Tips on How to Capture the Perfect Landscape Photo

By Scott Robarge: For those of you like me who are fans of taking landscape shots, here’s a set of tips to help you capture that perfect shot.  While perfect is of course in the eye of the beholder, these suggestions should allow you to at least capture what you want others to see.

Landscape Photo

Plan Ahead – Take your time to scout out a location, and then plan to be there at different times of the day.  Capturing that perfect shot is not something you want to rush through.  You want to take your time experimenting with different angles, perspectives, lighting, etc.

Tripod –With landscape photography you’re often using a smaller aperture, with slower shutter speeds to compensate for the lack of light hitting the lens.  Using a tripod will ensure your camera is completely motionless resulting in much sharper photos.

Mirror lock-up  – Since you want to avoid any movement, make sure to use mirror lock up.  The mirror inside your DSLR can and will cause vibration, so make sure to utilize the mirror lock-up setting.  This is especially critical with long exposures.

Aperture Priority or ManualMode – Since you want to control depth of field, you’ll want to shoot in the aperture priorityor fully manual mode.

Maximize depth of field – Typically with landscapes you’ll want to maximize your depth of field to make sure that everything in the shot is in focus.  You’ll achieve this by utilizing a small aperture, which you’ll recall is the high number.  Now, if there’s something unique in the foreground that you want to capture with a more blurred background you’ll want to open up the aperture for a shallower depth of field.

Light – The ideal time for shooting landscape shots is what many refer to as the golden hours.  This timeframe is roughly speaking a half an hour before and after sunrise, and a half an hour before and after sunset.

Filters – Ideally you want to photograph when the lighting is perfect, but when that’s not possible, you’re going to need filters.  There are many filters out there that can help you control the light, but you may want to start with a polarizing filter and/or a neutral density filter.

Composition – The right composition is what allows you to convey your message through the photo.  A lot can go in to the composition of the shot, but the most basic is the “rule of thirds”. The idea behind the rule is to split your frame into thirds by using two lines to split the frame horizontally and two lines to split the frame vertically creating nine sections.  Aligning your object or point of reference, such as a horizon at one of these intersections or lines creates more energy and interest.  While utilizing this rule it’s important to think about foregrounds and the sky to see where things should be aligned.

Also, try multiple points of view. Once you’ve captured the picture the way you originally envisioned, take some time to take the shot from different vantage points.  Look to see if you can take it from a different angle or walk closer to the object.  You’ll be surprised what a little exploration can turn up.  I hope these tips help – have fun.

About Scott Robarge

Scott Robarge is an amateur photographer and outdoor sports enthusiast.  Scott Robarge is also the founder of Another8 Solutions, a leading technology recruiting consultancy working with early and mid-stage companies on talent acquisition and retention.

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Scott Robarge Reviews New Olympus High-Grade Portrait Lens

Olympus announced the release of the newest member of its Micro Four Thirds family of lenses with the release of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 High-Grade Portrait Lens (150mm equivalent), a high-speed, single-focal-length telephoto lens that is optimized for studio, stage, indoor sports and portrait photography, enclosed in a high-quality, compact, stunning metal body.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 promises stunning defocused backgrounds, while the subject remains in sharp focus so you won’t miss a thing!

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8h is remarkably small with a total length of just 2.7 inches and turbocharges the performance and portability of the Olympus PEN and OM-D compact system cameras. A stunning, textured metal body finish will turn heads, while the large 50mm diameter glass front lens delivers power and performance.

The lens is perfect for shooting gorgeous still images and powerful high-definition (HD) videos, the lens uses Olympus’s proprietary MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocusing mechanism with an inner focus system to power this single-focal-length lens for fast and near silent focusing. Manual focusing is a snap with a precision touch focus ring.

The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 High-Grade Portrait Lens will have an introductory price of $899.00 and can be found at most photography and electronics stores.

Scott Robarge: Louisville, Kentucky – A Hip City with a Rich History

May 31, 2012 Louisville, Kentucky is a city over 200 years old on the banks of the Falls of Ohio, highlighting touches of France, manufacturing, and government reform. Louisville (never pronounce the “s”!), named after King Louis XVI of France as a thank you for his support during the Revolutionary War, was incorporated in 1778. In the first couple decades of its incorporation, Louisville was characterized as a slow-growing, sleepy town.

After the introduction of the steamboat to the Falls of the Ohio in the early 1800s, Louisville quickly became the largest city in Kentucky, propelled forward by an intense growth thanks to industrial development. A part of the Union during the Civil War, Louisville was home to a base of operations and military supply center. After the Civil War, Louisville became a manufacturing and commercial headquarters, thanks to its strategic river-front location. In the 1850s, construction of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad continued to allow the economy of Louisville to boom, thanks to the over 1,800 miles of railroad laid through the state and straight through the city itself. Following prohibition, Louisville became home to the world’s largest distillery, and during World War II, Louisville became the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber, due to the Dupont plant’s opening in the city.

