Make Landscape Photos as Vivid as Your Memories

January 05, 2012
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Photographing landscapes seems like the easiest type of photography. The subject is still and straightforward, yet many times, the end result is flat, dull and boring - nothing like the breathtaking and memorable scenery that was there.

Whether photographing the nearby ruins on a Nile cruise or the sparse trees covering the expansive plains on a Kenya and Tanzania safari, many nature enthusiasts strive to capture the beauty that they see in the moment. According to National Geographic, the reason that landscape photos never look as good and exciting as the actual scene is because cameras can't, independently, focus on the parts of it that the brain and eye find appealing. When looking at a landscape - whether a rolling river or an endless highway - human eyes have the ability to ignore everything but the more intriguing details, the news source says. Cameras can't do this on their own, so the photographer needs to take certain steps to get a picture that accurately captures the scenery's beauty.

National Geographic says that the most important investment photographers can make in taking pictures of landscapes is time. International adventures often offer vistas that are unfamiliar, so visitors should take the time to scout out the locations, times of day and other factors that will make for the best photo.

Another helpful tip is to think about the character of the landscape being shot, the news source recommends. Whether an energetic river or a deep, brooding forest, identifying a character will help photographers capture its allure. Of course, when you travel with IE, your naturalists can help point out locations that offer the best vantage points and other handy photography tips.

Kodak recommends including a strong point of interest in a photograph of a landscape - one tree, a boat, or a cluster of flowers could do the trick - and placing the object off-center makes the photo even more interesting. When trying to capture the vastness of a scene, include people in the photo for scale. A fence, road or natural aspect of the landscape could work in this way as well. Kodak also recommends framing the photo with an interesting object in the foreground, such as an intricate log or leaf pattern.

Lighting is also key to successful landscape photographs. Waiting for the right natural light is often the best technique. Just after sunrise and just before dusk offer the best lighting for photographs, while noontime sun can look harsh on film. Photographers should not let rainy weather dampen their spirits - overcast skies can offer a certain mood to the photo and make colors pop.


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