STE P BY STE P / Com­po­si­tion tips for land­scapes

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 En­vis­age the scene

We walked along the shore­line to find a com­po­si­tion that showed the lake, but also in­cluded in­ter­est­ing fore­ground el­e­ments. These craggy trees cre­ated a frame within our frame, a com­po­si­tional tech­nique that can be used to put em­pha­sis on the cen­tre of the frame.

2 Ex­tend tri­pod legs

Set up your tri­pod. How much you ex­tend the legs will de­pend on how high you want your view­point, but how­ever high you need it, ex­tend the thick­est part of the legs first. Ex­tend­ing only the thin­ner sec­tions will make it un­sta­ble, in­creas­ing the risk of cam­era shake.

3 Look for lead­ing lines

This tree branch was perched per­fectly creep­ing out over the wa­ter, and pointed out to­wards the moun­tains. A lead­ing line that guides the eye into the frame is a help­ful in­clu­sion, any­thing that leads the eye out isn’t ideal be­cause it guides the viewer away from the photo.

4 Fo­cus man­u­ally

We turned on Live View and used the zoom to take a closer look. Look­ing into the dis­tance on the screen we switched the cam­era into Man­ual fo­cus­ing mode and turned the lens’s fo­cus ring. It took a bit of rock­ing back and forth on the fo­cus ring un­til the im­age was sharp.

5 Nar­row the aper­ture

We set a nar­row aper­ture for max­i­mum depth of field. This in­creases the range of fo­cus and, if fo­cused cor­rectly, the fore­ground and back­ground will be sharper. How­ever, go­ing above an aper­ture of f/16 will in­tro­duce dif­frac­tion and start mak­ing the im­age softer.

6 Shut­ter and ISO

At ISO100 and in Ma­trix me­ter­ing mode, take a look at the light me­ter and ad­just your shut­ter speed un­til you reach 0. This will give a good av­er­age ex­po­sure of the en­tire scene. Take a test shot and make the shut­ter speed faster if it looks a lit­tle bright, or vice versa.

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