Photography has always been and still remains an extremely popular hobby as well as profession. The desire and ability to capture a feeling or to affect an ambiance or emotion for the viewer is the anticipated end goal result. Since SLRs have joined to digital field, the range of options for creative photography has subsequently increased. The ability to instantly see what a photo will look like is what makes digital SLRs so popular and effective.   

Lighting is the most crucial element when it come to photography. It can consequently ‘make or break’ a good photograph more than any other facet or external factor. To exact the most effective results in any good photograph, it is imperative that foresight regarding lighting always be taken into account.  

It seems somewhat rhetorical that spontaneous, ‘unplanned’ images can be exceptionally captivating, but only when the photograph conveys something that reflects a captured moment in time that clearly not be be premeditated, planned or rehearsed. The fluttering wings of a bird, an explosion or bolt of lightning are typical of a ‘moment in time’ experience. The element of a dramatic instance always creates a pleasing or striking image, but even then, lighting can affect the image, particularly so in terms of outdoor photography.

When shooting outdoors, lighting will undoubtedly be dependent upon the weather. If the sky is clear and sunny, then as a result shadows cast must be taken into consideration. The subject, ideally, should be photographed with the light shining on the surface you are facing, unless your objective is to get a silhouette type of image where the background and surroundings are as important as the subject. The usage of natural lighting will produce better, clearer, more natural colors than a supplemental light source.  

The sun should be behind the photographer so the light is not ‘confusing’ the depth of field with refractive or distracting light rays or streaks. Shadows cast in between the lens and the given subject might potentially distract from the subject, subsequently causing the eye to roam off the point of interest. The only times that rule may not apply are during the ‘golden hours’ of dusk and dawn when shadows might be an integral part of the desired ‘mood’ of the image.

With the sun overhead, or positioned in the sky between you and the subject, it may not be possible to get the sunlight behind you; it may be necessary to shade the lens to prevent lighting errors. Sometimes a cupped hand poised above the lens can alleviate the problem. Alternatively, some camera lenses can be affixed with a rubber blinder attachment that completely encircles the lens and extends out for 2 or 3 inches to effectively shade out the sun.   

Be wary of reflected light from other sources too. Cars, water, glass or other shiny reflective materials that project reflected light rays can easily ruin a great photo. The vigilant photographer is always aware of the existing lighting and how it could potentially impact the subject and final image.

Whenever possible, even in overcast situations, natural lighting should be the primary light source when shooting outdoors. Supplemental lighting should only be utilized when the existing natural lighting doesn’t create the results your subject and image requires to convey the desired effect.  

Outdoor Landscapes

Are you are planning to create panoramic photo books online or canvas gallery wraps of your outdoor photographs. Before you go on an outdoor photo shoot make a checklist of essential things that you need to carry. Follow these ten steps for shooting amazing landscape pictures.

Want to make panoramic photo books with your own landscape photographs? There are certain pointers you should keep in mind before you go on an outdoor photo shoot. Whether it’s a hot day with a clear sky or a stormy day with dark clouds lining the horizon, a good camera with the right camera accessories can get you great shots! Before you go on an outdoor shoot, make a checklist of things you need to carry with you. You list can include stuff such as tripod, filter, reflector, extra battery, additional memory card, and an all-purpose camera bag to carry everything with ease.

Now that you’re all set to embark on your outdoor photography shoot, checkout these ten steps to take great landscape photographs:

  • Use good quality lenses, polarizers, and filters, preferably from the camera manufacturer.
  • Before you shoot a picture, check the focus. When you are shooting portraits focus on the eyes.
  • Though most cameras come with Image Stabilization and vibration reduction features, use a tripod for more stability while you shoot pictures.
  • Always try to shoot in the shade rather than direct sunlight as the harsh light could create shadows and dimensions that would spoil your picture.
  • Shoot pictures in RAW format rather than JPG. It’s easier to edit your pictures in this format and you’re less likely to lose data when you edit.
  • Use long exposures when you are shooting in pre-dawn conditions so that you can get colors that are not easily visible.
  • Make sure you use the flash when you are shooting at dusk or you could end up taking a silhouette photograph.
  • Checkout for the right conditions. You may have the best of equipment, but make sure the lighting, wind, and other conditions are conducive to the picture you want to take.
  • Avoid shooting pictures at mid day and preferably shoot in the mornings or evenings when the light is softer.
  • The last tip – relax, take your time, and enjoy photographing!

Take stunning photographs outdoors following these tips. You can use your photographs to make online photo books and share your precious snaps with your loved ones. With double page spreads and seamless binding, panoramic photo albums are a great way to display your landscape photographs

To learn more about outdoor photography and further your skills in this field, take a look at our workshops for shooting outdoors.