To guarantee sharp shots of static subjects, using a tripod is essential, because it enables you to set any shutter speed you like and still get a shake-free shot. You’re then free to select the aperture you want to ensure maximum sharpness. To help you along we’ve compiled 9 practical tips you should know when using a tripod to ensure that you get the images you want.
There’s more to using a tripod than attaching the camera and firing away. Whether you’re using a budget model or an all-singing, all-dancing carbon-fibre tripod, there are some simple techniques you should use to get the best possible results.
One of the key ways to make the tripod as stable as possible is to use the strongest, most stable parts first. So use the thickest leg sections when initially setting the height. You should only raise the tripod’s centre column once you have used all of the leg sections.
Your digital camera’s histogram, or exposure chart, offers the most reliable indication of exposure, as it illustrates the range of tones in a landscape shot, from dark shadows on the far left through to bright highlights on the far right.
But there’s no ‘perfect’ histogram. Each landscape scene you shoot is made up of a different blend of tones, and the shape of the histogram will reflect this.
Poor shadow detail can be a real problem when shooting in high-contrast scenes – especially if your subject is backlit and you’re exposing for the highlights. It’s possible to ‘bracket’ your exposures and combine multiple images taken with different settings in Photoshop to get the exposure spot on, but if your subject might move, even slightly, that’s not an option.
Fortunately, there’s more than one solution to the problem of poor shadow detail. Here are some of the best ways to add a little light into your images’ dark, shadow areas, and reveal hidden detail that will instantly illuminate even the trickiest of shots.
Waterfall pictures are some of the most satisfying subjects you can shoot with your digital camera. However, the fast moving water throws up some challenges for photographers.
Often, exposures end up disappointing – you may have set the wrong shutter speed, for instance, and won’t get the traditional blurred-water effect in your waterfall pictures. Other times the exposure ends up being too dark or light, due to having to cope with the combination of dark rocks and bright, foamy moving water.
Panoramic photos are a great way to showcase sweeping landscapes. By shooting a series of overlapping images and combining them on your computer, you can take in a much wider angle of view. This technique also means you don’t need an expensive wide-angle lens – your 18-55mm standard lens is fine.
This photo stitching technique is much better than taking a wide-angle shot and simply cropping it because it produces a picture with a much higher resolution. Stitching photos together in this way might sound complicated, but it’s not. All you need is a tripod and Photoshop Elements or higher. We’ve used Elements because it has a Photomerge Panorama tool that makes stitching photos really easy.
What is hyperfocal distance? Hyperfocal focusing is a specialised application of depth of field theory that’s perfectly suited to landscape photography. Calculating hyperfocal distance actually quite simple to get your head around.
When managing depth of field, you need to think in terms of the zone of sharp focus as a distance range, from the near limit (the closest object that will appear sharp) to the far limit (the farthest). With hyperfocal focusing, you place the far limit at infinity, and this automatically maximises the depth of field available.
A lot of cool images and fun technique ideas pass through our inboxes, but rarely do they come with such punning potential.
If you think the annual pancake toss is flipping boring, why not avoid all the usual crepe and take a page out of your cookbook.
The lone element in a minimalist landscape is hardly a new device. Popularised by the great painter and printmaker Edward Hopper, known for his solitary figures interacting with their environment, this great device has carried over into photography – particularly landscape photography.
For landscape photographers, using a single tree as a point of interest in your photos can be a great way to add drama and scale to your images. But how can you follow this great tradition and take pictures of trees on their own that stand out from all the others?
Below we offer 10 great tips for making your pictures of lone trees more creative.
Coastal landscapes are some of the most popular subjects to shoot at any time of the year, thanks to their enormous creative potential. Bad weather means added drama, and the endless push of the tide means plenty of opportunity to hone your skills at long exposures.
Top landscape photographer Guy Edwardes shares his top ten landscape photography tips for shooting watery scenes.