There are a couple of “rules” when it comes to shooting landscapes: follow rule-of-thirds, use lead-in lines and include interesting foreground.
Rule-of-thirds is a great way to add balance in the image by positioning the main subject/object at one third of the image (on intersecting lines when you divide an image frame into nine equally sized rectangles. By applying rule-of-thirds within your image you will draw viewer’s eye towards your focal point – a particular point within the image.
But there are times when you would position your main focal point in the centre, which would totally break rule-of-thirds. With certain images it’s ok. It depends on the composition. Images that are centred can be calming, like a landscape shot with a reflection of a mountain in the lake. Reflection in the water will create mirror-like effect and positioning the line of horizon in the centre of the frame will actually work very well.
Here’s a couple of things to remember when shooting landscapes – some technical tips:
1) Set your White Balance
White Balance on your camera allows you to control the colour balance of the image. You can set it to Auto (especially if you shoot raw).
2) Set your ISO
You can increase sensitivity of your camera by increasing ISO but this will lead to more noise in the images. Especially since you will most probably use a tripod, you want to set your ISO to the lowest possible to give you the best possible quality and lowest amount of noise. Set it to ISO 100 or at least ISO 200.
3) Set camera to Aperture-Priority (AV)
Having full control over the depth of field is crucial when shooting landscapes. Having control over aperture is much more important than having control over shutter speed.
4) Set your Aperture
Most of the time, you will want to have foreground and background in focus so you will need a very narrow aperture – F13-F16. Avoid narrowest aperture like F22 or even F23 as the quality will suffer.
More to come.