Shoot sharper landscape images

Crummock Water Long Exposure Stack

Capturing pin-sharpness throughout a scene – from the foreground to the distant background – is often the photographer’s aim when shooting landscapes. For wider scenes where the foreground interested is a few metres away from the camera you can usually get away with shooting a single image at f/11 – f/16 on a full-frame camera, or f/8 – f/11 on APS-C. With these settings and correct focusing front to back sharpness is possible in a single shot, but what about when the foreground interest is closer to the camera and you need both this and the background in sharp focus? The simple answer is to use focus stacking to achieve sharper landscape images.

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Reverse ND grads explained

A colourful sunrise and long exposyre at Southwold Pier in Suffolk, UK

You’ve probably heard this before and chances are, you’ll hear it many times in the future; one of the best time to shoot landscapes is most often the period of time just after sunrise and just before sunset. These times are known as ‘golden hour’ and despite the name, this period of time isn’t actually an hour in duration. At this time of the day the sun is close to the horizon, which means the area of sky close to the horizon is brighter than the sky at the top of the frame.

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Landscape photography – timing is everything

Behind the scenes Sony Alpa A7RIII and Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263 CT

Timing is everything when it comes to landscape photography, so to capture landscapes in the best light possible you ideally need to be on location and ready to shoot before, during and after golden hour. Bur while sunrise and sunset are considered the best times to shoot landscapes, they’re far from the only options. Throw the weather into the mix and you may even find that conditions are actually better well after sunrise has taken place. And on a moody and cloudy day, you may even be able to get great results throughout the day.

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Capturing autumn colour

Llanrwst Bridge in Snowdonia in autumn

Autumn is a great time for landscape photographers; not least for the explosion of colour that takes place up and down the country, but also because sunrise and sunset times become much more ‘civilised’ now the long days of summer are behind us. But it’s not just landscape photographers who are out in force, autumn is also a popular season for macro and nature photographers, and this autumn I’ve been out as much as possible shooting both landscapes and macro photography.

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Kinder Scout & Edale time-lapse

Kinder Scout & Edale Valley time-lapse photography

Shooting time-lapse photography is something I often use my second camera for while shooting landscape photography at sunrise and sunset. This time-lapse shows cloud coming over Kinder Scout in the Peak District before dispersing with the Edale Valley in the foreground. To watch the time-lapse take a look at the video below.

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Amateur Photographer magazine cover 14 July 2018

Amateur Photography magazine cover 14 July 2018

One of my landscape photography images of Tŵr Mawr lighthouse on Ynys Llanddwyn on Angelsey in North Wales was used on the cover of the 14 July 2018 issue of Amateur Photographer magazine. The cover image was used to accompany a technique feature I produced for the magazine covering how to shoot and edit tasteful HDR images. See a larger version of the front cover, the original image and the HDR article below.

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Amateur Photographer magazine cover 26 May 2018

Amateur Photographer magazine cover 26 may 2018

For any photographer, getting your images on the front cover of a magazine is something that never loses its charm. I was delighted to have one of my landscape images taken at Winskill Stones in the Yorkshire Dales, features on the cover of the 26 may 2018 issue of Amateur Photographer magazine. The cover image was used to accompany a technique feature covering focus stacking in landscape photography. See a larger version of the front cover and the focus stacking article below.

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Moody landscape photography

The lone Buttermere tree at sunrise on a moody morning

Moody landscape photography is equally as popular as bright and colourful landscapes because let’s face it, the weather doesn’t always play ball when you’re out shooting. In this short guide we’ll take a look at some of the key elements of shooting moody landscapes, as well as an editing technique that’s guaranteed to make your moody landscapes more dramatic than ever before.

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How to create a hazy desaturated matte effect in Photoshop

How to create a desaturated matte effect in Photoshop

How to create a hazy desaturated matte effect in Photoshop. Learn two techniques to add a matte effect and haze – the effects can be used individually or together, and work well with all images. Portraits and landscapes in particular benefit from these awesome techniques. We’ll also take a quick look at one of the most effective desaturation techniques because it works perfectly with a hazy matte style.

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Let There Be Light competition

HDR light trails at sunset on a moody evening at Winnats Pass

Urban Cottage Industries is running a photography competition where photographers need to enter two images on their blog – one showcasing natural light, and a second that shows the use of artificial light. Scroll down to see my two entries for the competition and to read the stories behind the images.

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