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Tips On Photographing Mountains

Tips On Photographing Mountains - Enjoy the fresh, crisp air that winter has to offer and head out to shoot some mountainscapes.

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Landscape and Travel




There are plenty of great mountain ranges scattered around the UK that are well worth a photo at any time of year but in winter, when a covering of snow's fallen or a hard frost has settled they tend to look even more impressive.

The cool, clean air of winter is good for capturing mountainscapes as everything seems much more clear with distant subjects appearing crisp. However, snow, ice and cold plus a mountain equals conditions you have to be extremely careful in. Make sure you dress correctly, have a route planned, carry the right equipment (map, compass, phone etc.) and tell someone where you're going.

You'll find both a wide-angle and longer lens useful so make room for both in your camera bag and don't forget your tripod or monopod as a support is a must. A polarising filter will cut down on glare / reflections while an ND Grad filter will balance out the contrast between the sky and ground.

Sweeping shots from the tops, especially with snow and a crisp, blue sky look great but if you go too wide with your lens choice the sense of grandeur can be lost so be careful and check your frame before hitting the shutter button.

For shots that give the mountain(s) more depth compose your shots from a spot where you can make the most of their size from. Don't forget that foreground interest such as the mountain's ridge help give your image scale and can be used to lead the eye through the shot.

For shots with foreground and background interest where front to back sharpness is needed you'll need to use smaller apertures which can mean longer exposure times are needed so make sure you have your tripod or monopod with you.

Don't forget about panoramas as they work particularly well for shots of mountain ranges. It won't give you shots that really show off the mountain's height, but it will emphasise how far the landscape stretches out into the distance for. For tips on panoramas, have a look at our previous articles.

Shots off the mountain are what really show how tall these natural structures are. You can use a wide lens but you have to be closer than you think to the mountain(s) to create any sense of height and more often than not, whatever is in the background tends to lose impact with the foreground taking centre stage. It's much easier to use a longer telephoto that pulls the distant mountain to you, filling the frame and as a result, giving the shot more impact.

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tiff 9 108 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2015 12:52PM

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