Landscape Photography Lightroom Presets
When shooting landscapes, I always look for great color and contrast. This is one of the reasons that so many landscape shots are taken in the early morning or during sunset. The light is much more vibrant and colorful at these times of day and adds a sense of drama to an image. You can help boost this effect, especially in the less-than-golden hours of the day, by using the Landscape picture style (Figure 7.10). Just as in the Landscape mode found in the Basic zone, you can set up your landscape Using the Landscape picture style can add sharpness and more vivid color to skies and vegetation. Using the Landscape picture style can add sharpness and more vivid color to skies and vegetation.
TIPS, TOOLS, AND TECHNIQUES TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY There has always been something about shooting landscapes that has brought a sense of joy to my photography. It might have something to do with being outdoors and working at the mercy of Mother Nature. Maybe it's the way it challenges me to visualize the landscape and try to capture it with my camera. It truly is a celebration of light, composition, and the world we live in. In this chapter, we will explore some of the features of the T2i that not only improve the look of your landscape photography, but also make it easier to take great shots. We will also explore some typical scenarios and discuss methods to bring out the best in your landscape work.
Although many think of landscape or nature photography as a relaxed and slow type of experience, which it certainly can be, chasing the light is always an adventure, not to mention the physical work often involved in getting to the right location. Particularly during the golden hours of dawn and dusk, the light is changing second by second. You can go through a world of lighting in 20 to 30 minutes, from deep dawn to sunrise and then to bright sky, or from sunset through darkening dusk and into night. Thus, strong skill sets are required in terms of knowing your gear and having the ability to operate quickly.
Photographing landscapes and nature requires high levels of both creative and technical skills to create compositions that are dynamic and evocative of the mood of the scene, and that adequately capture the extremes of light and shadow. The challenge of outdoor photography is in capturing and conveying to the viewer the essence of a scene without the aid of chirping birds, the smell of clover, and the warm breeze of a late spring day. Compositional The quality of light plays a starring role in nature photography. Sunrise and sunset provide singularly rich color, and the low angles of the sun create long shadows, adding a sense of depth to landscapes. But also take advantage of the full range of atmospheric conditions, such as fog, which adds a sense of mystery overcast light, which enriches colors and rain and dew, which dapple foliage with fascinating patterns of water droplets. For landscapes, you may want to try the Landscape Picture Style, which delivers vivid blues and greens and...
EiiiiSk As you might have guessed, Landscape mode has been optimized for gp1 shooting landscape images. Particular emphasis is placed on the picture style, with the camera trying to boost the greens and blues in the image (Figure 3.3). This makes sense, since the typical landscape would be outdoors where grass, trees, and skies should look more colorful. This picture style also boosts the sharpness that is applied during processing. The camera also utilizes the lowest ISO settings possible in order to keep digital noise to a minimum. The downfall to this setting is that, once again, there is no control over any settings other than the file type and the ability to use the self-timer in 10-second mode. This type of scene just calls out for the Landscape mode. The small aperture helps achieve a greater depth of field. This type of scene just calls out for the Landscape mode. The small aperture helps achieve a greater depth of field.
The first step in selecting interchangeable lenses is to develop a clear idea of the kinds of subjects you want to photograph. For example, if you do a lot of traveling, a single, versatile zoom lens is the practical choice. Telephotos or super telephotos are appropriate for sports, wildlife, or birds both a wide-angle and a telephoto are necessary for landscape photography. A macro lens is almost indispensable when it comes to shooting plants, flowers, or insects. Most people don't limit themselves to photographing only one type of subject, however. They want enough flexibility in their lens system to take shots of the family, travel scenery, sports events, and other subjects. To achieve this flexibility, it's a good idea to start by assembling a basic lens system.
Providing specific capture settings for landscape photography is tricky because there's no single best approach to capturing a beautiful stretch of countryside, a city skyline, or other vast subject. Take depth of field, for example One person's idea of a super cityscape might be to keep all buildings in the scene sharply focused. But another photographer might prefer to shoot the same scene so that a foreground building is sharply focused while the others are less so, thus drawing the eye to that first building. You can also use the Landscape mode to achieve a large depth of field. In this mode, the camera automatically selects a high f-stop number, but you have no control over the exact value (or any other picture-taking settings.) Of course, if the light is dim, the camera may be forced to open the aperture, reducing depth of field, to properly expose the image. Figure 7-8 Use a high f-stop value (or Landscape mode) to keep foreground and background sharply focused. Figure 7-8 Use...
