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.
The most fundamental part of taking good landscape photos is knowing what landscape photography is in the first place. I’m not talking about dictionary definitions here, either — what matters is how it works in practice. So, what is landscape photography, and why is it so amazing?
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.
If you have not heard yet, tonight, we will experience something truly magical – the supermoon of a lifetime! That’s right, the moon will be unusually close to our planet at 356,500 km, so close that we will not see another approach like that all the way until 2034! The size of the moon will be 14% larger than typical full moon. The so called “perigee moon” will coincide will the full moon, making it appear not only unusually large, but also unusually bright (up to 30% brighter than usual). Make sure to be prepared to capture this event, since it is such a unique, potentially once-in-a-lifetime moment! In this article, we have gathered all the important bits of information you will need to capture the supermoon, so read on and let us know if you are planning to do 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.
Landscape photographers often deal with the dilemma of choosing between different types and brands of neutral density and graduated neutral density filters for use in high-contrast situations such as sunrise and sunset, where their cameras might not have enough dynamic range to be able to capture the entire scene. While we are not going to go over each and every brand to see which one performs better, we do want to show the difference in sharpness between glass and resin filters. For this particular test, we used three 0.6 (2 stop) filters from three different manufacturers – NiSi (glass filter), Lee (resin) and HiTech (resin). The latter two are probably the two brands that are used the most among photographers in the field.
Don’t worry folks, I’m not really back. This is just a random post on the fly. The new Olympus EM-1 Mark II has apparently been tested in Iceland recently by various review sites and as I was (coincidentally) recently in Iceland myself shooting with the four year old E-M5 Mark I, I thought I might demonstrate that one might not need the latest and greatest gear to return half decent images.