LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS: MAXIMISE EVERY SHOT
We kicked off the #LandscapeJuly blogs with a guide to all the types of kit many landscape photographer pack into their bags, and explained how it helps to achieve technically better images. Over the next few weeks we’ve gathered three more blogs covering how to maximise your shots, location pointers and shooting tips and tricks. Hopefully, these will help you hone your landscape photography, and have you shooting like a pro.
Maximising your shots
Shoot in raw When shooting landscapes, you’ll need to get the maximum amount of detail you can between the shadows and highlights. By shooting in raw format, you’ll be able to capture the most amount of detail possible and can then adjust it in post-production until the result.
But if you’re shooting JPEG…
Make sure you have your white balance settings right. Setting a custom white balance is the best way to do this, as you’ll be able to visualise the results on the back screen.
Shot by António Mesquita with an Olympus E-M1 + M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3
Bracket your exposure
Taking three or more exposures of the same scene and blending them together in post-production is a great way to achieve more detail from shadows and highlights and increase your dynamic range. It can also be a very useful way in which to capture subjects, like a bright sunset, instead of using a ND graduated filter.
Note: Many Olympus cameras will have an HDR function included in the menu. This will allow you to blend three exposures together in-camera to create High Dynamic Range pictures (HDR). There’s also the option to shoot multiple exposures brackets and then stitch them together yourself. If, for example, you only want to increase a section of detail from the sky, this will allow you to go back and edit that bit in post-production.
Shot by Jonathan Leung with an Olympus E-M5 + M.12-40mm F2.8
Go back and check
Once you’ve shot a scene you’re happy with, go back and check if everything is as good as it can be. With a large LCD screen it can be easy to assume focus is perfect and your exposure is spot on, but that might not be the case. Also, it’s possible that onscreen you won’t see any areas of blown highlight and shadow detail. To check this use your histogram – histograms are your friends! Make sure there are no bunched up areas at either end of the histogram that would indicate lost detail.
Shot by Darrell Neo with an Olympus E-M10 + M.17mm F1.8
Get horizons level
There’s no doubting a bit of an angle can be a good thing, but a wonky horizon that was clearly meant to be straight looks seriously amateurish. The Olympus cameras have automatic levels and grid lines for you to line-up the horizon. Make sure to use them, and take a bit of time to get everything well aligned. It’s possible to go back and crop the image but it’s better to get it right in-camera.