A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post with 10 tips to improving your landscape photography. Well I have another 6!
Before you go to a location do some research. Work out where you want to go and when you want to be there. Use apps such as Photo Pills, Stellarium, WIlly Weather and Tides AUS to find out important info like tide height, milky way location, and where the sun rises and sets. This all helps to choose the right time of year to visit and the right places to shoot while you’re there. The more prepared you are, the higher chance that your images will be of a higher quality.
Keep that tripod still
You have found your killer location and set up a great composition. You’ve been waiting for the light go off and there it is.. boom - incredible light everywhere. Before you snap a couple of shots and run away for another composition, don’t move that tripod. Make sure you have captured all possible options without moving an inch. Long exposure, short exposure, exposed for the highlights, exposed for the shadows, sunstar etc. Give yourself every possible option for editing later on before you move on.
Immerse yourself into the scene.
Allow some time after you have finished scouting and have found your compositions. Enjoy the surrounds, take in the whole scene and consider different creative options that are available to you. Once the light becomes good you’ll be locked in with no time for this. You’d be surprised how this can help with your shoot and your editing later on.
Consider potential editing issues while in the field.
On a recent shoot I was looking down a jetty and obviously wanted to get the horizontal slats perfectly straight as well as the horizon. I couldn’t for the life of me get both.. probably due to lens distortion and a wonky jetty. So instead of lining up the horizon and putting up with the foreground slats on an angle I decided to shoot on an angle so the slats were straight. My thinking was it will be much easier to straighten up that horizon during editing than straightening up and hurting the sharpness of the jetty/slats. Having an idea of how you might edit the photo during the shoot can save you lots of time and processing pain!
Edit in small increments.
Try and avoid large sweeping edits to your images. Instead aim to build your image slowly through small localised tweaks that come together to make a stunning yet still realistic image. It may take more time, but the final product is usually worth it.
Seek the opinions of a loved one.
Popular opinion would be to just create an image that you and you alone are happy with with no other input. Another opinion would be to seek the opinion of other respected photographers. I have a third - which I think can be even more valuable - a loved one. They will be honest (often to a painful point) and will often point out things that photographers wouldn’t see. We look at images every day.. we analyse exposure, focus, composition to seek perfection. But a non photographer loved one sees an image from completely different eyes. Eyes I often wish I had! We also get too attached to our images.. sometimes on images that just are not that good. A fresh pair of eyes cuts through that. So many times my wife has been spot on when it comes to her feedback about my images. Some of my now favourite images would never have made the cut if it wasn’t for her.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful! Don't forget to contact me anytime if you're interested in hearing about NiSi Filters, Earthscape Tours or Earth Edit's. Good luck!