Guide to Dramatic Panoramic Landscape Photography
Panoramic landscape photography offers beautiful images of breathtaking views and picturesque valleys. To be successful in shooting a picture like this, you need to know a few things about panoramic landscape photography. Here is how you can achieve magnificent panoramic views and landscape photographs.
Step 1: Tripod
A sturdy tripod helps in reducing or negating the camera movement or shake. If you are carrying a lighter one for travelling, then place something heavy on it to make it more stable. Resolving power of the lens depends on the stability of the camera and it also provides for sharper images. Hence, the tripod is a necessary element for landscape photography.
Step 2: Depth of field
To capture panoramic views, it is necessary to have a sharp focus on the foreground and background to enhance the quality of the photograph. The mid level apertures like f8 or f11 are useful when used with standard wide angle lenses. Do not use a high aperture of f16 or f22; it will result in low quality pictures due to diffraction.
Step 3: Foreground
You can use the foreground to your advantage and create an image with higher depth, making it more interesting (like using rock formations on a beach as objects in the foreground). You can use the super wide angle lens for dramatic panoramic landscape photography, like the professional Olympus Zuiko Digital f/4 lens. Such lenses help shoot sweeping landscapes that take you from the foreground to the background and then bring you back to the foreground again.
Step 4: Shutter Speed
Sometimes you require to capture movement in photography, like a waterfall or wind blowing over cornfields. In such cases, the shutter speed is of great importance. Usually, you need to experiment with varying the shutter speed to lower levels. However, you need to use manual settings to do this and select the appropriate aperture based on the amount of light. You may need to use a neutral density filter, if there is very bright light. You may not get it right the first time, but you need to keep experimenting.
Step 5: Patterns
After brushing up all the technical data, you need to know how to select the site for the picture. Observe and look for patterns; there are plenty in nature. These add a kind of harmony and symmetry to the image, taking the eye into the landscape (like with a view from atop a mountain).
Step 6: Scale and Horizon
It is easy to get confused with the magnitude or scale of an object such as a mountain. At such times, it is always a good idea to shoot the landscape with a recognizable object, so the people get an idea of the landscape's scale. For the horizon to be seen properly, you will need have a straight landscape. This can be done either with the help of a grid on the viewfinder or a spirit level. However, as a last resort, you can try doing it in Photoshop.