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EOS M5 Shooting Techniques: Natural Landscapes

Equipped with various features rivalling that of EOS DSLRs, the EOS M5 comes in handy even when shooting landscapes. In this article we look at how to use some handy features such as the electronic level, grid display, and Picture Style, as well as techniques for taking photos of beautiful natural landscapes. (Reported by: Yoshiki Fujiwara)

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/11, 1/4 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I set the camera on a tripod, and used a slow shutter speed of 1/4 sec to depict the movement of the waves.

 

Scene 1: Capturing magnificent shots of an endless sea of clouds

Display the electronic level

When shooting a sea of clouds as in the photo below, or placing the land and sea horizon lines in the frame for your shoot, it is important how you express its magnificence. If you shoot the land and sea horizons on a slant, the sense of tension disappears, and the picture looks less magnificent as a result. To avoid this, display the electronic level and use it to make sure that the camera is level with the horizon while shooting. That way, you can clearly depict the horizon.

It is possible to correct the horizon after shooting. However, this involves cropping away the image peripheries, which could ruin the image you have painstakingly composed. Therefore, I recommend checking the horizon properly for your shoot. If it is difficult to see your subject while the electronic level is displayed, you can use the INFO button to toggle the display on and off.

EOS M5/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 45mm (72mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 1/100 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I was expecting the day of the shoot to be a cloudy day. Two hours before sunrise, the foot of the mountain was shrouded in thick fog and climbing was difficult, but when I reached the summit, a sea of clouds spread before my eyes, just as I had predicted.

 

Tip: If the horizon is on a slant, it will give the impression that the photo was not well thought through

EOS M5/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 45mm (72mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 1/100 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

In this example, I was unable to shoot level with the horizon as I was deceived by the ridge lines where the elevation drops toward the right. Be sure to display the electronic level so as to determine the correct composition.

 

Shooting procedure

1. Set the camera onto a tripod.
2. Press the [INFO.] button once.

 

3. The electronic level will be displayed onscreen.
4. If the camera is tilted, the line on the electronic level will be red. Adjust the camera until the red line turns green.

 

Scene 2: Capturing a well-balanced photo of a waterfall

Display the grid

The Rule of Thirds is one of the most well-known composition techniques for photography. While there are scenes that are difficult to gauge by eye, using the grid display on the EOS M5 makes it a cinch to create the Rule of Thirds composition. Although the photo below is of a scene that might make one wonder where to place the ground, waterfall, and cavern ceiling in the frame, I used the Rule of Thirds, and placed the ground and remaining elements using a 1:2 ratio to take a well-balanced shot.

Moreover, the lines divide the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically. If the primary subject is clearly defined, such as a person, placing your subject on the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines makes it easy to create a well-balanced arrangement.

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 6 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto

 

By taking the shot with the boundary between the ground and waterfall aligned with the lower grid line, it became a Rule of Thirds composition. It is clear that the waterfall is the primary subject so it is easy to convey the intention of the photographer.

 

Tip: If you use a split composition, it won't be clear what the primary subject of interest is

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 6 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto

By simply splitting the ground and the remaining elements using a 1:1 ratio, it won't be clear that the primary subject is the waterfall.

 

Shooting procedure

1. Set the camera onto a tripod.
2. Press the [Menu].
3. On Shooting Menu 1, select “Shooting information display” → “Grid display” → “3x3”.

 

4. Press the [INFO.] button once to display the grid.

 

Scene 3: Obtaining a vivid depiction of a forest scene

Use Picture Style - Landscape

If you are unable to successfully reproduce the colours of the scenery in the way that you feel they should be, try changing the Picture Style setting. Picture Style is Canon's feature for finely determining how the camera reproduces colours. For each preset Picture Style, the camera automatically sets parameters such as Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Colour tone. The default setting is "Standard". However, if you want to vividly capture the green of the forest or the blue of the sky, try using the Picture Style - Landscape setting. The colours will become more saturated overall, and full-bodied. Even in non-landscape scenes, you can try using this setting when you want to give your photos a vivid finish.

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 10 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto

A river surrounded by green trees. Although it is a beautiful scene, it is somewhat dark as it is covered by the trees. Because I also wanted to capture the flow of the water, I used a shutter speed of 10 seconds, and set the Picture Style to “Landscape” to add colour.

For more on using Picture Style, check out the following article:
3 Steps to Creating Custom Photos With Picture Style

 

Tip: Colours will look less vivid if you use Picture Style - Standard

EOS M5/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (18mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/8, 10 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto

When using Picture Style - Standard, the scene is properly depicted. However, the colours appear slightly dull, which makes the image look flat and lifeless.

 

Shooting procedure

1. Press the [Quick Set] button.

 

2. On the Picture Style menu, choose “Landscape”.

 

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EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

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EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

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Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.
Published by Impress Corporation

Yoshiki Fujiwara

Originally a professional snowboarder, Fujiwara took the opportunity to embark on a second career as a photographer after retiring due to an injury. Seeking to find ways to make use of natural light to achieve a translucent feel, his experience gained through self-study eventually led to his photographs being selected as one of the 2014 “10 Viral Photographs of Tokyo Camera Club”.

http://www.yoshiki-fujiwara.com/

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