Digital Photography Tips For Landscape & Wildlife Photos
Mastered the art of the wide angle yet? Know how to add a spicy kick to those action shots? Browse articles filled with expert digital photography tips. These landscape and wildlife photo techniques will improve your photography in no time.
Exploring with the wide end of the focal spectrum opens up a world of creative compositional possibilities
My high-school chemistry teacher’s favorite phrase was "Everything is relative" and so it is with wide-angle lenses. A lens of a given focal length can be wide-angle, normal or even telephoto. It depends on the format of the camera on which you’re using it. The larger the film frame (or image sensor), the wider a given focal length’s angle of view.
Several years ago, I got stuck. Though I had been shooting for more than 20 years, I found that a day’s worth of shooting was delivering only lackluster results. The images were sharp, the compositions tight, the exposures dead-on, but as I contemplated my images, I recognized that I was repeating myself. I was creating the same shots week after week, month after month. The photographs were technically good, but they left me uninspired.
Use a spot meter to achieve the best exposure possible
Although you may hear the phrase "I’ll fix it in Photoshop" come from the lips of a digital photographer, correcting mistakes is more time-consuming than getting it right in-camera. This is no truer when it comes to exposure, where poor metering results in the loss of crucial detail in shadows and highlights.
Use these tips to get immediate results for better, more interesting landscape, close-up and wildlife photographs
If you mount your camera on a tripod and focus carefully, you’ll get sharper landscape photos—guaranteed. Why? Because a good tripod holds a camera steadier than a person can. And tripods aren’t just for large-format and super-telephoto shooters: Even if you shoot with a "little" 35mm or digital SLR and never use a long lens, you’ll still get sharper photos if you mount your camera on a sturdy tripod.
It's easy to put this versatile creative control to work for you
Here’s a handy creative control that takes up no space in your gadget bag (and costs nothing!): depth of field, the zone of apparent sharpness in a photo in front of and beyond the focused subject. With great depth of field, everything from nearby objects to a distant background will appear sharp in a photo; with limited depth of field, only the focused subject—or a portion of it if depth of field is really limited—will appear sharp.
Where is landscape photography going today? How might we as photographers find new inspiration and approaches to this classic subject?
When it comes to tradition, landscape photography ranks up there with mom and apple pie. Photography got its start with landscapes as subjects since they remained motionless during the long exposures needed. As exploration of places like the American West began, landscape photography showed the world what these regions looked like. It was landscape photography that helped stimulate the formation of our national park system. Talk about traditional values!
Art Wolfe shares his insights for the creative use of motion
Sharpness is important to Art Wolfe, so much so that he shoots virtually all of his images using a tripod. You might even find him navigating through the crowds of a bazaar, carefully examining the scene, working on visualizing the next shot with his camera firmly mounted on a ballhead.
A Deeper Understanding Of Sharpness Can Help Better Control It
Sharpness is a critical issue for photographers. While we sometimes experiment with blurs, we mostly want our subjects to be as sharp as possible. The standard, reliable approach is to use a good lens and tripod.
Light is everything. Recognizing the gift and knowing how to react makes extraordinary pictures of ordinary subjects.
The quality of light on the continent of Australia is a real and worthy subject. The land mass is the size of the continental United States, but populated by only 20 million people, mostly settled in five main cities around the coast. That leaves vast areas of Australia without industry or pollution. The nearest continent is pristine Antarctica. The sunset image on the opening pages of this article is taken from a vantage point looking out on the Indian Ocean and the next land that the sun will touch is East Africa thousands of miles away. The result is a clarity of light that’s extraordinary, perhaps something that Americans experienced years ago.
Use a flash after sunset to add sparkle to your image
Twilight is a wonderful time for making pictures. With a solid tripod and a long exposure, you can compose outstanding images in the soft light. For even better results, consider adding a flash to the mix. A flash illuminates the silhouetted shapes and the dark areas that you’d get when shooting toward the sunset’s afterglow. With multiple flash bursts, you can light up a wider area or create pools of light to emphasize particular parts of your composition.
Set your scenic photography apart by learning to use light for better photos
What makes one landscape image stand out from another? Is it location? We’ve all seen stale photographs from the most dramatic destinations, so location alone isn’t enough. Is it composition? A well-composed image is essential, but it can look artificial if the scene isn’t right.
From technique to equipment to preparation, these field-tested ideas will help you make better landscape photos
There are a number of tips on photographing landscapes that I’d like to share with you. Landscapes are all around us and are well worth traveling the world to find. Use your tools wisely and creatively, and others will want to share these places with you. You might even use these images to protect and save the places you love.
Take a different approach to creating outstanding close-ups
Composing close-up photographs for the first time is like discovering a new world. By magnifying the fine details of nature’s most amazing creations, our eyes awaken to the splendor of the world around us. Yet it takes more than a macro lens or a close-up filter to create an exceptional close-up photograph. The "new world" of macrophotography requires a different way of seeing, especially when done through the camera. Here are some techniques I’ve discovered for creating some unusual and exciting close-up photographs.