Maybe you’ve seen it written in comments or maybe even somebody have said so while you were listening. And unfortunately that is one of the aspects with photography that is commonly misunderstood.
So let me try to explain it in a few words. The camera is about catching light. In general, the better this ability is, the more expensive the camera will be. However, the most important part of capturing an image is the person handling the camera.
This person needs to know what limitations the camera holds. This knowledge together with experience and a trained eye for good compositions will lead to beautiful images.
To demonstrate this for you, I took my Canon 5Ds equipped with a EF 24-70 f/2.8L, my Canon M100 equipped with a EF-M 22 f/2 and my iPhone with me to one of the local streams. The 5Ds and the lens had a retail of $5 048 and the M100 and the lens $849. The idea here is to show you what limits the different cameras have. Can you guess what camera that has produced what image? (Answer on the next page)
Have you ever been photographing snowy landscapes just to realize that your camera made a blue gray looking out of focus image?
The camera operates with something called while balance and there is your first problem. The camera does a best guess when it comes to picking the color temperature.
Moving away from AWB (Auto White Balance) and over to a more representative choice could solve your first problem. A much better choice would be to also shoot in raw. Raw makes it possible to adjust the white balance in post processing. I’m always shooting Raw. The single reason is to keep all the colors.
By keeping more of those colors you will also be able to reveal some more details in under/over exposed images. That often happen because the snow will reflect light and confuse your light meter.
The next issue is the out of focus problem. There might be condensation on your lens so check that when you are out photographing.
The other, and more common, issue is contrast. The camera needs contrast objects to detect focus. So find your self a color change in your image to help that autofocus.
If you are using the camera on a tripod then use your live view and focus with manual focus and magnification. The process takes a bit longer but done properly the results are always better.
Teddy has soon reached 11 years of age. He has been with me on many of my journeys. When capturing beautiful landscapes, your pet might be what you need to get your subject in the foreground.
When I’m trying to frame a landscape, one of my tasks is to have something that your eyes can rest on while observing my picture. There are a lot of tools to help you out here. You might have heard others talking about “Rule of thirds” or “Golden ratio”. If you’re a Lightroom user you have those tools in the cropping tool already. Once you start to get familiar with there tools you will start using them without thinking of it.
And there are a lot of rules, but the most important thing is to try and learn while you do so. Being a theoretically good photographer does not help you out if you can’t translate theory into practice.
When you introduce leading lines you guide the observer through your image. And while the observer moves around it is often good to have something to stop or come back to. That might be anything, but I tend to use Teddy or maybe something more static like a separated tree.
Do you have any special objects that you place in your frame every now and then?
My photography has never really been about the gear. Of course if I do find my area of photography to lack some kind of equipment I do spend a long time putting up comparisons between the alternatives on the marked, but once I’ve settled I don’t really pay that much attention to new and even better cameras and so on. After all; it’s not the gear that makes the photo, it’s the person behind it.