Everywhere in the world, across the course of a year, the sun will be below the horizon just about 50% of the time. Although it can take a while for sunset to fade away completely, it’s safe to say that we spend a huge portion of our lives under dark skies. Normally, nighttime isn’t something that people equate with being awake, of course, but landscape photographers are strange people. In fact, moonlight and the Milky Way can lead to some of the best photos you’ll take, and they are well worth exploring with your camera. In this article, I’ll go through the characteristics that make some lenses better than others for star and nighttime landscape photography.
Light, shapes, lines, forms — the foundations of photography. No matter what subjects you shoot, you’ll end up working with these features for every photo that you take. Architectural photography, though, takes it to another level, with its perfect geometrical lines and shapes that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. In this article, I will cover everything from indoor architectural photography to outdoor “urban landscapes” and cityscapes, including some tips and tricks that I use all the time in my own photos.
A quick note: Apologies that we have not posted an article this past week. Nasim and I have been in New Zealand since the beginning of December, and it has not been possible to publish anything without a reliable Internet connection. Our articles may still be sporadic until we get home at the end of December, so we appreciate your patience. For now, we have published our backlogged articles from recent days. Hopefully, the photos we bring back from this trip will be worth it!
A lot of landscape photographers are interested in focus stacking — combining multiple images of the same scene, each focused at different distances, into a single photo. This is a useful tool to have at your disposal, since it lets you take pictures in more situations than you otherwise could. For example, if elements of your photo are very close to your camera, focus stacking may be the only way to get a sharp shot. Although I don’t use this technique for every photo, it’s something that I keep in mind when I’m taking pictures in challenging conditions. This article gives an overview of focus stacking for landscape photography, including step-by-step instructions on how to focus stack photos in Photoshop. All of these tips are also relevant for other types of photography, not just landscapes.
In general, photographers are very good at deciding how much they like someone else’s photo. It isn’t hard — your first reaction to a shot is either positive or negative, and it typically doesn’t change much after that. Things get more complicated, though, when you’re talking about your own work. For me, at least, I find it tough to judge the quality of some photos I’ve taken. Sure, I know when a photo is awful, but what about the other shots? This article covers some tips for looking at your work with a better critical eye.
Wide-angle lenses are incredibly popular for landscape photographers, but they can be very tricky to use. The main problem is that these lenses are so different from the way we normally see the world, which makes it easy to use them incorrectly. Still, wide-angle lenses are one of the most important tools that you have at your disposal, and — used well — they can lead to spectacular photos. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about using wide angle lenses and how to make the most out of them.
Millions — perhaps billions — of people take pictures every day. Famous places and people have been photographed more times than anyone can count. All of this leads to the deluge of images that we are seeing online and in social media. Every time that a photographer visits a beautiful location for the first time, thousands of people already photographed it under the best possible conditions (and the worst conditions, and everywhere in between). Recently, I have heard more than a few people say that photography has become boring to them; everyone copies everyone else, and it doesn’t seem like there is anything new left to photograph and explore. Is that mindset justified? Can photographers still create unique photos?
Most of us think we have a good understanding of the camera settings that affect your RAW photos — it seems like common sense. However, the more that you look into it, the more complicated that this topic gets. In fact, no matter how much you know about your camera, chances are good that you have a few misconceptions about the camera settings that affect your RAW photos. Does high-ISO noise reduction change the way your camera records a RAW file? What about long exposure noise reduction? Color space? Or Active D-Lighting, for Nikon users? The answer to two of these four examples is yes. In this article, I will cover all the noteworthy camera settings that affect your camera’s RAW files, including some that you may not expect.
The name Henri Cartier-Bresson does not immediately remind most people of landscape photography. It shouldn’t; he wasn’t a landscape photographer! Instead, of course, Henri Cartier-Bresson was a street photographer — arguably the founding father of the genre. However, although he rarely took photos of nature, his intimate approach to street photography still has value to people who prefer the company of grand landscapes. One technique is especially worth learning, no matter what genre of photography you do: the decisive moment.
This summer’s Photography Life road trip has come to an end, but not before a final visit to Olympic National Park. After dropping John off at the Seattle airport, Nasim and I spent a couple of days exploring Washington’s dramatic coasts and rainforests, taking some photos and filming the remainder of our Composition chapter. Hopefully you have enjoyed these quick articles from the road. I certainly have had fun sharing our experiences!
One of the largest debates in the world of photography is split into two main camps. On one side are people who strive to take photos with the highest technical level of image quality — in everything from their equipment to their camera settings — for most of their photos. The other side of the debate says that photographs are more about the subject and emotion of the scene, and the image quality is only a minor factor. Neither side is always right or always wrong, of course, but this is a question worth discussing. When does image quality truly matter, and when is “good enough” more than enough?