Tips For Shooting Good Scenics
by William Lulow
Decide that you want to make photographs, not just take snap shots.
Plan trips with making photographs in mind.
- Think about early morning
- Think about evening shots as some lights are coming on
- Look for interesting subject matter
- Find a “lead in” angle
- Look for interesting lightings
- Look for interesting shapes
- Shoot a popular site from a different angle
- Frame monuments with something in the foreground
- Use small lens openings to increase depth-of-field and sharpness
- Focus on things in the foreground
- Find angles that lead the viewer’s eye INTO the image
- Use filters for certain effects (Darken sky, star for night scenes, etc.)
- Try to keep people out of scenes
- Do a portrait in front of a famous place, but only show just a hint of the place
- Think about waiting for the right moment, don’t just snap a picture because you’re there
- Set up as many scenes as you can
- Use a small tripod whenever you can
- Travel as “light” as you can. Wear a photographer’s vest or jacket with big pockets so you don’t have to carry a bag
- Wide angle lenses provide greater depth-of-field
- Telephoto lenses bring you closer
- Use wide-angle lenses mostly
- Shoot slowly – until you feel you have exhausted the image-making possibilities of a place
- Try to decide what you want to say about a particular place
Here are a couple of examples:
This image contains reflections, darken sky (post processed), interesting foreground framing.
This image is focused on the foreground. Good depth-of-field, shot with a 20mm wide angle lens.
Interesting angle, sweeping composition.
Early morning, just before sunrise, interesting angle, interesting lights.