Capture Dynamic Landscapes

Alpha Tutorial :12 - Capture Dynamic Landscapes

If you encounter an extensive landscape while travelling, you want to capture it just as it is on a photograph, including its magnificence and the atmosphere you feel in the moment.

To take such photographs, set the camera to the A-mode and try the techniques below.

Shooting with smaller apertures

First of all, use smaller apertures to shoot landscapes. Setting the aperture value to around F8 brings the entire image sharply into focus, although the recommended value may vary depending on shooting conditions or lenses. Generally, if you want to take sharp photographs with high contrast, increase the F-number. Conversely, if you want to add a soft feel to the entire image, decrease the F-number.

Shot with the aperture set to F9.0, this photograph looks sharp with both the pine in front and the sky in the background in focus. If the F-number is too small, the photograph tends to suffer from the lack of crispness, as only either the tree or the sky can be in focus.

Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 9.0 / Shutter speed: 1/30 sec

Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 9.0 / Shutter speed: 1/30 sec

Capturing the wide range on the wide-angle side

If you shoot landscapes with a zoom lens, you can capture the wide range of the scene by using the wide-angle side (with shorter focal lengths) of the lens. In addition, if you shoot landscapes with the sky, filling a large area of the image with the sky will give a more extensive impression and convey the power of the scene.

This photograph was shot on the wide-angle side of the zoom lens. Although the main subject is the ocean, a magnificent atmosphere is enhanced by filling a larger area with the sky and clouds, instead of capturing only the ocean in the entire frame.

Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 11 / Shutter speed: 1/800 sec

Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 11 / Shutter speed: 1/800 sec

How to enhance sharpness and vividness

If you want to render the landscape or clouds more sharply and vividly, change the Creative Style setting. Setting it to [Landscape] will enhance contrast and saturation, and finish the photograph with enhanced image depth. If you want additional contrast in colours or shadows for a more impressive finish, adjust Saturation and Contrast from the settings. Each parameter can be fine-tuned in ± 3 steps.

[1] Creative Style: Standard[2] Creative Style: Landscape
Saturation: +2 Contrast: +2

[1] Creative Style: Standard[2] Creative Style: Landscape
Saturation: +2 Contrast: +2

These photographs were shot with different Creative Style settings. Photograph [1] was shot with [Standard], while photograph [2] was shot with [Landscape] with Saturation and Contrast enhanced in the settings. As a result, the sky and coloured leaves are reproduced vividly and powerfully.

However, be careful not to enhance contrast and saturation too much, as it may result in a photograph like a painted picture due to colour saturation.

Trying wide-angle lenses

To shoot dynamic photographs with a wider angle of view, using wide-angle lenses is recommended. Wide-angle lenses can capture a wider range of scenes than the human eye, allowing you to enjoy shooting unique shots in everyday snaps or street shooting as well as landscape photography.

Recommended Lenses:

SAL1118
SAL1118

This lens offers a range of focal lengths that are indispensable for serious indoor and architectural photography as well as any other situation that demands wide-angle coverage.

It features ED glass and aspherical elements that reduce flare and aberrations to a minimum for crisp, high-contrast images even under difficult conditions.

SEL1018
SEL1018

This ultra-wide-angle 10-18 mm zoom lens is ideal for expansive landscapes as well as emphasised perspective with any subject. Aspherical and ED glass elements in a precision optical design contribute to spectacular resolution and contrast right out to the image edges.

With a constant maximum aperture of F4 through the entire focal length range, you can take advantage of the bright aperture to utilise fast shutter speeds even in low light.