A taste for landscapes

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1 A taste for landscapes NEPG workshop October 2012 Colin White 1

2 Main ingredients 1. Light 2. Composition 3. Kit 4. Post production 2

3 Light Hue, direction, dynamic range Time of day - around sunrise or sunset is often best. Black skies at night are to be avoided (e.g. cityscapes) Weather - clouds, mist, rain, wind can add value Use filters to manage light When filters fail, use RAW and HDR software to manage extreme light ranges 3

4 Half an hour makes a big difference 4

5 Warm evening light 5

6 Cold morning light - use different white balance to create effects 6

7 Mastering light tips plan ahead - check time of sunrise, sunset, and direction of light using The photographer s Ephemeris. Use the weather, be patient and set up early. A 15 minute window is all you have. use filters to control the light prevent highlights blowing out with grad ND filters reduce reflections and increase detail with polarising filters decrease shutter speed for visual effects or for pano shots of water using ND filters 7

8 A wide dynamic range creates exposure challenges 8

9 There is a narrow time window in which both artificial light and natural light fall within the camera s dynamic range. 9

10 Graduated neutral density (ND) filters ND filters are a tool for controlling blow outs and block outs 10

11 11

12 Circular ND filters Use to control shutter speed 12

13 UV and polarising filters Control haze and reflected light 13

14 Composition KISS - previsualise your main element Foreground, middle, background Leading lines Rule of thirds avoid mergers, and also highlights at edge of frame 14

15 A stitched scene (7 images) taken with a 50 mm lens on a pano head. 15

16 Shooting tips Try to get the full scene in focus. Use f16 or f11 and focus 1/3 into the scene. The camera must be rock solid on its tripod for long exposures Use mirror up mode with a remote release cable to prevent camera shake. A timer delay can help if no mirror up mode is available. Work with a clean sensor. 16

17 Field kit Camera and lenses - primes are best Cable release Tripod and stool Pano head, bubble level Filters - polarising, ND, graduated ND Lens and sensor cleaning kit 17

18 Landscape photographers are fearless or stupid 18

19 19

20 20

21 Post production Panoramas and stitching High dynamic range techniques Noise reduction 21

22 Panoramas Landscapes tend to be shot with the horizontal axis longer than the vertical The 35 mm camera has a sensor that is 1.5:1 horizontal:vertical A panorama image is one where the ratio is typically 3 or 4 to 1. Some film cameras shoot in pano mode. Digital cameras use cropping or stitching 22

23 Pano shooting Level the tripod Level the camera (shoot in portrait mode) All settings to manual, including focus. Set white balance to daylight. Shoot in RAW if possible. Check and set exposure across the pano Shoot top to bottom, left to right with 1/3 overlap. Use shutter release cable. Repeat series using different exposures 23

24 Panos 24

25 Stitching Use photoshop or PTGui (preferred) Stitch using RAW files if possible. 25

26 24 mm lens stitched 50mm 26

27 The problem with stitching waves 1/100 sec f11 iso 100. Stitching lines are obvious 27

28 You can blend with clone stamp 1/100 sec f11 iso

29 Or you can calm the seas with a long shutter speed 3 x ND filters, 2 f22. In this case not slow enough 29

30 Sometimes it works as it should 30

31 HDR or how to recover overcooked milk PTgui will do HDR merging while stitching HDR is second best to using filters Photomatix is better than photoshop There is more than one way to skin a cat. I tend to use layers in CS4 or Nikon Capture RAW processing software 31

32 This scene needed some form of HDR correction Text So I took multiple exposures 32

33 And combined using Photomatix (right) or Nikon Capture NX2 (below) I preferred the result of adjusting the shadows on just one image using Nikon Capture NX2 33

34 Noise usually appears in the shadows and is caused by long exposures There is a range of software you can use to correct it, but I find Noise Ninja to be best. I also use low ISO ( ) for long exposures. 34

35 The end 35

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