definition without much flexibility — it's any lens with a wide field of view, ...


16

I think this is an example of: use the opportunities you have, rather than the ones you wish you had. The situation you describe is tricky, and it'll be difficult to get the kind of grand, well-lit landscape that you seen in magazines. But, as Kyle suggests, perhaps there are different interpretations of the scene that could work. Some specific suggestions ...


15

Yes and No. That's the only true answer. A lens has to be adapted to your vision and subject. Landscape is a very broad category and I know fine-art landscape photographers who mainly shoot with wide lenses and others mainly with telephoto lenses (ex: 70-200mm). The angle-of-view of ultra-wide lenses really emphasizes the foreground. Moving back with a ...


15

my (beginners) understanding of landscape photos is that you generally want them to be with a wide-angle lens My understanding of landscape photos is that they should contain some landscape! I can understand the association with wide angle lenses, though. You typically want to get a lot in, a photo of a rock is not a landscape photo. Any focal length ...


15

There's been some really excellent answers already but let me provide some additional pointers from a beginner point of view. Learn the technical part. You've bought a DSLR so learn to use it properly. If you were only worried about composition and you're going to shoot on auto then you may as well have bought a point & shoot camera. Learn to expose ...


14

Use a graduated filter to tone down bright skies Take multiple exposures and use a HDR technique to combine them (personally I hate these but that's a taste thing) Take your photos at sunrise/sunset when the light is more manageable. I find mornings best as waters are calmer and there are fewer people around etc.


14

I usually use this technique for pictures taken through windows, but I think it works here, too. In GIMP, I go to Colors | Curves and change the slope of the curve to use all of the available color information: I like to set the new start/end points for the curve to where the little black line along the bottom of the curves starts and ends. Usually ...


14

The rule of thumb is you can hand hold a 50mm lens at 1/50th second, or a 100mm at 1/100th second and have reasonable lack of camera shake. VR extends that a few stops. So it depends on the amount of light. In bright sunlight, at f/16 and a 35mm lens, you wouldn't need a tripod or VR. In low light, VR won't be enough, you'll need a tripod In between ...


14

If anything, the longer the exposure, the less detail you will get, because it gives things more time to move. Even when you're looking at a "still" landscape scene, the tree branches may be moving a bit, water will be rippling, clouds will be slowly scudding across the sky... A few of my all-time favorite photos are technically marred because of this. ...


14

There are two issues at work that are causing your results to be a little soft: Diffraction Since you are using an EF-S lens it is safe to assume you are using a Canon APS-C camera. Most of the recent models have pixels pitches that cause diffraction to begin at around f/6.8-6.9. This is the point at which the affects of diffraction begin when viewed at ...


12

There are a couple posts here already on what filters are available and why you would use them, having been around the block a couple times on filters used for outdoor photography I'll try for an answer from a different angle: what I actually wind up using. Polarizing filters: Loved them at first, never use them now because they give an unnatural look to ...


12

It's important to appreciate that what you're looking at in this flickr set is a gallery prints for sale, probably the work of several years by a professional photographer. To answer your question as best I can... As far as I know, light in the Netherlands is of the same nature as light in any other place of comparable latitude! Clearly the photographer ...


12

Images with your camera will start showing signs of diffraction around f/4 to f/5.6 due to the size of the sensor. Shooting at a significantly smaller aperture (like f/11) will only increase the diffraction problems. You'll lose resolution. Here's a good tutorial on diffraction: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm


12

Portfolio. Build it. Make it better. Repeat. Don't worry about all this other stuff you mentioned. Seriously, no one will take a second look past your portfolio if it isn't excellent. Specifically you asked "how does one start out to become a landscape photographer". The basics are not websites, social media, marketing, etc. The basics are great photos ...


11

I use LightTrac for the iPad. Not only does it tell you when but also the angle from which the sun will be coming at sunrise, sunset and right now, as the sun position varys seasonally. Besides, it's cool to be able to drag the slider around and see how the direction of the sun rays will vary. So say I want to photograph the tower in the middle of the plaza ...


11

tripod. Use your lowest ISO (50 or 100). I always use a cable release to avoid vibration in the camera. You'll get circular trails if you point the camera at Polaris (the north star; assuming northern hemisphere here); pointing it at something interesting and just letting the trails happen is fine. exposure length is something to experiment with, start at ...



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