SLR Digital Photography for Beginners
Focusing on Landscape Photography
The art of landscape photography allows us to capture nature at its finest – a moment in time that only happens once. It provides such a wide variety of interesting subjects as we discover nature’s palette and the innumerable creations around us. We can immortalize a moment and enjoy it for a lifetime. As you learn about nature photography and begin your new venture, here are some tips that can certainly improve your skills and increase your passion for your photos of landscapes.
Start with a camera:
To begin, purchase a simple camera and lens. As you learn more and gain experience you may want to graduate to a more expensive camera. As you practice, you will learn the direction you want to pursue in landscape photography and that will determine the equipment you will need. So for now, keep it simple. You don’t have to start with the best digital camera. I recommend starting with an SLR digital camera. These cameras have a lot of bells and whistles on them and take some time to learn. As you practice, experiment with the settings and learn what your camera is capable of. Understanding the functions of your camera will improve your ability to take interesting and more professional photos.
Consider two lenses:
First consider a wide-angle zoom lens. A wide-angle lens provides different features than a standard lens. It captures a wider area of view than a standard lens and has a focal length (the distance from the lens to the point of focus) of less than 50 mm. Since you will often find wide areas in the landscape, this lens is essential.
Next consider a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens can have a focal length ranging between 80 and 400 mm giving the ability to focus in on any specific element of the landscape and allowing greater flexibility. The long focal length creates a narrow perspective allowing you to focus on a specific element and eliminating other elements within the framework of the photo you are creating.
Consider a tripod:
When using a slow shutter speed, any movement can cause motion blur and you will lose the sharpness of the photo. In capturing low-light subjects, night photography, stormy weather photos, a slow shutter speed is necessary and a tripod will keep your photo sharp eliminating any movement of the camera.
Learn the rules of composition:
The most common used rule of composition is the rule of thirds. While composing the photograph, in your mind’s eye draw two imaginary lines equally spaced horizontally across the framed area of the photo. Then draw two equally spaced lines vertically. This gives you a grid of nine equal sections. Place your focal point at two intersecting lines to create balance and make the photo aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Incorporate other elements of your photo using this grid.
The best times to shoot are the early morning and near twilight. At this time of day, the colors are richer and the shadows are softer. A camera records light creating patterns that create interest in the photo. It is important to understand how light affects the photo, so a thorough study of light is essential to good photography.
The outline of objects in the photo creates the lines that move the eye of the viewer around and through the photo. The psychology of lines teaches us that horizontal lines creates a sense of calmness and constancy, vertical lines a sense of power, and diagonal lines a sense of action. Use the lines in your photo to support the mood you are trying to create.
Now you have enough of the basics to begin. Continue to research and learn. Think outside the box and experiment with new ideas. Display your pictures of landscape so you can enjoy them as well as others. Create your own gallery and be proud of your work. Try black and white photography when capturing your landscapes for a completely interesting and different creation and for a great study of light.
May your passion grow and your knowledge enlarge as you blaze your own trail to a new and exciting endeavor.