In this article, I wanted to share my 5 tips on photographing intimate landscapes. We don't all have access to the big wide sweeping scenes in our day to day life. Particularly now with the lockdown and limited outdoor activities. And it would be a shame not to use the time we have been given to learn, experiment and enjoy our photography. So my wish is that I can inspire you a little to pick up your camera! In terms of finding your subject, do not overlook anything. The smallest pieces of grass or flower, stone or plant can make a great subject.
Here are my 5 top tips.
1/ Using the Light
Look out for where the light is coming from. If you are especially lucky the sun is shining and you can use it! Backlit images are fabulous. Look for where the light is coming from. It sounds basic, but it is something many people simply forget. Sometimes there is no sunlight, but when there is, the direction is crucial. I mostly shoot backlit if I have the luxury of sunlight!
That means directly into the sun, keeping it behind the subject. As long as the sun is not actually in the frame itself, you will be ok. Do not include the sky or the sun in this case! Keep it tight on the subject matter. This will give you a beautiful backlit image, often with light sparkling around the edges, like this image.
3/ Distance & background!
Make sure that you are aware of what is in the background and use it. If you have a blank sky, it won’t necessarily be very effective. I always try and avoid the sky in the background unless I am looking for a silhouette shot.
When it comes to photographing intimate landscapes, lens and aperture can make a difference. It doesn't mean you can't do this without the best of kit though. So here is a little about my experience of what lenses work well when photographing nature and more importantly, why aperture comes into its own.
One of the main reasons that lens choice is important is to do with the aperture it can stop down to. It is actually very simple. With these type of images, the wider the aperture the lens can go (meaning the smaller the number on the lens) the better it will create this background blur. So you are looking for lenses that go to 2.8 or even 1.8 if at all possible.
I hope this article helps and inspires you a little to get out there and look for the small things. I teach this on all my retreats and workshops so please take a look if you are interested in joining me next year.