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Landscape photography may seem quite simple, but there are certain factors that need to be taken care of to nail the perfect shot. Creating a good landscape photograph largely depends on the direction of light available, camera settings used and the way you compose an image. In order to get a sharp image with correct exposure, there are certain things that need to be taken care of, that photographers often forget.
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Here is a quick checklist that you can make use of before every landscape photo
1. Keep Your Gear Stable: Stability is the most important factor while making a landscape image. Put your camera on a tripod and make sure that the tripod is steady enough to withstand any wind around. You can hang a bag of sand if required.
2. Avoid Camera Shake: Always use a remote trigger for shutter release and make use of mirror lock up feature for tack sharp images. Switch off image stabilisation when your camera is on the tripod.
3. Maintain Sharp Focus: Focus manually one third way into the scene to ensure focus on the entire scene. Use live view to zoom in and get the focus right. Use aperture values between f7 and f11 depending on the sweet spot of your lens. Take sample images, zoom in and check for sharp focus.
4. Check Camera Settings: Keep ISO as low as possible to avoid noise. Check that you have the right metering setting (matrix metering is better for landscape photography). Check your white balance.
5. Get The Exposure Right: If there are huge variations in the light across the landscape, try to bracket exposures and merge them while post processing. You can also use a graduated filter or circular polariser when necessary depending on the situations. Keep an eye on your histogram.
6. Check The Composition: Check that the horizon is straight. Look for elements in foreground, middleground and background to create a visually pleasing composition. Look for lines, textures, patterns and lights. Shoot from various angles and vantage points.
If you wish to take your landscape photography to the next level and dig deep into the tips here plus a lot more, make sure you check out Landscape Photography by Photzy.