Liven up your landscape images and capture dynamic skies with these 6 tips


posted Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 9:16 AM EDT


Landscape photos are not just about the land, a great landscape photo often relies on the sky as well. Writer and photographer Hillary Grigonis highlights six tips for capturing "dramatic skies in your landscape photography."

Hillary's first tip is to time your image correctly. You may not think of landscape photography as being as reliant on good timing as wildlife or sports photography, but the best light is often only available for a brief period of time. In some cases, you may only have a few seconds to capture the image you want, with ever-changing light and cloud conditions.


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Another one of her tips is to compose for the sky. When the sky is less dramatic, it makes sense to utilize less of it in your image and have your image dominated by the landscape itself. However, when you have a great sky, shifting your horizon down in your image and giving more real estate to the sky can make for a better image.


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One of the most important tools in a landscape photographers' bag is the graduated neutral density filter, but many filters are useful. A polarizing filter is critical as well, as it can be used to reduce surface reflections, something that you can't do in post-processing. In addition to graduated neutral density filters to darken skies and polarizing filters to reduce reflections, there are regular neutral density filters which are used to reduce the amount of light that goes through your lens. By reducing light, you can capture longer exposures, all else equal. Hillary discusses using long exposures for skies to make clouds become wispier and smoothed out, which can add a unique look to your landscape images.

To see the rest of Hillary Grigonis' tips for capturing landscape images with dynamic skies, rear her full article.

(Seen via Digital Photography School