Atmospheric landscapes

Haputale, Uva Sri Lanka : Canon 40D : EF85mm : 1/320 : f6.3

Landscapes can be particularly challenging and initially difficult to master. Practice and patience are important ingredients. However, there are a number of useful rules-of-thumb that can be useful for capturing landscapes that can be useful.

Always try to ensure that there is something special about the light when you are shooting. This can come in many guises but often requires planning. If you reach your location at the end of the day when the light is low, you can try to capture the last vestiges of the sun’s rays as they cut across the landscape. Alternatively, it may be early morning and misty, in which case the landscapes can take on an eerie persona allowing you to incorporate a sense of intrigue and mystique to your shot. In the image shown here, there was an early morning mist that intersected the direct rays of the sun accentuating the suns rays.

Make sure you have a genuine point of interest in your field of view, however small. The eye given half the chance will wander across an image, with the viewer feeling uncomfortable if their eyes cannot find a place to rest. Find something off-centre in one of the golden thirds if possible, although sometimes you can get away with a perfectly symmetrical shot if it appears that this was intentional and adds to the composition.

Finally, look to create layers in your shot. Landscapes are great for this, where the increasingly distant planes tend to dissipate the light giving the effect of exaggerating the perspective and creating a more interesting and arresting landscape.