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Monthly Archives: May 2013

How to Capture Digital Landscape Panoramas

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May 19th, 2013 - By One Stop Photo Workshops | Landscape Photography Tips

By Ricardo Da Cunha
 
This next educational blog demonstrates how to shoot and then stitch a panorama image. This first part focuses on what is required when out shooting the panorama where part two will then provide instructions on how to finally stitch the separate images taken to produce the panorama. The advent of digital photography now means that it is easier than ever before to create a panoramic photograph. Trying to produce a panoramic image in the past with film meant a significant investment in specialist panoramic format equipment but now for a small outlay you too can be producing striking panoramas. The first part is the shooting. Using a DSLR, follow the simple steps below to capture all of the separate images required to stitch them together on a computer later:
 
7 Easy Steps to achieving a Landscape Panoramic Photograph
 
1. First of all a tripod is a must for taking panoramic photos and you must ensure that the tripod head is perfectly level!
2. Start-off by setting-up the camera vertically using a portrait orientation in order to reduce the amount of edge distortion and to provide more scope at the top and bottom of the frame for cropping later
3. Next with the camera in Aperture Priority mode (Av), determine the exposure required for each separate image that will be taken by panning across the entire scene whilst holding the shutter button halfway down in order to check the recommended exposure (in this case shutter speed). Change the shooting mode to Manual (M) and then set the exposure for the brightest frame in the set this way ensuring that you preserve the highlights in the brightest frame(s)
4. After setting the focus, switch to manual focus
5. Avoid using automatic White Balance (this does not apply if you’re shooting in RAW format)
6. Begin taking each image and overlap each segment by 30%
7. Shoot each image as quickly as possible to avoid any changing light. If shooting during the times of sunrise or sunset change your sequence of shots to start from the opposite side of the setting/rising sun
 
That’s it! Shooting digital panoramas is really not that difficult!
 
Bonus Tip: Never use a circular polarizer filter when shooting images to stitch together into a panorama as the circular polarizing effect in each image will create a wave effect and ruin the final panorama. This only applies if the sky is framed within the composition.
 
I hope you got something out of these tips and if so please share it with others who might also benefit from them.
 
For even more tips and information and to receive exclusive offers on private courses and hear of new workshop tours, sign-up to the One Stop Photo Workshop mailing list! We provide one-on-one photography courses in the following locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Goldcoast, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast and the Central Coast.
 

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The Use of Light in Landscape Photography

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May 19th, 2013 - By One Stop Photo Workshops | Landscape Photography Tips

By Ricardo Da Cunha
 
Along with composition, the quality of light is perhaps the most important factor affecting the success of a landscape photograph. Whilst composition can be completely controlled, good quality light on the other hand cannot. We can however control the direction of the light and therefore use the optimum angle of light to enhance the appearance of our main subject and ultimately the success of our landscape photograph. There are four main types of lighting; top, side, front and back lighting. Consider how your envisaged scene will appear under each type of lighting and then choose which type of lighting will best portray your subject and shoot at the specific time and in the specific position to capture your subject in this light.
 
Occurring during the middle hours of the day:
 
Top Lighting
Generally speaking for landscape photography, top lighting is to be avoided as it does not cast any shadows and therefore does not convey texture, form and shape which are so important to emulate dimension in a landscape photograph. The only exception to using top lighting is when you wish to capture water at its most turquoise colour which occurs when the sun is positioned directly above.
 
Occurring leading-up to sunset and a short time after sunrise:
 
Front Lighting
Similar to top lighting front light also does not produce texture, form and shape and even worse your shadow will more than likely appear in the scene. Try and avoid this lighting in any situation.
 
Back-lighting
Back lighting is difficult to shoot in not only because of the extreme brightness between the subject and background but also because lens flare becomes an issue. If you do choose to shoot in back-lighting conditions then it’s recommended to use a lens hood to shade the top of the lens in order to prevent flare. The only exception to using back lighting in landscape photography is when you wish to create a silhouette of your subject which is only possible using back lighting.
 
Side lighting
Side lighting is the ideal light source to reveal a subject’s texture, form and shape as it casts beautiful subtle shadows to provide a sense of dimension of the subject and therefore creating a more ‘life-like’ image that the viewer can better relate to. As creating a three dimensional image is often one of the main goals of the landscape photographer, strive to capture your subject using side lighting.
 
To control the direction of light simply change where you stand and capture the image from!
 
Finally an interesting note is that shooting during the different times of year can actually produce different results under the same lighting conditions and angle. For example the colour of water is different depending not only on the angle of the sun but also the time of year. For example trying to achieve turquoise water is best achieved right in the middle of the day as the top light penetrates straight thru the water. However the same image taken at the same time in winter compared with summer will result in the water not becoming as turquoise because the sun does not completely travel overhead during the shorter winter days and instead only rises up as far as ¾ during the middle of the day. Interesting yeah?
 
I hope you found this information helpful and feel free to share it with others who you think might benefit from it.
 
For even more tips and information and to receive exclusive offers on private courses and hear of new workshop tours, sign-up to the One Stop Photo Workshop mailing list! We provide one-on-one photography courses in the following locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Goldcoast, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast and the Central Coast.
 

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