The way I see it, sand dunes are among the most wonderful places in the world. They’re the very definition of a windswept landscape — the product of our planet’s most fundamental forces. They also exist all over the world, from coastal regions to deserts that span entire continents. It’s no wonder that photographers love the dunes so much. Below, I’ll offer some of my top tips for photographing sand dunes and getting incredible images.
There’s a reason why landscape photographers like waking up at 4AM and hiking out to the middle of nowhere. (Or, at the very least, there’s a reason why we tolerate it.) Are you a morning person? I’m not. But — countless times — I’ve stood by my tripod as the sun rises, watching the morning light illuminate a beautiful landscape. And that’s the reason. It’s all about the light. If you can get this one right, your photos will be spectacular. So, what are some of the things you can do to find good light?
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?
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.
Another year is over and it is that time of the new year when many of us go back and assess our personal successes and failures of the past year. While 2016 was surely an eventful year, we should be grateful to be alive and well, as many were not as fortunate. We have seen a number of both positive and negative changes that affected the world we live in today and how we will be living it in the future. But let’s not focus on the bad – after-all, keeping positive attitude and encouraging healthy, proactive thinking always leads to more fruitful results, especially in the long run. 2016 was a very busy year in the world of photography as well – a lot of new cameras, lenses and gadgets were announced. Nikon finally revealed the long-awaited Nikon D500 and D5 DSLRs, while Canon updated two of its high-end DSLRs with the Canon 5D Mark IV and the 1 DX Mark II. Pentax finally brought us the amazing full-frame K-1. Fuji, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Sigma have all been keeping busy as well, but the two that definitely stole the show last year were Fuji and Hasselblad, releasing “budget” interchangeable lens medium format mirrorless cameras – the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fujifilm GFX 50S, both under the $10K price tag. And when it comes to lenses, we have seen a slew of different lenses for all kinds of needs from all manufacturers, with so many great third party options. I have been barely able to keep up with all these announcements and although I have done my best to produce as many reviews as I possibly can, all the travel and projects I have been involved with ate up the bulk of my time, shifting my priorities significantly. I am grateful for all these opportunities, but above all, I am incredibly thankful for the amazing and patient community of readers and followers of this very site, which has been steadily growing year after year. But enough of this mumbo jumbo, let’s take a look at some of my most favorite photos from 2016!
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.
To culminate more than a year of work, Spencer and I are very excited to announce the release of our first eBook, Creative Landscape Photography: Light, Vision, and Composition. This 149-page Level 3 book dives into the creative side of landscape photography, including everything from finding subjects to composing difficult scenes. There are some exciting details below, so we encourage you to keep reading: