Lenses

People in Landscape: It's a Great Big World-The Sensational Summer Photography Series: Part 7

I’m incredibly passionate about landscape photography. Next to photographing my children, it’s my favourite genre of photography. So it’ll come as no surprise that capturing my children within a landscape is the perfect fusion for my photography style. There are a few things that should be considered when photographing people within a landscape scene. I want to share some of those tips with you.

1. Consider your lens choice

For the most part, a wider lens should be your choice when you want to capture a human subject within a landscape scene. This big perspective allows you to photograph your subject and the environment too. A wide-angle lens allows for a grande scale to be showcased and can result in a “little person in a big world” kind of feeling. My favourite lens choices when capturing my children within a landscape are my 35mm, 16-35mm, and my 14mm.

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/500SS

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/500SS

2. Consider your exposure triangle settings

When I capture landscape images, I, for the most part, always use a tripod. However, the use of a tripod is not an option when I’m capturing my children in a landscape. They are busy and move around in a scene, so I need mobility too and forgo my tripod. Since I’m not using a tripod, I need to use a faster shutter speed than I likely would if I was capturing only a landscape scene. I like to keep my shutter speed at 1/400 or even higher for my person in landscape images.

Also, I need to consider my aperture choice. I have a couple of options here. If I want to isolate my subject, I can choose to use a wider aperture and blur my background a bit so a choice of f4 or lower would work. However, if I want to ensure sharp focus throughout my entire image, then I will need to use a small aperture like f9 or higher.

If you are shooting in manual mode, don’t be afraid to set your aperture based on what you want in focus within your image, then set your shutter speed to eliminate any possible motion blur from wind through trees or grasses or a moving subject. To complete your exposure triangle, set your ISO last to balance out your exposure triangle.

I often find when I’m capturing a human within a landscape, I often underexpose my image to preserve the highlights within the scene, which are usually in the sky details. I can adjust the shadows in post-processing by bringing them up.

ISO 200, 35mm, f13, 1/320SS

ISO 200, 35mm, f13, 1/320SS

3. Consider your composition

Good composition is vital to a solid image, so this is something I always consider. In the image below, I purposefully composed the scene by considering the rule of thirds (ROT) when I placed my son along the 1/3 ROT line. I also chose to compose my image with my son in the left side of the frame, as this enhances a shared experience with a viewer. When the viewer’s eye lands on my son he or she will share in the experience of looking towards the boat in the distance and off into the sunset.

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/1250SS

ISO 250, 35mm, f3.5, 1/1250SS

4. Consider mood

There’s always mood in a landscape image. Landscape moods are highly dependant on the type of light and weather at the time of the image. I think it’s important to consider how the mood within the landscape impacts the overall feeling within the image and how the person is captured within the scene. If you have a stormy landscape, it might seem out of place to have an energetic and playful child running through the scene. This type of behaviour is probably more cohesive with a bright and sunny scene. It is, however, worth experimenting a bit with humans in a landscape and mood because juxtaposition is a powerful thing.

ISO 400, 35mm, f16, 1/160SS

ISO 400, 35mm, f16, 1/160SS

5. Use post processing to enhance your vision

Post-processing is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to infusing your vision into an image. Very often in post-processing I’m lifting shadows, lowering highlights, adding colour, tweaking clarity and contrast and fine-tuning my straight out of camera capture. Learning programs like Lightroom and Photoshop will help you enhance your images beautifully and artistically.

In the image below, I wanted to enhance the image in post-processing by adding more vibrancy than in the SOOC. I think the enhanced colour increases the mood as my subject looks off into the dramatic sky while the waves crash into the shore.

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS SOOC

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS SOOC

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS Edited

ISO 100, 35mm, f3.5, 1/2000SS Edited

This concludes The Sensational Summer Photography Series! Thank you for incorporating my concepts into your summer photo memories!

Inside my Camera Bag-My Most used Photography Gear as a Landscape Photographer

Landscape photography is no small feat! I’m usually weighed down by an incredible amount of weight as I trudge out into my beloved mountains. You see I like to be prepared just in case I need this lens or that lens or this filter or that one. Part of my enjoyment when capturing landscapes is when I explore creative techniques so I like to have some tools to do that.

