Photography News Issue 52

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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

Technique

3. Ditch thewide angle lens

4. Add a human element

When we think about lenses for landscapes we usually think wide angle. With wide-angle lenses the field of view is large, and that lets you pack in lots of scenery as well as enlarging details close to the camera to maximise foreground detail. But switch to a telephoto lens and you’ll be forced to be selective. This helps you pick more interesting subjects and discover hidden opportunities. Try shooting in misty conditions and get up the side of hills for

an across country. Look for simple, balanced compositions, following the rule of thirds, and avoid clutter if possible. Just as for wide-angle shots, it’s important to shoot from a tripod; if anything more so, as camera shake is more noticeable at longer focal lengths; if the lens has a tripod collar, use that. If you need to shoot handheld, switch on image stabilisation and steady the lens by leaning on something like a fence. unobstructed view

Above Including a figure in your compositions can add a sense of scale and a point of extra interest.

How many times have you waited for someone to exit a scene before shooting, thinking the scene will be cleaner and simpler without them? The thing is, climbers and hikers will often crop up in shots, and if used correctly they’ll add something, rather than throwing the eye. Human figures can add

a sense of scale and a narrative to a scene that’s otherwise bland and difficult to read; how do you know how big a hill is without someone climbing it? How do you tell the viewer that they’re looking at a wilderness without a solitary figure being dwarfed by it? That’s not to say the figure should be the

subject, they should just support the overall scene. To stop them taking over, make them anonymous: silhouette them against the low sun, or use a shutter speed that will blur their movement slightly; not so much that they disappear, but so that only their shape remains.

Human figures can add a sense of scale and narrative to a scene that’s otherwise bland and difficult to read

Above Use a telephoto lens to compress (flatten) perspective.

5. Aim into the sun

Left Shooting into the sun gives very powerful results, but it needs controlling. Use parts of the scene to shield the

Shooting around dawn and dusk, when the sun is low, improves contrast and gives warmer colours, but it’s less common to shoot directly towards the sun, actually making it part of the composition. Why? Shooting into the sun adds lots of contrast to the scene, and this can be difficult to deal with, leaving blown highlights and deep shadows. On the plus side, as the sun will be the brightest part of the scene, it forms an excellent focal point when there’s little else available, landscapes

while the light will add highlights, picking out pleasing textures in grass or rock. It will also give pictures a great feeling of warmth. To avoid too much contrast, try placing the sun behind a tree, a cloud, or the edge of a hill or rock, lessening its impact. Shooting in this way, combined with a high f/ number like f/16 or f/22 will also form an obvious starburst. To further help control contrast, make sure you shoot in Rawmode, and use the highlights/shadows sliders during editing.

sun to help avoid flare;

this can help with keeping contrast levels manageable.

Shooting into the sun adds contrast to the scene, and this can be difficult

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