Author Topic: Landscape Photography  (Read 1312 times)


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Landscape Photography
« on: April 23, 2017, 10:53:31 AM »
Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes.

Landscape photography commonly involves daylight photography of natural features of land, sky and waters, at a distance—though some landscapes may involve subjects in a scenic setting nearby, even close-up, and sometimes at night.

Photography of artificial scenery, such as farm fields, orchards, gardens and architecture, may be considered "landscape" photography as well. Even the presence of man-made structures (buildings, roads and bridges, etc.) or art (such as sculpture) may be considered "landscape" if presented in artistic settings or appearing (or photographed) in artistic style.

For "wide open spaces," a wide-angle lens is generally the preferred lens, allowing a broad angle of view. However, medium-range to telephoto lenses can achieve satisfying imagery, as well, and can enable the capture of detailed scenery of smaller areas at greater distances. Telephoto lenses can also facilitate limited ranges of focus, to enable the photographer to emphasize a specific area, at a fairly specific distance, in sharp focus, with the foreground and background blurred (see: depth of field). A big difference between a wide-angles lens and a telephoto lens is the compression of the landscape; the wider the angle the more distance will appear between the foreground and background elements; however, a telephoto lens will make the same elements appear closer to each other. Other lenses that can help include the fisheye lens for extremely wide angles and dramatic effect, and the macro lens for extreme close-up work. While variable-range zoom lenses are widely used, some landscape photographers prefer fixed-range prime lenses to provide higher clarity and quality in the image.

Lighting and flash

Normally, landscape photography—being focused primarily on natural beauty—tends to be done with only naturally occurring ambient light.

In some cases, however, artificial light is recommended or unavoidable. Careful use of flash, continuous artificial lighting or reflective surfaces (e.g.: reflectors) for "fill" in shadowy areas is often used in close-up landscape photography (e.g.: garden spaces, small areas of dark forests, etc.).

However, given the broad expanses of open space that tend to dominate in landscape photography, artificial lighting is typically ineffective, or even destructive (causing the foreground to be wildly over-lit, and the background to become overly dark).

Light at dawn or dusk, or just before or after those times (especially at sunrise, or during the "golden hour" just before sunset), is often considered the best for capturing detail, showing scenes in the best colors of light, or otherwise generating impressive and attractive images.

Shutter speed and aperture

With cameras that allow a variety of shutter speeds and lens apertures, landscape photographers tend to prefer settings that allow all of the viewed area to be in sharp focus. This typically requires a small aperture (a high f-stop), which creates only a small hole for the light to come into the camera from the lens, ensuring that as much of the field of view is in focus as possible (see: depth of field).

With a small aperture, however, a slower shutter speed (longer exposure) may be required to compensate for the limited amount of light squeezing in through the small aperture. This can be a problem if there are kinetic elements in the picture, such as moving animals (especially birds), people or vehicles. It can also be a problem if the environment is kinetic (in motion), such as wind blowing and shaking all the trees and plants in the scene, or if water is flowing. Slow shutter speeds can also be a problem if the photographer is in motion (such as shooting a scene from a moving vehicle).

Consequently, some compromise between shutter speed and aperture may be necessary, or advisable. To some extent, a higher-ISO film or digital camera setting can compensate without the need to alter shutter speed or aperture. However, higher ISO settings ("fast film") can result in grainy pictures and poor capture of details, especially at a distance.

In some cases, a slow shutter speed is desired to show movement of the subjects, particularly moving water or the effects of wind.


Filters can serve a wide range of purposes in landscape photography.

For instance, a polarizing filter can darken the sky, while allowing surface features to be shown in relatively sharper clarity. Polarizing filters also help with cutting glare from water, snow and ice—even facilitating greater transparency of water and ice.

Neutral density filters are darkened with a neutral (colorless) gray tint which reduces the amount of light entering the camera lens. These filters are used to lengthen shutter speeds without the need to alter aperture or film/sensor sensitivity, or alternatively, to use large apertures without exceeding the maximum shutter speed of a camera. A variation of this filter, termed the graduated neutral density filter or simply 'ND grad', transitions from dark, neutral gray on one side to clear on the opposite side. Photographers use these filters to lower natural contrasts by reducing light transmission from the brightest portion of the subject landscape, while letting light from the darker portion of the landscape enter the lens unobstructed.

UV-Zero haze filters reduce "purple fringing" caused by ultraviolet light, especially in digital situations. They are also recommended by some professional photographers as protection for the vulnerable lens, especially when outdoors or in dynamic situations.

Color filters can create other effects, or compensate for the appearance of unnatural lighting due to camera characteristics.

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