If you are interested in landscape photography I think the equipment you have is enough for you to start learning and immersing yourself into nature. So don’t let gear limit you when you’re first starting out. Over the last several years I have built up some lenses and tools to help me capture landscape images with my vision for a scene. Here are some of what I take with me while I’m out capturing landscape images.

1. F-Stop Guru Backpack

Having a great backpack to hold all my gear is absolutely essential when it comes to landscape photography.  I wouldn’t get far without this. I must be able to store the necessities, like snacks, water and clothing layers in addition to first aid items, bear spray and extra camera gear like batteries, memory cards and a head lamp for night shooting. I really like the F-Stop Guru. It has plenty of space but isn’t too big for me. My favourite feature about this backpack is that it holds the ICUs (internal camera units). I can store my gear in these units day to day and then they are grab and go ready when it’s time to head out. These units also fit perfectly into my bike saddlebags when I want to take my gear out on a mountain bike excursion. These unit are easy and no fuss. I like that a lot. My backpack is also water resistant and a separate waterproof barrier can be purchased. It’s really tough too. I’ve hauled it up and down many a mountain through sun, rain, snow and ice.

ISO 100, 17mm, f14, 3sec

ISO 100, 17mm, f14, 3sec

2. Nikon D810 and D610

My camera body of choice when it comes to capturing landscapes is my Nikon D810 however having two camera bodies is very useful when capturing landscapes. If I’m running a long exposure I can still shoot with my alternate body or I can set up and run a time lapse on my D610 while shooting shorter frames with my D810 or I can shoot wide with one body and telephoto with the other. Two bodies give me options and I like that.

ISO 100, 16mm, f11, 1/20sec

ISO 100, 16mm, f11, 1/20sec

3. Nikkor 16-35mm f4

This is my go to lens when it comes to my landscape photography. The majority of my landscape images are captured in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I’m often standing right or very close to the base of a range. I like to be able to shoot wide capturing the entirely of these majestic scenes. I also like to be able to have room to incorporate compositional elements in the foreground and a wide angle helps me do just that.

ISO 100, 16mm, f13, 30 sec

ISO 100, 16mm, f13, 30 sec

4. Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8

This lens is absolutely fantastic for close up captures of landscape details and mountain peaks. The zoom ability is amazing because I can add variety when capturing a single scene.

ISO 100, 120mm, f14, 1/25sec

ISO 100, 120mm, f14, 1/25sec

5. Lee Filter System 

I adore this filter system. The Lee filter system foundation kit has a base ring that is screwed on and attached directly to my lens of choice. A filter holder is then attached to this ring base. From here it’s really easy to slide various filters in an out of the holder. I really like the ease of this system especially during sunrise and sunset when light is changing very quickly. Long exposure photography is a favourite technique of mine when I’m capturing landscape images so my neutral density filters are a must. I have the Lee foundation kit and the little, big and super stoppers. I also often shoot with soft grad neutral density filters.

ISO 100, 20mm, f13, 8sec

ISO 100, 20mm, f13, 8sec

6. Polarizer

I have a love then hate relationship with my polarizer but it’s incredibly useful in situations where I need to cut through haze or glare off water. I’m glad I have this filter when I need it.

ISO 100, 16mm, f11, 37sec

ISO 100, 16mm, f11, 37sec

7. Tripods

Owning and using a tripod is a must when it comes to landscape photography. I have two tripods. My go to tripod is the MeFoto Globetrotter. It’s a perfect fold up and slide into the side of my backpack tripod. It’s a fantastic all around tripod that does the job in most circumstances. I also have another simple and very inexpensive tripod that I take with me into some locations in order to set up and leave running for techniques like time lapse or shorter single frame captures.

ISO 2000, 18mm, 5.6f, 30sec

ISO 2000, 18mm, 5.6f, 30sec

8. Sigma Art 14mm 1.8f

This lens is brand new to me. I purchased it out of my adoration for night photography. I wanted a faster lens and the ability to shoot really wide at night in order to capture the expansive night sky.

