RadioBDC Logo
Merry Christmas Everybody | Oasis Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Photographing landscapes

Posted by Eric Bauer, Boston.com Staff  July 31, 2008 12:23 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

greene-photo1.jpg
If you want to avoid boring landscapes, try shooting from an unusual angle or at times of dramatic light, as in this photo of a horse and trainer shot by Bill Greene in Georgetown, Mass.

By Bill Greene
Globe Staff Photographer

Shooting landscapes can be frustrating. Photographers wonder why their photos don't seem as "grand" as the scene did in person.

Too often it's because they just raised their camera, pointed it at the vista they saw, and clicked. Had they planned a little or paid more attention to their surroundings they would have gotten a better shot. Here are some tips to improve your landscapes.

  • Try to find some natural cover to use as a picture frame. Shoot through branches, or frame the photo through people or rocks in the foreground. This will create layers that show the enormity of the view and add scale to the backdrop.
  • As with most photography, light is crucial. The best time to shoot almost anything is the last several hours of light in the day or the first thing in the morning. When the light is low the subject is not "flat" and the dramatic shadows add depth.
  • Try to get out of the habit of always raising the camera to your eye. Most good photos have an interesting angle. Try climbing up a stepladder or laying on your stomach and looking through the grass in a field. This creates a more interesting photo by showing the viewer an angle that is not obvious.
  • Composition is key. You should almost never put the focal point of the photo in the center of the frame. Remember the "rule of thirds". If there is a mountain top in the background, frame it one third to the left or right of the frame. This makes you photo less static, gives the eye room to move, and makes the photo more appealing.
  • If there is nothing in the foreground to frame your photo, make sure the overall scene has an "entry point." Is there a barn in the field, or someone walking down a long dirt road? Give the viewer a point to enter the photo and then take in the whole scene.
  • Be crazy and try different things! Get so close to a pine cone hanging in front of you that it fills a third of your frame. I'm talking six inches. Use a slow shutter speed so you have enough depth of field that everything is in focus. Try a shot with no depth of field so the backdrop is somewhat mysterious and vague.
  • Try to view each opportunity as a 3-5 picture sequence. Shoot details of the whole. Look straight down on the patterns of foam in the water; take tight shots of the moss on the bark on a tree. Very often you can show a scene much more powerfully in several totally different pictures than trying to do it all in one frame.
  • Have fun, be creative, don't be afraid to try something new. After all, it's only space on a disk that can be deleted.

More Bill Greene photos

landscape2.jpg
Try using people to frame a photo, as Bill Greene did in this shot taken at the ferry dock on Cuttyhunk Island.


Want to keep improving, or have some tips to share? Check out all of our tipsheets or submit your own.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

JOIN THE RAW DAWGS

Welcome to your community for New England's amateur photographers. Take pictures ... get published ... win money ... have a blast!
OCTOBER THEME
The Color Green
It's the color of hope, envy, regeneration, relaxation, and money -- as well as the theme of the October contest. Make it the focal point of your best photograph.
Upcoming events

Featured Photographer

Featured Photographer: Ben Rifkin
Life and wildlife in Madagascar
For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me....
An essay about Rebirth Workshops
Now that it's been several months since I returned from a week-long Rebirth Workshop in Mississippi, I'm happy to look back and provide an overview of what we did that made it such an intense experience for me as a photographer....
Photography apps for your phone
Thinking of ditching your separate camera and moving to just using your phone for all your photos? What apps should you go for? Instagram made headlines recently after being bought by Facebook for $1 billion. What does it include, and what else is out there?...
archives