Take your landscape photography to the next level by listening to Joe Fitzpatrick’s advice. He walks us through how to choose the image to take, how to choose the right lens, and how to keep the landscape super sharp (several tips here). He explains hyper-focal distance and the art of creating depth in your images.
*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*
Top Tips for Landscape Photography
with Joe Fitzpatrick
Creating a Great Landscape
- Approach the scene.
Walk around without your gear.
Find the subject you want to emphasize.
“In the Everglades, the clouds are our mountains. Look for dramatic skies and reflections to enhance the scene.”
- Look at different angles and perspectives.
Look at the relationships between foreground and background objects.
“What determines the perspective is not the focal length of the lens, it’s the distance between where the camera is and each object.”
- Frame the scene and choose your lens.
How much of the scene you wish to include in the frame?
Use wide lenses (16-35mm) for larger views or longer lenses (200-400mm) to compress distance.
Use a good, steady tripod with a remote shutter release.
Set your aperture to f/8 or f/11 (f/8 is a “sweet spot” for landscapes with most lenses)
Set ISO at 100, if breezy switch to ISO 200 to freeze foliage.
Focus about one third of the way into the scene.
“It needs to be sharp where it’s expected to be sharp.”
- Create depth.
Use objects in the foreground, midground, and background to create depth and lead the viewer through the scene.
Avoid “building a wall” with your foreground. Allow a space for the viewer to enter the image.
Aim to shoot during the “golden hour” for best light.
– Morning and evening light has a great warm color. (This warmth can also be created in Photo Shop.)
– The angle of the light creates distinct shadows that help mold and give shape to define your subject and create interest, drama, and enhance textures.
– Gives a softer, more diffuse light that’s great for water features.
– Look for subjects that are enhanced by harsher shadows. (cityscapes, buildings or other structures)
“Learn to be flexible and look for other opportunities if the light or weather doesn’t cooperate.”
Mentioned on the show
Episode #103 Satesh Ramjattan – Long Exposures
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Gear Recommendation of the Week
The Sirui K-30x Ball Head is an extremely sturdy head with control knobs for pan, tilt, and tension, plus an Arca-style clamp for the included quick-release plate. The pan, tilt, and quick-release knobs are all separate, while the tension knob is integrated into the ball-locking (tilt) knob. The head tilts 90 for portrait orientation, and the quick-release plate has a rubberized surface that prevents camera twist when it’s tilted 90.