ISO 100, 14mm, f11, 421 sec

ISO 100, 14mm, f11, 421 sec

So there you have it! My most used landscape photography gear when I’m out capturing this beautiful earth!

If you missed it I also have a blog post on: Inside my Camera Bag: My Most Used Photography Gear when Capturing my Children.

Inside My Camera Bag: My Most Used Photography Gear when Capturing my Children

I always enjoy reading about what’s in a photographer’s gear bag so I thought I’d take you inside mine! Don’t worry I’ve cleaned out the rocks, I’ve taken out the sticks, removed the dried up leaves and flowers and shaken out the snack crumbs for just this occasion!

Speaking of camera bag, I own Kelly Moore’s, The 2 Sues in a pretty deep mauve. This bag is big enough to hold one camera body and two average lenses. I adore all the pockets and places to store items like extra batteries and memory cards. I’ve had this camera bag for years and put it to the test! It still looks great and has withstood snow, rain, sand and mud. It’s even water resistant which I appreciate!     

Now let’s dive in and I’ll share my favourite and most used photography gear!

1. Nikon D810 and D610

My camera body of choice is currently my Nikon D810. I’ve hung onto my D610 for several reasons, I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to gear, but I find it’s also incredibly useful to have two bodies at times. My D810 is my go to camera but if I need a second body for some reason I use my D610. I also bring my D610 to places like the beach or hiking because it’s a littler lighter and there’s a higher possibility that it might get scuffed up. If I’m doing any photography around water I always use my D610 as it fits nicely inside my DiCAPac.  

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

2. Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 f 

The Sigma Art 35mm is my most used lens when I’m photographing indoors. I like to shoot a little wider indoors as I can capture a little more space around my subject which helps me tell a better story. This lens is a dream when it comes to sharpness, although it did need calibrating with my D810. I love that I can open up my aperture nice and wide letting in as much light as possible in lower light situations. I also adore the beautiful flare that I can get indoors with this lens! It’s so pretty!   

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2f, 1/800SS

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2f, 1/800SS

3. Nikkor 50mm 1.4f 

This was the first lens I purchased and it was the only lens I captured my children with for a very long time. It’s a fantastic all around lens. Nowadays though I use this lens for all my freelensing images. 

ISO 3200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200

ISO 3200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200

4. Nikkor 105mm 2.8f

This is my absolute favourite lens. I’m particularly attracted to telephoto lenses when I’m out capturing my children. My children can run and play and I can hang back a little allowing them to be themselves and in the moment without a camera interfering. I also happen to adore that this lens isn’t all that heavy. My absolute favourite thing about this lens though is the gorgeous bokeh and flare!

Another thing about this lens is it doubles as a macro which is awesome! It’s nice to have options!  

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250mm

ISO 800, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250mm

5. Nikkor 70-200 2.8f

I love telephoto lenses and this lens does not disappoint! I adore the zoom on this lens. It allows for signifiant versatility when it comes to focal length. I enjoy taking this lens with me when we are not going far or shooting long because it is heavy and big. The bokeh and flare however are gorgeous and if you like that look this lens will fill up your heart’s desire! 

ISo 400, 95mm, 3.5f, 1/640SS

ISo 400, 95mm, 3.5f, 1/640SS

6. Prism, copper tube, lace

I adore creative photography so tucked into one of the pockets of my camera bag is my prism, copper tube and a piece of lace. I enjoy pulling out these tools and embracing the creativity that comes with their use! 

ISO 200, 85mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

ISO 200, 85mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

7. Sigma Art 14mm 1.8f

This lens isn’t in my camera bag yet but I wanted to mention it because it sits at the top of my wish list. I want it specifically for night landscape photography however when I rented it I enjoyed using it with my children. I adore the wide aperture and I think it’ll fit nicely into my collection of lenses I use when capturing my children specifically when I want to capture a whole scene.

I’d love to hear what your favourite child photography items are and why! So please feel free to leave a comment in the blog post!