Information & Advice
Take breathtaking landscapes that look even better in print than in real-life
Good lighting is essential for great photography. A scene that looks nothing on a dreary day can be transformed by a little sunshine. Revisit favourite locations to see how they look depending on the season and time of day. The most flattering light falls early morning and late afternoon so getting up with the dawn chorus to witness a cold misty morning, or dew sparkling wet lawn, can make all the difference.
When you see a picturesque scene it's instinctive to just start snapping. That's fine, but once you've snapped the obvious shots, pause and look around you. Consider whether you're standing in the best place. Could you add another angle that would enhance the image? Is there a more unusual composition that might work well? Take lots of photos, but remember to pack a spare memory card or two; you don't want to lose that special moment whilst you try and clear up space.
It's usually the vastness of a landscape that makes it so awesome. To get a similar feel on paper you'll need a suitably wide-angled lens to capture what your eyes see. Alternatively, with a steady hand take a series of photos across the panoramic view and using photo-editing software, or simply creating a collage from prints, stick the scene back together. 12" x 5" panoramic prints are available to buy at Bootsphoto.com.In contrast, a telephoto lens is useful for giving the impression of everything being closer together, or for isolating individual areas within a landscape.
Keeping everything sharp across long distances requires a small aperture. This gives a slow shutter speed, even on a reasonably bright day, making you susceptible to camera shake. A tripod will prevent this by holding your camera steady, especially if it's used with the auto timer or a cable release. Tripods are available to buy at Boots.com.
Look out for exciting colours, shapes and textures. As a general rule you want something to hold your interest in the foreground, middle and background. Paths, roads and lines of trees are all good at drawing your eye into an image. Including people can add a sense of scale and emotion, and these kinds of images look extremely powerful, especially when enlarged into a poster sized print or wall mounted canvas.
Spot on exposure is essential to distinguish your photos from simple snapshots. If you're struggling try exposure bracketing. This means taking exactly the same picture at different exposures. Standard prints start from as little as 5p, so you can print them all and choose the best result. Alternatively, combine images with editing software to give the best exposure of every part of the image – great for high contrast pictures.
Photo-editing software can rescue disappointing images. Use it to crop, colour and cut unwanted elements. You can even add something that wasn't in the original landscape. You can zoom in to important details and crop the rest of the image at Bootsphoto.com. Suddenly you've got that really special shot that's been eluding you!
If your artwork is easy on the eye then share your talent! Impress guests by exhibiting your panoramic landscapes as posters or framed canvas prints on the walls of your house. Or, if you've got something to say, use your photos as thank you, birthday and congratulation cards or postcard packs.
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