Thierry Bornier has built a career from his awe-inspiring photographs of China’s landscapes. Since transitioning from his full-time office job, he’s followed some tips, including finding his passion through limits – landscapes. Like any work of art, there a some techniques that can be used to make a good shot, great. Here are 5 landscape photography tips.
Evaluate the Landscape
Before getting all set up, take a moment to look around. Focus on the details of the landscape, this will help you visualize the image(s) that you’re looking to capture. Things to keep into account: Lighting, focal points, lines, etc.
Convenience will not get you the best shot. The first spot where you land at your shooting site may not be the best. Don’t be afraid to move around searching for the idea vantage point – this may be complicated depending on your location so be sure to research prior to heading out for the shoot.
Thierry is no stranger to working to find the right location. One example is his award winning shot, Hani Terraces. To get the angle, it meant scaling the terraces before there were the clear cut paths that are found in the area today.
Use a Tripod
This is a concept we visited in our 6 Tips for New Photographers post and it continues to play an important part in landscape photography. The stability of a tripod will allow you to maintain camera stillness and experiment with camera’s aperture and shutter speed.
Follow the Light
Thierry has become the master of the light and uses it to his advantage. He has become the ultimate sun, and element, chaser to capture the right mood for his images. Following the light can vary depending on where and what you’re shooting. Sunrise and sunset are the most standout times of the day to capture vibrant tones and contrasts in your shot.
Keep in mind that where and what you’re shooting means different variations in lighting needs and situations. Before heading out, be sure to research the influences of the time of year and weather on the lighting conditions of your destination to ensure you capture the right mood for your desired shot.
Maximize Depth of Field
Depth of field refers to the overall focus of the image – from front to back. To achieve this, you must play around with your camera’s aperture to achieve an acceptable focus on the overall image. You can easily test this by focusing on one third of the shot that has elements from all depths in order to achieve the right focus for your needs.
These are some universal tips that should be considered whenever you will be practicing your landscape photography. Another important element to consider is the type of landscape you’ll be shooting. National Geography provides a great guide to help maximize your shots based on the type of environment.