Fundamentals of Photography II …

You might try using the panoramic feature on your smartphone, but typically landscapes are done with a wide-angle or a medium lens.
In addition to light, a basic element for a good landscape picture is composition. Find some object in the foreground that you like, such as flowers, rocks, or just a pattern in the vegetation. Experiment with getting close to this element yet still retaining the larger landscape. Learn more at  and
What if you need to get light on your subject when nature isn’t cooperating? If you’re fairly sure about the angle, put your camera on a tripod and use a cable release. In fact, you can use a tripod whenever you find a good spot for shooting a landscape. This frees your hands to work with supplemental lighting, such as a wired or wireless flash, if you need it.
If you find that your foreground element is in the shadows, use a handheld flash with a diffuser panel to match the early-morning or early-evening light. The idea is for you to light up the shadow area
Don’t forget to try your smartphone’s panorama feature when working a landscape. Check out
Lesson 3—Working with Light in a Landscape 13
While the rest of the world is lit by the sun. If you find a higher foreground element, such as a tall object that’s already lit well, you may not need to balance the lighting.
To keep supplemental light warm, try using a soft box and colored gels, which you can get online from a theater supply house. With this technique, you may find that you need to make your flash a little brighter because the gel reduces the amount of light that gets through to the subject. You can simply attach the gel over the flash head with a rubber band. Explore the results you get by using different color gels, combining them, or doubling them.
Another good way to warm up light is to bounce sunlight off a gold reflector. You’ll notice that the reflector fills in the shadows nicely.
Other tricks for defeating harsh light include underexposing the subject or using a polarizing filter or a diffuser panel to get great light at midday. If the diffuser creates a dark spot—because it’s
14 Fundamentals of Photography II
A taller foreground object lets you capture more of the landscape in your frame.
The shading the sun—use the flash through the diffuser to ensure that your subject is as bright as the background or more so.
Sometimes, the easiest way to subdue the ambient light is to increase the shutter speed. A very fast shutter can be a way of defeating bright sun.
Professional landscape photographers often scout locations days in advance. If possible, they also plan to shoot the same scene over the course of several days. An interesting project is to choose a favorite landscape feature near your home, such as a tree, and shoot it at different times of day, with different lights, and through the seasons.
Lesson 3—Working with Light in a Landscape 
Set yourself a goal to get the ideal landscape shot. Get up very early one morning, travel to a favorite outdoor spot, and set up a position you’d like to record. Remember to select a specific subject you want to show—something more than “all of nature.” Work the scene until the light starts to become harsh, and then try some techniques for softening it.

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