How to improve your landscape photography. Part One
Hey guys, welcome to a new series I am going put up over the next month, How to improve your landscape photography. I’ve had a lot of questions from friends lately about what makes a great landscape image and what they can do on their next travels so that they come home with images worth hanging up on the walls.
Well there are many aspects which go into making a striking landscape image and over the next month or two I am going to touch on the important ones to remember to help you capture that moment.
Today we are going to cover what I think is perhaps the most important aspect of a good landscape and that is lighting.
Let me introduce you to Golden Light.
I know it sounds mysterious and fancy but really all golden light refers to is the hour or so before the sun sets and after it rises. You see when the sun is at its lowest it creates a great atmosphere where the colours in a landscape really pop and are richer than when the sun is high. Shooting landscapes, or any photos for that matter around mid day tend to leave colours washed out. Of course sometimes this is unavoidable.Obviously if I have hiked for four days to Machu Picchu and arrive at 9am and have missed to golden light I will still take the shot since I am never going to be there again.
Times of golden light also bring out the textures in rocks, paths and vegetation giving a greater depth to the landscape and consequently your photos. A good way to explore the power of this little trick is to go to one of your favourite spots in your town, say the beach or the hills. Make a day of it and take the same photo early morning, mid day and late afternoon and notice the changes in each image. I think you would agree the morning and afternoon shots have more atmosphere to them.
As you can see in the photos above, when the lighting is right you can get a real atmospheric glow popping off objects and if you are really lucky may even be able to capture those rays of light shooting through trees etc. Notice how shadows also come into play here and help objects stand out from each other and provide greater depth and interest to the images.
Now obviously this hour or two before sunset and after sunrise doesn’t always fit the busy schedule of a traveller but is worth remembering when you plan your trip or your flights and bus rides. Think about when you will be arriving at that amazing national park or visiting Iguazu Falls. Try to plan for an extra day at your ‘must see’ destinations so that you will be able to photograph either early morning or late afternoon. You will be pleasantly surprised at the difference this little trick makes to your photography.