How to add abit of 'zap' to landscape photos

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TiaS, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. TiaS

    TiaS TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have some tips for me for how to make landscape photos 'pop' more. Any tips for the one below?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It looks underexposed.

    A more dramatic landscape helps.
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Better time of day would help as well.
     
  4. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Heck yeah, PP that B*

    You could do anything, change the contrast in the sky, the snow, etc. You can even PS in a Killer Whale breaking through the ice and grabbing a seal.
     
  5. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I've heard a landscape described as a photo of an interesting subject with an awesome background. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to take a shot of a simple landscape that is basically just water or grass or something like that in the foreground, maybe some mountains, then sky. This is boring. Find something interesting to put in the foreground. Maybe a stranded boat, or some rocks, or trees, or really, anything. In this shot, you have water (ice I guess), mountains, and cloudy sky. That's pretty boring.

    Some other things to think about. Landscape photographers only work about 3 hours a day. Half an hour before sunrise, until about an hour after sunrise, then again an hour before sunset, until a half an hour after sunset. Why is this? The light is at its best. It's very warm light, and it's coming in from the side (which makes for very dramatic shadows) instead of from up above.

    The sky should almost always have something interesting going on. A cloudy sky is boring. Also, a pure blue sky is boring. You want a mixture, some clouds, some blue sky.

    A few other tips. Use a tripod, always. Use a small aperture (big f/number) such as f/11, f/13 or f/16. Focus to the hyperfocal distance. Use mirror lockup. Use some way of remotely triggering your camera, either with a wireless remote or a wired shutter release. Ensure your camera is perfectly level in relation to the horizon. Shoot at the lowest ISO that your camera natively supports (on most cameras, this is 100 or 200). Use CPL filter or Split/Grad ND filters and learn to use them. Did I miss anything? Anyone want to add something here?
     
  6. TiaS

    TiaS TPF Noob!

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    wow some great tips so far. Thanks everyone
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Using the appropriate equipment to make the image helps a great deal, as does anticipating/waiting for exactly the right light and conditions. Landscape photographers usually carry a set of ND and GND filters. Many attach a rectangular filter holder to the lens so they can move the grads up and down.

    I did some local dodging to brighten up the ice and land some, added global clarity, vibrance, and exposure (1/3 stop) and a black border.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread, or toot my own horn, but I think this shot will show exactly what I was talking about. It's not the greatest shot in the world, but it follows basically everything I mentioned in my previous post.

    [​IMG]

    It has foreground as well as background interest. The sky is very dynamic and was taken just minutes before the sun broke over the mountain. I was at f/16 (to get the whole scene in focus) and ISO 100. I was on a tripod, used mirror lockup and a wireless remote. I didn't use a CPL or ND filter, but I don't think the scene here would have benefited from either. Just wanted to post this as an example, so you can kind of see what I was saying.
     
  9. aeota

    aeota TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a bunch, Gaerek. Great advice all around.
     
  10. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    find situations with interesting light that's the half the job done.
     
  11. Alter_Ego

    Alter_Ego TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    yay i saw someone edit your photo so i thought id have fun editing it too hehehe.
     
  12. TiaS

    TiaS TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the edits. Alter Ego, was that a burn and a dodge?
     

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