Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Visiting The Photography Show 2018? Take a look at our Exhibitor Guide so you can plan before you go!

Anecdotes from a landscape photographer

Anecdotes from a landscape photographer - For the fifth beginners landscape photography article in this series, Martin Pettinger observes how having the best equipment may not lead to taking the best photographs

 Add Comment

General Photography

For the fifth beginners landscape photography article in this series, Martin Pettinger observes how having the best equipment may not lead to taking the best photographs.

One problem with a hobby is wanting to get bigger and better things - i.e. a bigger lens, a 'better camera', more gizmos. However as per my previous article, 'better' cameras do not necessarily make for 'better' photographs.

So my birthday is coming up and the wife wants a list. Now I think she is going to tell me to go and raffle myself if I ask for a Sigma 10-20 lens, a Lee Filter Foundation Set, a Canon 200mm prime or a new computer so I can use install and use Raw Essentials. So it got me thinking of little accessories that would make for 'better' or different photographs that I cannot currently take.

One thing I have noticed with my landscapes is they often lean! I use a Manfrotto CLB 055 Tripod with a 460mg Magnesium Head - not a pan and tilt. The Magnesium Head has a spirit level but I do not find it that useful. Hence one gizmo I think I am going to put on my list is a spirit level to go in the hot shoe of my Canon 10D. I do not own a flash gun so it can live in there quite happily.

Before anyone points out I can rotate my landscape and crop - when I am making the absolute maximum use of my 24mm prime which has a field of view equivalent to a 38mm lens due to the camera’s 1.6x crop factor I may lose little corner details such as foreground rocks if I rotate and crop so I’d rather get it right in the field. There is also a slight loss of quality when you rotate and crop images.

I also believe in making the best use of one’s equipment before buying more. I own an excellent macro lens - a Tamron 90mm. Hence one idea for photographing small flowers and fungi would be an angle finder. Trying to frame a small flower when the camera is on a bean bag on the ground by lying on the floor is so awkward and messy that I end up giving up - not least the risk of flattening surrounding flowers.

The last item I going to put on my list is a 3 stop neutral density filter and a 3 stop hard edged graduate filter. I want to do more coastal landscapes and really slow down the shutter speed to make the sea go misty as well as have a grad filter where I can put the transition on the horizon line. The 3 stop neutral density filter will also be useful for waterfalls as I like bright and blurry rather than frozen.

Hence rather than yearning for a bigger and 'better' camera or a wider or faster lens have a browse through the ePhotozine equipment buyers guide > insert link here Pete and look at polarising filters if you do not have one, macro photography - it's cheaper than you may think, camera supports if you do not own a tripod - No.1 accessory in my book.

So that’s my list folk. Hopefully it will help me take 'better' photographs - i.e. landscapes that do not lean, close ups that I wouldn’t otherwise take and seascapes with ethereal water and a grad that doesn’t darken rocks or foreground interest. Nevertheless a Sigma 10-20 would be nice!
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More

There are no comments here! Be the first!

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.