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Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
Take Beautiful Landscape and Nature Photos
by: Kelly Paal
Weíve all been there. Spent a lot of money to go to someplace weíve never been
before. Weíve taken the photos and brought them home expecting family and
friends to ooh and aah over the shots weíve taken. You open the envelope and
take out the prints and somehow the landscapes and nature shots that looked so
beautiful there look flat, dull, and you donít remember seeing that couple in
the corner of your shot when you snapped the shutter.
First thing that you must know is that to get really great landscape and nature
shots you really need an SLR with appropriate film for the job, but these tips
will help you even if you are using a point and shoot.
1. Appropriate film. I use 100, 200, and 400 speed maximum. Film brand is a
matter of personal taste. I use the 100 and 200 when I know that itís going to
be bright out and I use 400 if I think that Iím going to capture wildlife or if
Iím deep in the forest.
2. Natural light. I try to avoid using flash. If I do use flash I only use my
fill flash. Whenever you use flash you rob the scene of most of itís natural
charm. Think of it how many times did you take a shot because the light was just
3. The right lens. A slight wide angle lens in very valuable for landscapes and
a slightly telephoto comes in handy for tight shots of beautiful flowers. I
personally have a favorite lens 30mm-70mm that is a staple for me and I use it
ninety percent of the time.
Now that the technical stuff is out of the way.
4. Decide what it is EXACTLY that you are trying to capture on film and crop
accordingly. Not cropping enough is one of the biggest mistakes amateur
photographers make. Great thing about landscapes is that they donít move. So to
learn take a few shots cropping closer each time.
5. Occasionally turn the camera vertically. So many people donít seem to realize
that they can turn their camera on to the vertical. Imagine that you trying to
get this tall evergreen perched on a rock above a vista. If the camera is
horizontal youíll crop out the tree, if you turn the camera vertical youíll get
the tree and a lot of the vista too. Try this when you taking photos. Take one
shot horizontal and then turn the camera vertical. Youíll be surprised.
6. If youíre taking a photo of a large horizon it will probably look flat on
film. You need a sense of scale. So frame your image. Sometimes this can be a
family member on one side of the shot, perhaps looking out into the beautiful
horizon. A tree, rock, or plant can work in landscape shots just make sure that
the framing item is not the focus of your shot.
This will get you started. Nature and landscape photography is a specialized
area of the art but with practice you can improve your snap shots to capture
some of the great places youíve seen.
If you have some specific questions please visit my Photography and Design Forum
at: http://kellypaalphotography.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/index.php and post your
About The Author
Copyright 2005 Kelly Paal Photography
Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting
nationally and internationally. She owns her own business Kelly Paal Photography
(www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in
photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design
and photography principles to her web design.