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Landscapes and Seascapes

by Catherine Ramsey (follow)
Blog (332)      Tutorials (60)     

Landscape photography involves shooting any expanse of land scenery, whether it be mountains, hills, fields, rivers or even sky. Itís not restricted to just nature; often man-made features or disturbances of nature are the focus.

Similarly, seascapes are not limited to just pictures of the ocean - sand, beach, cliffs, mountains, islands, docks and piers can also be included in this category.



It can be quite difficult to capture the grandeur of these beautiful sceneries. Quite often we feel that our images donít even come close to doing justice to the real view. Weíve already written on the blog about the 5 most important tips for landscape photography, but below are some other tips that will hopefully push your photos up to the next level.

Thoughtfully composing your scene will take your image from looking like a tourist snapshot to a fine art piece. Do you need to be higher up or closer to sea level? Take the time to scout your location and make sure youíre in the right place when the sun is rising or setting. Position your main features (such as mountains, trees, lighthouses or buildings) on the left or right 3rd of the scene. For seascapes, find an unusual vantage point, such as the top of a cliff looking down at the crashing waves below or beneath a pier. Think outside of the box.



Donít be disheartened to find that the weather on your scheduled shoot day isnít bright and sunny. In fact youíll get much more dramatic and powerful images with the presence of strong weather. Clouds, wind, rain, thunderstorms, sunset, fog and snow can add an extra wow factor to an otherwise bland scenery. If youíre lucky enough you might even capture some tall waves crashing against rocks or cliffs, aggravated by the strong winds.



Make it a panorama! Sometimes we find ourselves struggling to choose which land features we want to include in a landscape. Why not fit them all in with a panorama? This will work especially well from a vast viewing platform such as a mountain or clifftop.



Avoid footprints and beach trash. Often driftwood can make an interesting addition to your foreground, but plastic bags, bottles, rotting seaweed and human disturbance can really mar the beauty of nature.

Is this the best season to shoot? Would the trees look better in the golden hues of autumn, or blooming and blossoming with colour in spring? As a fun project, consider revisiting and reshooting the same scene in each season to show the changes over time.





Equipment

Youíll find your job of shooting land and seascapes will be made much easier with a:
Wide angle lens: We talk a little bit about wide angle and other lens types on the blog here, but basically any lens of a focal length between 14-35mm will give you the upper hand in this respect.



Tripod: For getting those pesky horizons straight and rotating from left to right for panoramas.

Some ND filters or at the very least, a UV filter will help to keep lens flare or harsh light reflections at bay, whilst also deepening the blue of the sky.



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