Capturing movement in the landscape is a simple and highly effective way of adding a sense of dynamism to your landscape photography. And while the mechanical nature of photography can, if left unchecked, render scenes looking like little more than a snapshot, with the right compositional approach and shutter speed you can transform scenes in creative ways that transcend the capabilities of human vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.