Louisville is credited with a few government-focused ideas, impacting our national and local governments to this day. Officials in Louisville reformed voting by introducing the secret ballot in the 1880s, thus significantly reducing vote fraud. Louisville government was the first in the state of Kentucky to submit measures to control zoning and urban growth, aimed at assisting in city planning.

A great number of famous and influential Americans have called Louisville home. President Zachary Taylor, two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, boxer Muhammad Ali were all born in or around Louisville. Noted ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon lived in Louisville for a time; and noted author F. Scott Fitzgerald frequented the bar at the Seelbach Hotel, which he made famous in his novel The Great Gatsby.

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Scott Robarge Another8 Founder Reviews Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4

The recent release of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS4 is a fantastic new digital camera for capturing the best of the outdoors with features including a built-in GPS system (one million landmarks and 82 countries), compass, altimeter (to measure depth underwater), barometer (to forecast the weather conditions), and the rugged durability.  The camera is adept at handling even the most difficult conditions.  It is practically waterproof, shockproof, freeze resistant and dustproof so you can take it virtually anywhere.  This is an exceptionally durable camera that you can bring along on all types of activities regardless if they involve rough or wet terrain.

The Lumix DMC-TS4’s ruggedness is matched only by its exceptional photo and video quality, it has a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens with a 4.6x optical zoom.  If you haven’t tried a Leica lens, you are in for a treat.   For the those of you who need a camera that can produce high quality video, the Lumix DMC-TS4 has you covered.  It can shoot 1,920 x 1,080 full-High Definition (HD) video in both AVCHD and MP4 formats.

The LUMIX TS4 offers manual operation settings, so users can adjust shutter speed and aperture, but I’m also a fan of Panasonic’s  iA (Intelligent Auto) mode.  The Intelligent Auto mode allows the camera to choose the ideal settings to take high-quality photos and videos that you will be enjoying for years to come.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS4 is available in four colors (orange, blue, black and silver) and you can find the camera at most retailers for around $399.99.

Scott Robarge Reviews the Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera

For amateur photographers like me, the Nikon D3100 digital SLR camera is an easy and affordable DSLR solution perfect for a family vacation, a little league game or a spectacular sunset. The D3100 offers 14.2-megapixel resolution and high definition (HD) video.  The camera’s LCD screen expertly guides users by recommending and/or adjusting camera settings to achieve the best results.

For home movies, there is nothing like shooting in real HD — 1080p resolution (1920×1080) and Nikon makes sharing and editing a snap by recording movies in the versatile H.264 AVCHD codec (.mov file).  For example, you can upload a video to the Scott Robarge channel on YouTube or Vimeo in under a minute.

Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology helps to eliminate camera shake which make so many home movies look like they were filmed during an earthquake.

The D3100 camera is lightweight and packs a lot of advanced Nikon technologies into its compact size, such as a new EXPEED 2TM image processing engine that combines with the 14.2-megapixel DX-format for vibrant image quality.

Sometimes the sun and light just doesn’t cooperate, but when shooting in less than optimal lighting conditions, ISO 3200 (expandable to 12,800) allows you to take great shots at night or indoors.

When you are ready to take photography to the next level, the versatile NIKKOR lenses can be added, like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm VR telephoto lens.

One of the other great features about the D3100 is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which significantly reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting.  Nothing is worse than waking up a sleeping baby with the sound of your camera.

Price and Availability

The D3100 D-SLR camera outfit, including the versatile AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens, is available in most specialty electronics and camera stores for about $550.

The New Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera – Some Reflections by Scott Robarge

In March 1987 – 25 years ago — Canon debuted one of the most significant breakthroughs in modern camera technology with the launch of its award-winning EOS system, consisting of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three interchangeable EF lenses.  The EOS system was lauded by critics, professional and amateur photographers for its advanced technology and ability to capture memorable images thanks to its combination of speed and handling.

Canon also set a new standard by incorporating state of the art digital technology with the release of the EOS D30 camera in 2000.  Canon’s interchangeable EF lens series are now the industry standard, featuring Ultrasonic Motor (USM), Image Stabilization (IS), Sub-wavelength Structure (SWC) anti-reflection and multi-layered diffractive optical (DO) elements.

I am very excited to hear about the recent release of the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera.  It is designed as an upgrade from the EOS 5D Mark II and an alternative to Canon’s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model.  The EOS 5D Mark III delivers extraordinary image quality, because of a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed.  Videographers are going to be impressed by the noise reduction, extended recording times and built-in headphone jack for sound monitoring.

From professional photographers to entry-level photo fans, the eagerly anticipated new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera continues the proud tradition of innovation that began twenty-five years ago when Canon first launched its EOS system.

Over the coming weeks and months, Scott Robarge dot net will be featuring some of my favorite outdoor photographs, I hope you come back and share your thoughts and feedback.