Landscape photography is one of the hardest forms of photography; it demands lots of care when selecting a location to shoot. One of the biggest mistakes amateur photographers make when arriving at a scene is to start shooting straight away.
They end up shooting dull, lifeless images that lack color and impact.
When arriving at a scene, the first thing a photographer should do is to walk the scene with your camera and a compass. The compass is used to see where the light will rise in the morning and set in the evening.
Be it landscape photography, or something entirely different; it is fundamentally important to get the right equipment.
If photography is just a hobby, then sometimes you don’t need to go out and buy every bit of new equipment ever made, but if you’re planning on making money from it, or at least just to get the best quality of photo, then here are the essential items you will need to succeed in landscape photography.
Camera & Lens
First of all, the most obvious are the camera and the lens. You’re better off buying a cheaper camera than a cheaper lens, as with cheap lenses they can ruin a picture altogether by distorting the image by leaving marks and grains on the image.
Top quality lenses can be pricey, but as long as you’re looking in the right places, like online and photography magazines, you should be able to bag yourself a bargain. Wide angle lenses with a good zoom capacity on them are the best used for landscape photography, as they can encapsulate the whole image, as well as taking good quality zoomed in pictures.
Filters are another important tool for any photographer. The most basic will be a UV filter which will prevent any damage from the sun to your lens and camera equipment.
With landscape photography, you may find that something like a set of natural density filters, in graduated strengths, will help make the definition between the brightness in the sky and the sometimes dullness in the land.
You can also use computer-based editing software to help even out any mistakes in filters and ensure that the images are coming out as crisp and clear. Although, bear in mind, these are not as effective as having the right filters for the job.
Any equipment that makes taking a photo easier is surely money well spent. Investing in a sturdy tripod to keep your camera still, even in the strongest of winds, will save so much hassle in the long run. Tripods can be expensive pieces, so always make sure you take recommendations and reviews very seriously.
A spirit level may sound like a silly idea, but getting the horizon right in landscape photography is very hard work. These aren’t too expensive, and you can pick them up from most hardware stores.
Lastly, but in no way least, is a durable camera bag to carry it all in, as landscape photography can be a risky business regarding damaging equipment. Something with a long strap that can fit all of your bits and pieces in will be perfect.
Rucksack type bags may also come in useful for the more tricky climbs as you can carry it on your back without fear of dropping it.
With all the equipment stored safely in your bag, you are now ready to take on any landscape that comes your way. It may cost a little to start off with, but once you’ve captured that first moment on camera, it will all be worth the while.