Photography News Issue 52

Photography News | Issue 52 |

Technique 16

Break the rules andmake your scenic shots even better Newhorizons

If your landscape photography is in a rut, find some new perspective with these simple scenic techniques. Each one flies in the face of traditional landscaping rules, but is sure to produce eye catching images

1. Forget the foreground

Almost every article you read on shooting landscapes will talk aboutincludingstrongforeground interest. The importance of this is to anchor the view and draw the eye to the subject. Landscapes without it can seem top-heavy, unbalanced, and lacking impact.

It’s a fine rule, but it’s not always required, particularly if the scene has enough mood to support itself alone. This is not an excuse to include bland foregrounds; moreover, it’s about experimenting with how you place the subject, and use

light and shade to draw the eye instead of detail. Along with the light, sometimes a sense of scale is plenty on its own; or you may find a patch of sunlight is enough. Central framing and longer exposures canhelp too, as theyadd to the simplicity of a composition.

Words and pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Left Some will frown at a centrally

Landscapes should be sharp, clear and free from blur, right? Not always. There are times when a mood or a sense of a place is more important than seeing the place itself clearly, and that leads you down a more impressionistic path. In these cases try using multiple exposures or intentional camera movement (ICM) to make a more painterly picture; and by using the two together you’ll make an image that has more distinct parts overlaid with texture and colour. Most digital cameras have a multiple exposure mode, and this can be found in the shooting menu, or sometimes along with the drive modes. Within the menu you’ll be able to choose how many separate exposures go to make up the final image, and how they’re blended, called Auto Gain on Nikon or Multi Exposure Control on Canon. The easiest thing to do is switch the mode on or set it to average; therein the camera Life is full of rules, andphotography is no different. It’s especially true when shooting landscapes; we’re told to compose and focus in certain ways; to avoid some things and seek out others. Here’s the real truth though; good light makes good landscapes. Essentially, it’s easier to make a good image in good light using no rules than it is to force a good image out of poor light using a standard set of ideas. The more important things, always, are balance in the image and emotion. On these pages you’ll find some ways you can shoot landscapes differently. It’s not a complete list, but it is something to think about when you’re out shooting, because each rule-breaker can be used to create great images.

placed subject, but it can work well especially if the lighting

Here’s the real truth though; good light makes good landscapes

and subject shape suits.

2. Make an impression

makes sure the picture isn’t over or underexposed. As for the ICM part, simply slow the shutter to a point where motion blur is picked up during the exposure as you move the camera. To get a slow speed, try shooting in aperture-priority mode (Av or A), setting a high f/number like f/16, and a low ISO setting like 100. You may find you need to shoot when available light is low to get a few seconds in which to move the camera, or fit a neutral density filter. Slow the shutter to create the blur required and build up texture or colour over separate shots, then shoot with the camera locked off to get a subject sharp. Or change the exposure setting between shots. Experimentation is key to success here. Right Practise with multiple exposures and deliberate camera movement to find a formula that works for you.

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