Persistence, preparation and composition: Enrico Fossati's top tips for the landscape photographer
Posted: 01 May 2018
Enrico Fossati is a professional landscape photographer based in Northern Italy. Enrico utilises the digital darkroom to create unique images, which he feels are impossible to create with more traditional techniques. His passion for art, film and music has largely influenced the way in which he crafts his photography. In this blog, Enrico shares his top tips for landscape photographers.
Landscape photography is the most common form of photography. Everyone is shooting landscapes – but to be successful in this kind of photography is more difficult than it appears.
The most important thing is passion – you have to love what you are doing and you have to be ready to sacrifice your free time to travel, work and ultimately improve your skills. The initial learning curve is not too steep – in terms of technical ability, landscape photography is quite easy to get your head around, but there are many small nuances that make the difference between a common snapshot and successful landscapes.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by failure. It can be easy to make mistakes during your first photographic excursions, so take your time and be patient with yourself. Weather conditions can be unpredictable – no matter how much you prepare, there are many factors, such as weather, that are simply out of your control which may hinder your ability to capture the image you want. Dedication and persistance are key.
Know your camera
Get to know your camera – inside and out. A sound knowledge of your equipment will make you a better photographer and will allow you to exploit all of its capabilities.
Plan your trips
Plan your photography trips carefully – if you’re just starting out, venture out close to home. This will help you prepare for any conditions. Study the locations from home, pre-visualise the shots you want to capture and think of how you can execute it.
Do your research
Research times of sunrise, sunset, a tide chart if you are working by the coast and weather forecasts before heading out.
Prepare for bad weather
Shooting in harsh weather conditions can be more challenging, but capturing landscapes in unique conditions are often the best shots. Personally, I prefer a dramatic thunderstorm at 4.00 pm with some patches of hard light instead of the classic pink sunset. So, bring a rain coat and an umbrella to protect your gear when shooting in the rain.
Composition, Composition, Composition
These are the 3 fundamental rules for a successful landscape shot. Composition is something you need to study in both theory and practice – being on site some hours before ‘good light’ is essential to understand how a composition works. It’s often better to have fair light with a killer composition than great light with a weak composition. Take time to explore your location and find the best point of view. A good way to improve compositional skills is to look at works from other photographers, or for example, study the painters of the past. They were masters of composition. Remember, you are in control of what is in the shot, and what isn't.
Studying post-processing to improve your image is essential. Cameras today are able to shoot in raw format, which will help you to get the maximum from your pictures. I’d suggest to begin with some basic training with Photoshop to get to know all the tools, then move on to more advanced tutorials or workshops.
Try to find your own way to capture photographs, your personal style must be recognisable if you want to be a truly successful photographer.
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