Throughout the previous chapters we have concentrated on using the camera to create great images. We will continue that trend through this chapter, but there is one additional piece of equipment that is crucial in the world of landscape shooting the tripod. Tripods are critical to your landscape work for a couple of reasons. The first relates to the time of day that you will be working. For reasons that will be explained later, the best light for most landscape work happens at sunrise and just before sunset. While this is the best time to shoot, it's also kind of dark. That means you'll be working with slow shutter speeds. Slow shutter speeds mean camera shake. Camera shake equals bad photos. The second reason is also related to the amount of light that you're gathering with your camera. When taking landscape photos, you will usually want to be working with very small apertures, as they give you lots of depth of field (DOF). This also means that, once again, you will be working with...
No, because the first four chapters give you the basic information that you need to know about your camera. These are the building blocks for using the camera. After that, yes, you can move around the book as you see fit because those chapters are written to stand on their own as guides to specific types of photography or shooting situations. So you can bounce from portraits to shooting landscapes and then maybe to a little action photography. It's all about your needs and how you want to address them. Or, you can read it straight through. The choice is up to you.
The Exposure Compensation and Program Shift controls are both great ways to control exposure, but there will be times when you'll want more direct control. Shutter and Aperture Priority let you select specific shutter speeds or apertures and leave the camera on those settings. So, for example, if you're shooting landscapes and know that you're going to want a deep depth of field all day long, you can set the camera on Aperture Priority, dial in f 11, and be assured that every shot will be taken with that aperture. Or, if you're shooting a sporting event and know that you want lots of motion-stopping power, you can select Shutter Priority and set the shutter speed to something quick, like 1 1000th of a second.
When shooting landscapes, set your ISO to the lowest possible setting at all times. Between the use of image stabilization lenses (if you are shooting handheld) and a good tripod, there should be few circumstances where you would need to shoot landscapes with anything above an ISO of 400.
During midday hours, the warm and cool colors of light equalize to create a light that the human eye sees as white or neutral. On a cloudless day, midday light is often considered too harsh and contrasty for landscape shooting and produces flat and lifeless results. However, midday light is effective for photographing images of graphic shadow patterns, architecture, flower petals and leaves made translucent by backlighting from the sun, and natural and man-made structures.
Landscape mode does the exact opposite from Portrait mode. It uses a smaller aperture (bigger number) to increase depth of field. This will usually result in a slower shutter speed. When the shutter speed drops below what the camera thinks is appropriate for handholding the camera at your current focal length, then it will flash the shutter speed readout as a warning.
As discussed in Chapter 4, A-DEP is what I would refer to as an advanced automatic mode. The camera evaluates the distance of objects in the viewfinder and then determines the proper aperture setting to render everything in focus. It is automatic because it requires no input from the camera operator, but it is advanced because it is not just trying to select the maximum aperture as with the Landscape mode in the Basic zone.
There is nothing as timeless as a beautiful black and white landscape photo. For many, it is the purest form of photography. The genre conjures up thoughts of Ansel Adams out in Yosemite Valley, capturing stunning monoliths with his 8x10 view camera. Well, just because you are shooting with a digital camera doesn't mean you can't create your own stunning photos using the power of the Monochrome picture style. (See the Classic Black and White Portraits section of Chapter 6 for instructions on setting up this feature.) Not only can you shoot in black and white, you can also apply built-in filters to lighten or darken different elements within your scene, as well as add contrast and definition. Other options in the Monochrome picture style enable you to adjust the sharpness, contrast, and even add some color toning to the final image. This information is also in the Classic Black and White Portraits section of Chapter 6. I like to have Sharpness set to 5 and Contrast set to 1 for my...
Depth of field shallow with, 115 high magnification with, 115, 116 for outdoor photography, 172 overview, 115 NANPA (North American Nature Photography diffused, 179-182 early morning to midday, 178 predawn and sunrise, 177-178 sunset, twilight, and dusk, 178-179 Nature Photographer Magazine, 170 Nature Photographers Online Magazine, 170 nature photography. See landscape, nature, and travel DiG C 4 image processor reduction of, 16 long-exposure noise-reduction, 43, 54, 91 nonlinear, defined, 250 normal lens or zoom setting, 250 normal lenses, 114, 220 North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), 170 Outdoor Photographer Magazine, 170 outdoor photography. See landscape, nature, and carry-on regulations, 171 outdoor photography, 171-174 portrait photography, 190-192 security checkpoint regulations, 171 sports, concert, and event photography, Monochrome, applying Alter or toning effects, 85 for outdoor photography, 174-175, 181 overview, 78-80
White balance bracketing is handy when you don't know which bias will give the most pleasing color, or when you don't have time to set a manual white balance bias. The bracketed sequence gives you a set of three images from which to choose the most visually pleasing color. If you're shooting JPEG capture in Creative Zone modes and use the Standard, Portrait, or Landscape Picture Styles, bracketing can be a good choice to reduce color-correction time on the computer. White balance bracketing also reduces the maximum burst by one-third.
