Shoot into the
brightest part of the sky and expose for the highlights to capture striking
silhouettes. It is important to ensure that your subject has an interesting
outline. Trees are prime candidates but also look out for rocks and city
Mist is often
produced at sunrise and is usually forecasted so keep an eye on weather reports
in anticipation. If you understand the conditions that create mist then you can
predict it. Use mist to simplify your landscapes and create a tranquil
atmosphere. Photograph the mist when surrounded by it or from a high view
before sunrise and after sunset. On clear days it provides a directional, soft
blue light, and can be used to create calm atmospheric images, particularly if
there is some mist or snow on the ground. Twilight can extend an hour or more
after sunset or before sunrise so don’t head home too early.
Around the time
of full moon, the sun rises as the moon sets, and the moon rises as the sun
sets. Timing is very important and there may only be a few good opportunities a
year to capture this. These images are best shot with the telephoto lens.
The warm light
at the start and end of the day produces stunning colour contrasts that will
illuminate your subject. The strongest colour casts come with fierce sunlight
and clouds overhead. Cold winter mornings are also a great time to head out, as
the frosty ground in the shade will reflect the blue of the sky.
with a map and compass The Photographers Ephemeris is a great piece of
freeware that tells you when and where the sun and moon will rise and set on
any given date. This will allow you to pre plan your image without even
visiting the location.
Sun stars are
caused by diffraction, which is the bending of light around the aperture blades
of the lens. Small apertures of f13 or so increase diffraction and hence the
size of the sun stars. High-contrast sunlight at sunrise or sunset when
combined with high-end optics will produce stunning results.
outgoing weather fronts as sunrise or sunset will provide sensational skies
rich in colour. Learn to recognise low-altitude clouds like cumulus and
high-altitude clouds like altostratus and cirrus. Understand how they change
colour in ‘the magic hour’ and this will explain why a grey sky will suddenly
become red at sunset.
You can shoot
multiple different exposures of the same scene on a tripod and combine them in
post processing to achieve an even exposure. Spending time using Layer Masks in
Photoshop will help you produce incredibly realistic results.
20. Lens flare
High end optics
reduces lens flare but using a lens hood or even your hand can help if sunlight
is glancing the front element. Subtle lens flares can be removed in post
processing with a little bit of practice using the Curves tool in Photoshop.