Exposure isn’t an easy part of photography, especially if you’re just starting to learn about it. Your camera has dozens of buttons and hundreds of menu options — how do you even begin to set everything correctly? But it’s not as bad as you might think. There are only two camera settings that affect exposure: shutter speed and aperture. These are also the two most important settings in all of photography. In this article, I’ll introduce shutter speed and aperture (as well as a third variable, ISO) and explain in depth how to use them properly. Once you master exposure, your photos will skyrocket in quality.
If you’re a landscape photographer, you care about lenses. Even if you don’t know that you care about lenses, you do — a good lens is arguably the most important piece of equipment you can own. In fact, lenses matter even more than the camera you use. While cameras make it easier to set the settings you want, lenses change the inherent composition of your photos. So, how do you pick the best lens for your own landscape photography needs?
Say that the sun just set, and you’re trying to take photos of the blue glow that now sits on the horizon. Seems like the perfect backdrop for a beautiful landscape, doesn’t it? But in order to capture the photo you want as well as possible, there’s one piece of camera equipment that is absolutely essential: a tripod. Landscape photography and tripods go hand in hand, but there’s a lot of important information about them that many photographers don’t know. In this article, I’ll cover the ins and outs of tripods, including what you need to know if you’re buying one yourself.
It’s almost midnight and still bright outside. I’m in Iceland during the summer solstice, when the sun never really sets. I’ve packed all the camera equipment I need for an overnight trek through amazing scenery, along with food, water, extra clothes, and other miscellaneous gear. How much does my fully loaded bag weigh? Eight kilos (eighteen pounds). This might not seem very lightweight, but, for a photography-centered expedition, it isn’t bad at all. So, how does that look in practice?
People take landscape photos for a variety of reasons. At a personal level, I know that my motivation is constantly changing. Today, landscape photography is a great way to be outdoors. Tomorrow, I’ll spend a rainy day editing the photos I just captured. Digging deeper, though, there are more fundamental reasons to take landscape photos, and they all have to do with your outlook on the world.
Nighttime photography is something that a lot of photographers enjoy; I certainly do, along with countless others. Modern cameras can capture more detail at night than we can see with our naked eyes, revealing entire worlds that couldn’t exist otherwise. However, more than almost any other genre, night photography also challenges your camera equipment to its most extreme. In this article, I will go through some of the top lenses for Nikon cameras if you want to take pictures at night, including information about their low-light performance and depth of field. I cover 20 lenses in this article, so it’s pretty extensive — hopefully, you’ll learn something new about the equipment you need in order to capture good star and nighttime landscape photos.
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.