The Key To Consistent Landscape Photos
The other day after I posted an image on my Facebook page, I received a message from a woman asking how I take such amazing pictures all of the time? I started by saying it hasn't alway been that way, that is for sure, I have taken way more bad pictures than good ones.
I have found a process that works for me, it may not be a process that works for everyone but the key is to find out what works for you and do that every time.
The key is to slow down, take the process step by step, if I am planning an early morning shoot then I make sure all of my gear is together the night before, I get to the spot in plenty of time and I shoot before the sun comes up and even after it has been up for a while. The same thing with a sunset, I arrive hours before the sun goes down and stay a long time after it sets.
One of the really important elements is to scout your location before you shoot, if you can go the day before look around come up with your composition take note of the sun and where it will set in reference to your composition then when you get there the next day or even week you have a general idea as to what you plan to shoot. I know that is not always possible and so that is why it is critical to show up early.
What is your camera bag? I usually shoot with my Nikon D4S, I know not the most up to date camera but I don't think you need the latest and greatest gear to take good photos but I don't think you need it, if you trust your process you will create great imagery. I also take with me a 16-85mm lens but usually leave it at around 20mm, I also have a polarizing filter and NISI ND filters in my bag. I don't always use the filter but I always have them with me and of course a tripod, a tripod is critical. I also have an electronic shutter release cable because I do not want any camera shake,
The last item in my bag started out as a toy and now I take it along on every shoot just like I do a camera. I have a DJI 2 Zoom drone, in the beginning I thought I would use it from time to time and that would be it, today I use it as much as my Nikon.
The photo at the top is Lake Hefner lighthouse, I have been to this location numerous times and so I have a really good idea what the sun is going to do when it sets, what will be highlighted and what won't. This was taken after sunset using a 10 stop ND filter for 2 mins and 15 seconds.
The photo directly above is the same lighthouse taken with my drone, I was so focused on getting the image with the light on I didn't even notice the lone man standing at the end until post processing. I call that a happy accident. If I had seen him, I would have flown closer and made him more prominent in the photo.