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Landscape Photography: Quick Tips for Stunning Deep Focused Images

So you have made your way to a scenic location, and are faced with a breath-taking view that expands into the distance. How do you capture a sharp image of all the details of this landscape? Here are a couple of quick tips from a professional photographer on what you should pay attention to when photographing such scenes. (Reported by: Yoshiki Fujiwara)

Landscape shot with the EOS 6D

EOS 6D/ EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM/ FL: 16mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/11, 1/30 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto


Bringing out the abundant details of a landscape by recording in RAW and deep focusing

To produce a sharp image of the hot-air balloons that are randomly scattered across the composition from near to far, I employed the deep focusing technique with the aperture set to f/11, and set the image-recording quality to RAW.

RAW image files contain information on a variety of details, such as light information (including colour information), that is received from the image sensor but may not show up in the photo. Processing the files can help you use this information to the fullest possible extent, such as to bring out colours that would otherwise be ‘hidden’. This is especially useful for scenes where the contrast between bright and dark areas is very stark, such as sunrise photographs. For example, in the main image, RAW post-processing has enabled the orange colour to stand out from the highlights on the left side of the image above, while the shadow areas of the water surface, which would otherwise appear dark, also turns out bright and blue.

I always choose to employ the deep focusing technique to make sure that as much information as possible is captured in the RAW image file.

Did you know that you can process RAW images in-camera on Canon’s most recent cameras? Check out:
Camera FAQ #4: What Can I Do with In-Camera RAW Post-processing?

Use a low ISO speed to brighten the shadows
If we try to reduce the blowout in the sky at the upper end of the image, the water surface would turn out underexposed, and noise would become noticeable if we try to brighten the dark water surface during RAW processing. A low ISO speed will be necessary to reduce the noise to the minimum, so I chose to take the shot at ISO 100.

Close up of water surface (EOS 6D)

A closeup of the water surface area after post-processing. The RAW file contained enough detail for the originally underexposed area to be brightened through post-processing.


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Digital Camera Magazine

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

Yoshiki Fujiwara

Formerly a professional snowboarder, Fujiwara took the opportunity to embark on a second career as a photographer after retiring due to an injury. He has since won a number of international photography awards for his nature photography and cultural portraits. In 2019, he became the first Japanese person to win an award in the 'People' category of the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. Besides providing photos for National Geographic, Fujiawa also contributes to camera magazines in Japan and abroad, and engages in a wide range of activities including books, talk shows, and company calendars.

Instagram: @yoshiki_fujiwara