Take your camera outside for some landscape and macro work. First, find a nice scene and then, with your widest available lens, take some pictures using Landscape mode and then switch back to Full Auto so that you can compare the settings used for each image as well as the changes to colors and sharpness. Now, while you are still outside, find something in the foreground a leaf or a flower and switch the camera to Close-up mode. See how close you can get and take note of the f-stop that the mode uses. Then switch to Full Auto and shoot the same subject.
For full-time landscape and nature shooting, having the camera set up in advance for your favorite settings saves time and ensures that the camera is always ready for common shooting scenarios and for using bracketed images for composites, if that's your preference. Table 4.11 suggests a combination of functions and options for landscape and nature photography.
Deleting current image, 7, 9 Disp. (Display) button, 7-8 focus verification, 52 histogram display, 45-46 polarizing filter, 253 portfolios, stock photography, 225 portrait photography guidelines, 210-216 Landscape mode, 26-27 midday lighting conditions, 123 Night Portrait mode, 29 Partial metering mode, 36-37 Portrait mode, 25-26 shallow depth of field, 117-118 Spot metering mode, 37-38 telephoto lenses, 156 Portrait Picture Style Picture Style adjustment, 76 scale, nature landscape photography, 205 school portraits, backgrounds props, 211 screen colors, LCD display, 108 scrim, diffused lighting, 124-125 SD SDHC media cards. See media cards security, travel photography, 229 self portraits, 10-second self-timer mode, 53-54 Self-timer lamp architectural interior photography, 190 nature landscape photography, 205 sensitivity, exposure factor, 112, 113-115 sensors AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing), 42 Close-up mode, 27 Flash-off mode, 29 Full Auto mode, 25 Landscape mode, 27 Night Portrait...
Landscape photographers especially will appreciate the new Live View mode, where with a push of the button to the left of the viewfinder, the scene before your lens appears on the 3-inch LCD. For compositional assistance, you can overlay a Rule of Thirds grid with 9 or 24 boxes. I also really like the new auto-adjusting LCD backlight. This auto-adjusting backlight works great in bright sun and lowers the brightness of the LCD at night. You can also manually adjust the brightness level of the LCD if you prefer. Couple the 5D Mark II in Live View mode with one of the TS (tilt shift) lenses or a Lensbaby, and you're nearing large format view-camera functionality and workability. Ansel Adams would be so proud
The Basic Zone shooting modes are grouped together on one side of the Mode dial. They are the modes denoted by pictorial icons and by a green rectangle. The icons depict commonly photographed scenes or subjects. For example, the mountain icon denotes Landscape mode and gives exposure settings that provide acceptable sharpness from back to front in the image. To do this, the XSi 450D sets a narrow aperture (large f-stop number) based on the light to provide an extensive depth of field. Each of the other settings makes simi
Wide-angle lenses can display a large depth of field, which allows you to keep the foreground and background in sharp focus. This makes them very useful for landscape photography. They also work well in tight spaces, such as indoors, where there isn't much elbow-room available (Figure 2.4). They can also be handy for large group shots but due to the amount of distortion, not so great for close-up portrait work.
If you're doing nature photography of wild animals or are stalking wild celebrities for a tabloid and need to use flash photography across great distances, you might consider a flash extender, such as the Better Beamer. These accessories are simply plastic Fresnel lenses you can attach to your flash unit's head with tape or velcro. They concentrate the light much like a zooming head and give you an extra couple stops of light, at the cost of coverage area. They're only really useful, therefore, when using very long telephoto lenses - say, 300mm or so or longer. Michael Reichmann's Luminous Landscape Web site has some example photos of how this works, and Arthur Morris' Birds as Art site sells them.
