At our evening meeting on February 28th, David Chapman, local wildlife and landscape photographer, gave us an inspirational and humourous insight into how he takes his stunning landscape photographs. He started off his talk with tips for good composition, e.g. the rule of thirds, using shapes and diagonals to draw the viewer’s eye into the photo, and continued his theme with excellent advice about when and where to take landscape photos.
During the second half of his presentation, David showed us some amazing star trail photos, amongst others, and explained just how he’d set up his shots and how he had processed them. Finally he gave a short demonstration of how he processes his photos using Photoshop.
The FIVE tips for landscape photography I’m taking away from David’s talk are:
- Use your tripod – always when shooting long exposures / in low light, almost always anyway.
- Shoot in RAW – if your camera can and if you have the means to process RAW files – RAW format saves all of the information about your shot and allows for some amazing processing.
- Shoot around dawn and dusk on clear days – the light is less intense and more directional than at high noon and your camera will cope better with the lower contrast compositions.
- Plan your shots – get the time right to have the light coming from the right direction at the right angle, to have the tide in the right place, to avoid your shadow in your shots etc.
- Think about composition – remember the composition rules, but remember they are also there to be broken. Try different perspectives and don’t stand just rooted to one spot.
By Nicola Bathe.