Photography knowledge and skills aside, working in the field can still be a huge challenge if you are not well-equipped. Using the right gear besides your camera and lens can help you improve your photography by leaps and bounds. But as always, you need to know what to use and how to use it. Professional landscape photographer Cheyne Walls and The Slanted Lens share five essential landscape photography tools:
If you want to get serious with landscape photography, using a tripod is a no-brainer. Get yourself a rock-solid tripod, and it will hold your camera steady for sharp, beautiful landscape images.
Besides, without a good tripod, you can’t take long exposures. And as you must have probably seen, long exposure adds that surreal touch when it comes to fine art landscape photography.
2. Remote Shutter Release
Even when your camera’s anchored with a tripod, it can shake a bit when you press the shutter button. The shake gets even more exaggerated during long exposures. Invest in a remote shutter release to take photos without shaking the camera.
3. Gradient Filter
It’s a challenge to get a well-exposed image when the sky is much brighter than the ground. In such cases, if you expose for the bright sky, the land gets crushed with the shadows. And if you expose for the ground, you lose all the highlight details in the sky.
Using a gradient filter darkens the brighter region so that you can get an even exposure in one shot. This gets rid of the need to take high dynamic range (HDR) images and makes your work that much more efficient.
4. Handheld Light Meter
A dedicated light meter lets you determine your exposure precisely. The meter in your camera is a reflective meter and can be easily fooled. Whereas, a dedicated light meter is an incident meter and gives a more accurate reading.
To take a reading using a light meter, face the bulb up so that it can read the light falling on the subject. If the mountain is facing you, tilt the light meter a little bit as well.
5. Grey Card
Having a grey card with you will help you in getting an accurate white balance every time. Accurate white balance is essential to render accurate colors. Using a grey card, you can either set a custom white balance in-camera or adjust it later in post. However, be sure to use the grey card every time the lighting changes.
These are some basic and affordable tools that you must have as a landscape photographer. Do you have these tools with you in your camera bag?
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