Additional Considerations Architectural and some landscape shooting are where the Rebel's 1.6x focal length conversion factor work against you. Having an ultra-wide lens such as the EF-S 10-22mm f 3.5-4.5 USM helps close the gap between the Rebel's cropped sensor and a full-frame sensor. Zoom lenses are helpful in isolating only the architectural details you want while excluding extraneous objects such as street signs. If you use a wide-angle lens and want to avoid distortion, keep the camera on a level plane with the building and avoid tilting the camera up or down. Alternately, you can use a tilt-and-shift lens, or you can correct lens distortion in Adobe Photoshop.
Well, why not The T2i is incredibly easy to use. The initial steps, including charging the battery, mounting a lens, attaching a neck strap, and inserting a Secure Digital memory card aren't exactly rocket science. Every control you need to use to begin snapping pictures is nestled on the top surface, to the right of the viewfinder. There's an On Off switch, the shutter release button, and a large Mode Dial that includes an Auto position labeled with a green icon, Creative Auto (CA), plus six other helpful Basic Zone icons picturing a lightning bolt with the symbol for NO drawn through it (no flash mode), a human profile (Portrait mode), a mountain (Landscape mode), blooming flower (Close-up mode), a dashing speedster (Sports mode), a human under nighttime illumination (Night Scenes), and, finally, an icon that looks suspiciously like an Unexpected needs. Perhaps you planned to shoot landscapes one weekend, and then are given free front-row tickets to a Major League Soccer game....
This option is particularly handy when you don't know which bias might give the most pleasing color and when you don't have time to set a manual white balance bias. The bracketed sequence gives you a set of three images from which to choose the most visually pleasing color. If you're shooting JPEG and use the Standard, Portrait, or Landscape Picture Style, bracketing can be a good choice to reducing post-processing time.
I use autoexposure bracketing a lot, so I want that in there. I also want to be able to quickly format the card, and I like having flash exposure compensation when using the onboard flash. Because I do a lot of low-light landscape photography from a tripod, I like having mirror lockup easily accessible. Finally, though I shoot raw 99 of the time, for the few times when I want JPEG, it's nice to have easy access to the Quality menu.
When working in soft light, consider using a telephoto lens and or a flash to help create separation between the subject and the background. Soft light is usually well suited for portraits and macro shots, but soft light from an overcast sky is less than ideal for travel and landscape photography. In these cases, look for strong details and bold colors, and avoid including an overcast sky in the photo.
The lens covers a range from 24mm with the striking perspective effect of a wide-angle lens to 105mm, which is suitable for medium zoom portraiture and landscape photography. This is a standard zoom lens able to handle a broad range of photographic expression including impressive wide-angle shots that emphasise perspective by approaching the subject so that it fills the frame, standard photography with a similar definition to the human eye and medium telephoto shots that highlight the expressions of people by adding a beautiful blur to the background. In addition to achieving the high image quality typical of L-series lenses, the lens incorporates an image stabilizing mechanism effective for counteracting the effects of camera shake by approximately three shutter speed steps, enabling users to pursue subjects without missing any photo opportunities. Moreover, it offers excellent durability and weather resistance due to a highly dust-proof and
When the XTi is set to one of the Basic Zone modes (except for Landscape, Sports, or Flash Off modes), the built-in flash will pop up when needed to provide extra illumination in low-light situations, or when your subject matter is backlit and could benefit from some fill flash. The flash doesn't pop up in Landscape mode because the flash doesn't have enough reach to have much effect for pictures of distant vistas in any case nor does the flash pop up automatically in Sports mode, because you'll often want to use shutter speeds faster than 1 200th second and or be shooting subjects that are out of flash range. Pop-up flash is disabled in Flash Off mode for obvious reasons. If you happen to be shooting a landscape photo and do want to use flash (say, to add some illumination to a subject that's closer to the camera), or you want flash with your sports photos, or you don't want the flash popping up all the time when using one of the other Basic Zone modes, switch to an appropriate...
Landscape increases the sharpness that's applied to the image so as to bring finer detail to landscape scenery. Landscape style also boosts green and blue tones to create richer skies and more vivid foliage. This style is automatically selected when you choose Landscape shooting mode.
Landscape mode is meant for normal or wide perspective shots of distant horizons. Cameras set in this mode will default to an aperture somewhere in the middle of the lens' range, giving you some depth of field (it's not usually necessary to shoot landscapes for maximum depth of field) (FIG 5.6). The light meter will default to its Evaluative setting, which means that the camera will meter the entire scene, but give emphasis to the area where the camera has chosen to focus. Should you decide you want to lock your focus and recompose, hold the shutter button halfway down, then reframe and shoot. Landscape mode may be used for interiors, too FIG 5.7). Please note that exposure information will not lock or store in the camera's memory unless the shutter button remains half-pressed. Also, critical focus is almost never possible in any of the Basic Zone modes because the camera is always set to automatic focus point selection. The camera will choose what it wants to focus on you don't get...
