There are a lot of factors to consider when taking landscape photos. Sometimes if it’s not the right time of day, then your photos could end up blown out — or maybe you didn’t focus on the right part of the photo to give you the most details. These are two of my favorite techniques to use to capture the most detail in my landscape photography.
The way I use this technique is known as bracketing for HDR (high dynamic range). If it’s the middle of the day and the sun is too bright, or I want to capture as many details in architecture as possible, I would use this technique.
It’s super easy, and with a camera that has its own bracketing setting, most of the work is already cut out for you!
First, put your camera in Aperture Priority mode. I shoot on a Sony A7RII, which has its own bracketing setting that takes three photos at different shutter speeds. This can also be done manually if your camera does not have a bracketing setting. The photo of the Statue of Liberty below was taken using the bracketing technique.
Here are the settings of the three photos that were merged to create this photo:
Photo 1: 1/4000s, f/5.6, ISO 64
Photo 2: 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 64
Photo 3: 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 64
With the sun bright behind Lady Liberty, she would have been dark, and the photo would have just been a silhouette. However, because of the bracketing technique I used, I was able to capture various exposures and merge them in Photoshop without having to do too much work to recover all the details. Below is the image done without using the bracketing technique.
Focus stacking is another way to make sure that all parts of your image are sharp. In this technique, all the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings stay the same. What changes in each image is the focal point.
For the image below, I used three images — one focused at the end of the lake, one on the tree branches to the right, and another focused on water in the center. With this technique, Everything comes into focus — even the smallest branches on the bare trees.
Share your favorite techniques for editing landscape photos in the comments below!