If you’ve ever been in my position of having to fumble through camera settings while missing an amazing sunset playing out in front of you, here are five quick tips that you will want to know before you head out for your next photo adventure.
Gridlines on the viewfinder might do the job for straightening the horizon on your photograph, but if you want to be doubly sure without bringing yet another item out — a hotshoe-mounted spirit level — then virtual horizon is the feature for you.
This can be activated by cycling through the different information displays in Live View. When the indicator turns green, you know you’re good to go.
Bracketing Your Shots
Light changes quickly in landscape photography and fumbling through your exposure settings and metering modes might not be the best way to get the shot. Take a leaf out of the analogue photography book — bracketing gives you a better chance of ensuring that your photograph will be correctly exposed.
With the built-in auto-bracketing function, you can easily set the camera to shoot 3 exposures: under-exposed, properly exposed, and over-exposed. Here, the photographs are exposed for -1, 0, +1.
Timing is Key
It’s not just about being there at the right time of the day. Setting the timer on your camera (while mounted on a tripod) means you can reduce any motion blur caused when you release the shutter, especially with shots requiring a slow shutter speed. This is particularly useful when you do not have a remote release on hand when photographing in low-light conditions.
Canon EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/8.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 400
Light has its own magical way of colouring the sky even after the sun has set. While some photographers might start packing their bags immediately after sunset, I recommend staying on for a bit longer. You might discover things others have been missing out on.
A Human Touch
Landscape photographs tend to be a bit static, so being aware of your surroundings means you might be able to spot an interesting element to add to your shot. For me, that would be showcasing the people that are in the environment.
Canon EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/8.0, 1/50 sec, ISO 100
Canon EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM, f/10, 1/200 sec, ISO 400
All images are shot with EOS 6D, EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Behind the scenes images shot on PowerShot G9 X.
Profile of writer
Kenji Kwok is a Documentary Photographer from Singapore, whose work is driven by his belief to give others a channel to voice their grievances, as well as to document the need for change regarding social issues around the world.