You're photographing a landscape, the Landscape mode automatically sets classic exposure settings for this type of scene. The advantage of these modes is that you don't have to understand exposure or set any controls except the Mode dial. The downside is that the camera takes full control, which means that you can't set the focus point where you want, you cannot change any exposure settings, and the camera automatically fires the flash in some modes. These modes are a handy way to get started using the 40D and get classic photographic looks.
A lens with a focal length under 35mm is characterized as a wide-angle lens because at that focal length, the camera has a wide angle of view and produces a long depth of field, making it good for landscape photography. A short focal length also has the effect of making objects seem smaller and farther away. At the other end of the spectrum, a lens with a focal length longer than 80mm is considered a telephoto lens and often referred to as a long lens. With a long lens, angle of view narrows, depth of field decreases, and faraway subjects appear closer
In Continuous, the camera continually takes photographs at about three frames per second until you release the button. You will probably want to use this setting for capturing action. The third setting available here is the Self-Timer option. Using this setting allows you to depress the shutter button and have the camera automatically fire 10 seconds later. The obvious use for this setting is to run around and get yourself in the picture. You might also consider using it for macro (close-up) or landscape photography, when you can set your camera on a tripod or a stable surface. The self-timer will let you take the picture without having to worry about camera shake from physically having your hands on the camera while activating the shutter.
In Live View mode, photographers have the choice of straight viewing or overlaying a nine-box Rule of Thirds grid or a 24-box grid to aid in composition. Architectural and landscape photographers have long grown accustomed to these optical features by purchasing special focusing screens for their cameras but now have the option of stepping back from the camera and contemplating the scene as it might appear as a print or Web image and then line up important elements to complement the rectangular frame in Live View. Although the grid disappears from the LCD monitor when shooting video, you can use the grid to compose a scene. This is truly groundbreaking because now you can approach this 35mm dSLR much like a 4 x 5 view camera (only the image is right-side up) and contemplate and compose the whole scene from a distance, the way it used to be. Rule of Thirds placement of critical subjects now becomes intuitive by utilizing the overlay grids.
Large landscape scenes are great fun to photograph, but they can present a problem where exactly do you focus when you want everything to be sharp Since our goal is to create a great landscape photo, we will need to concentrate on how to best create an image that is tack sharp, with a depth of field that renders great focus throughout the scene. I have already stressed the importance of a good tripod when shooting landscapes. The tripod lets you concentrate on the aperture portion of the exposure without worrying how long your shutter will be open. This is because the tripod provides the stability to handle any shutter speed you might need when shooting at small apertures. I find that for most of my landscape work I set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and the ISO to 100 (for a clean, noise-free image).
In fact, there are many times you'll want to decouple metering from focusing. Conservatively, I'd say that I use AE Lock for 98 percent of my outdoor photography and for at least half of my on-location portraits. In practical use, I combine AE Lock with Evaluative metering and manual AF-point selection when exposing to maintain fine detail in a bride's wedding dress, to retain highlight detail in macro and nature shots (although, if you composite multiple
If you ask any professional landscape photographer what their favorite time of day to shoot is, chances are they will tell you it's the hours surrounding daybreak and sunset (Figures 7.14 and 7.15). The reason for this is that the light is coming from a very low angle to the landscape, which creates shadows and gives depth and character. There is also a quality to the light that seems cleaner and is more colorful than the light you get when shooting at midday. One thing that can dramatically improve any morning or evening shot is the presence of clouds. The sun will fill the underside of the clouds with a palette of colors and add drama to your skies.
The Basic Zone modes do allow for creative cheating. For instance, each mode will allow the lens to focus over its entire range, which means that you could focus on a close object even though you're in Landscape mode. The information that's most critical to your choice of mode is the relationship between the shutter speed and aperture that each mode provides by default.
Here you see a landscape image from Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Landscape Picture Style applied. This Picture Style emphasizes overall color balance throughout the image, instead of color correction. Notice how the image's contrast, color tone (hue), and color density (saturation) are well balanced between the road, trees, vegetation, and sky. Taken with an EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 70-200mm f 2.8L lens, ISO 400, 1 3 second at f 32.
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