A great landscape shot starts with the right landscape, of course, so you’ll want to invest some time in staking out your subject before you get down to shooting. Remember, the best landscape photos are composed of more than just an amazing background; look for an interesting foreground, as well.
A shot of the forest in the distance may be lovely, but it’s only half the shot. What’s between you and the trees? Positioning yourself on the other side of a lake from your subject or in the middle of an old dirt road leading to it can make for a far more powerful picture than if you’d simply shot the forest by itself. Think of the foreground of your shot as the visual introduction to the landscape in the background—and give it just as much thought as the landscape itself.
The time of day when you shoot is crucial to landscape photos. A shot taken at noon will have a different impact than one taken at sundown. Consider the time when you’re staking out landscapes, and remember to keep the position of the sun in mind. The only time you’ll want to shoot directly into the sun is during sunrise or sunset. The rest of the time, keep the sun behind you or to one side. As with most types of outdoor photography, you’ll get the best landscape shots in the hours immediately surrounding dawn and dusk, when the light is less harsh and hard shadows are minimized.
For almost every landscape shot, you’ll want to shoot with a wide angle and a large a depth of field. Together, these will let you capture as much of the landscape as possible, while helping to keep the entire image in focus. If you have an interchangeable lens camera such as the Samsung NX System, a wide-angle lens is usually a better choice than a telephoto lens.
There’s an easy way to check your settings before you start taking shots. On the Samsung NX20, you can get a preview of your shot by pressing the Depth preview button on the front of the camera, to the lower-right of the lens. The LCD preview screen will give you an immediate sense of whether your depths of field settings are working. If the photo looks blurry or dark, try changing the aperture to a higher value to see if that helps, and press the Depth preview button again.
Unlike portrait or action shots, most landscape photos benefit from using a long (or slow) shutter speed. Part of this is necessity; a slower shutter speed will compensate for the depth of field settings discussed above by letting in more light. But artistry plays a role as well. A slow shutter will give a sense of motion to elements in a picture that aren’t completely still. This is especially effective if there is water or fog in a scene. A lake photographed with a long exposure will look fluid and alive; waterfalls will be spectacular. One caveat: Use a tripod when shooting with a slow shutter speed, as even a slight hand movement can ruin your shot with blur.
Landscape shots like these are meant to be shared. The Samsung NX System and other Wi-Fi enabled cameras let you share shots immediately and directly from your camera whenever you’re in range of a wireless network. With these cameras you can share pictures on social networks like Facebook, send them to Microsoft® Skydrive® for online archiving, or transfer photos to a PC on your home network. You can even set up an impromptu slide show on your television with TV Link and Samsung AllShare Play, or send a photo to your Galaxy mobile device with the Samsung MobileLink app, available at the Google Play™ store.
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