Abstract Landscape Photography Tips
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How To Shoot Abstract Landscapes - Is the weather not playing ball? Well make your landscapes abstract.
- Wide-angle lens
- Polarising Filter
- ND Filter
Technique:If your landscape shooting plans are put on hold by a grey overcast day, still head out with your tripod and wide-angle lens as you can shoot some abstract landscapes instead. As shadows, which can help create perspective, aren't something we need in abstract landscapes you can shoot when the sun's hidden by cloud. After it's rained, when the sky's still decorated with grey clouds is a perfect time to head out as the light will still be even and everything will be damp and drying which means they'll be plenty of different shades to capture.
Basically, you need to frame your shot so it removes it from its surroundings, focusing on the patterns, shapes, texture and colours. For example, you may have a pebbly beach that makes an excellent landscape photo but after it's rained or the tide has gone back out you'll be left with wet, colourful pebbles that are perfect abstract landscape subjects. The patterns the tide creates in the sand, rusty objects and the lines found at the bottom of reservoirs after they've dried up also make excellent abstract landscape shots. If you're at the coast or by a river, have a look for areas where water's pooled as the rocks and foliage they collect can make an interesting study. You'll probably need a polarising filter to reduce the amount of glare coming off the water's surface.
When it comes to gear choices, your first thoughts might be to pick up a macro lens but shooting with a wide-angle zoom will give you a larger area you can crop into later. You need to stand parallel to your subject so if you're shooting pebbles on a beach, for example, you need to stand directly above them and shoot down. Just remember to have a look around the viewfinder before you take your shot as the wide-angle view can mean your feet end up creeping in at the edge of the frame.
For front to back sharpness try using an aperture around f/8 which on an overcast day does mean you'll end up with slightly longer exposure times so using a tripod is a must. If the tides coming back in, filling channels it originally cut going out or you're at the side of a stream that's meandering round and over a group of rocks, dial down to a smaller aperture to give you an even slower exposure so you can blur the movement of the water, adding further interest to your shot.
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