Dawn & Dusk
The favorite time to shoot landscapes for most photographers is during the wee or final hours of the day. Light is the most important element in a perfect shot that allows us to convey the beauty of scenery and these early and late shots tend to be at their most dramatic at their peak.
In addition, keep these points in mind:
Give your images added warmth be selecting the Cloudy or Shade White Balance settings.
Arrive at least 30 mins – 1 hour before sunrise or sunset to find the best viewpoint.
Use a tripod. Shutter speeds are slower at dawn & dusk so you will need extra support.
To enhance the golden hour effect, use a small aperture like f/16.
For sunset shots, hang around even after the sun has set. The colors that follow are amazingly beautiful.
Carry a torch with you especially if you’re shooting sunrise shots in an open field. It will be dark at 5 a.m.
If your SLR have a built in horizon feature, this is very useful when shooting in low light.
Ahh, mist…a landscape photographer’s dream. It transforms a scene and adds mystery plus mood to photos. An early start is a must as misty weather often comes and goes in a blink of an eye, just before and after sunrise.
To create depth, include a foreground subject as a primary focal point.
In misty shots, colors and subjects are less defined while disguising distractions and draw attention to key features.
Consider adding some contrast during image processing to avoid flat and lifeless results.
Radiation fog – occurs during clear, still nights – creates the most photogenic misty shot.
Bookmark weather websites or download apps to forecast the weather and check visibility.
Set your alarm early and allows plenty of time to locate your shooting point and set up.
Try heading to a hilly region as low-lying mist looks best viewed from above, with the trees and buildings rising above the layers.
Now that you’ve got fair weather down pat, it’s time to think of the other side of the spectrum – storms. Bad weather can actually produce some amazing shots as it is the best condition for shooting mood and drama. Picture this: Threatening rain clouds creating a dramatic backdrop especially if you’re in the wild open field with rugged mountains at a distance.
Practice adjusting the key shooting parameters such as ISO rating, f/number, exposure etc so you can focus on getting the composition and light perfect on shoot.
The best time to head out is when you see a forecast of rainfall and sunshine at the same time.
Be prepared to get wet! Protect yourself and your camera kit when heading out.
If luck is on your side, you might even catch a rainbow! Always look in the opposite direction of the sun and compose your shots carefully.
Using a polarized filter helps as it will enhance the colors of the rainbow when rotated correctly.
Great landscape shots should ignite an emotional response from viewers and communicate a certain feeling – peacefulness, loneliness or an overall calming effect. The key to capturing mood is to pick the right day and location – as is all landscape photography, but the real secret is to be fully prepared for when the “mood” arrives.