Photography has long been a form of creative outlet; with the dawn of digital technology it has made this art form accessible to all, thus the emergence of so many photography enthusiasts in the world today.
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Landscape photography is one genre that is now gaining popularity, particularly in a place like Iceland, that offers such a diverse range of opportunities. If you've been dreaming of visiting the Land of Fire and Ice with your camera, then we've got some great tips to help you to capture these timeless and enduring scenes.
Use a Reliable Camera.
Landscape or outdoor photography means you are in an uncontrolled environment. Therefore, it is essential that you use camera gear that will not falter in any conditions. Make sure that your camera is weather-sealed or invest in a system that is known to perform well in the rugged outdoors. These days, mirrorless options such as the Sony A7RIII are a popular option, particularly as they are known to capture much more of the dynamic range in a scene. This means that you'll be able to obtain more data from the landscape which you can work on in post production later on. However, any sturdy and reliable camera will do, particularly if it is full frame.
Weather-sealed cameras are a must for Iceland. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Read the Manual.
Until now, I still read the manual for my camera from time to time. Knowing how your gear works is essential, so that you can maximise the potential of your camera. It can be useful to keep your manual with you as well, in case you run into any troubles in-field. That way, you'll have all of the information handy so that you can look up a quick fix.
Know how your gear works so you can fix it in a jiffy when in-field. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
The emergence of professional photography workshops has increased the learning curve. These days, new photography enthusiasts can learn different genres of photography within a very short time. Of course, mastering the art is a different story. No matter how much you learn, there is always room to get better.
Our photo tours and workshops in Iceland are designed to take you to the right place at the right moment for landscape photography, armed with all of the best photography techniques to achieve the shots that you want. Whether you're a beginner, an amateur, a hobbyist or a professional photographer, you'll be able to expand your landscape photography portfolio immensely as you see the most amazing locations in Iceland for photography with our professional photo guides in tow.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the most amazing waterfalls in Iceland. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
When shooting landscapes, it's best to set your camera to record in RAW. RAW is the digital equivalent of film negatives. More information is captured using this medium than when you record in JPEG. By shooting in RAW, your camera will capture enough data to allow you to correct certain aspects of your images in post production, such as the white balance, contrast and more.
If you're not keen on giving up JPEG just yet, then don't fret. Most cameras these days have the option to record images in both formats at the same time, giving you the ability to have a readily-compressed image in JPEG to send to your family and friends while having the option to exercise your creativity with the RAW file later on when you have some time.
Shoot RAW, even when using a drone. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Have you decided to take a photography trip to Iceland? Have you booked the hotel? Have you also researched all of the potential locations for landscape photography in the Land of Fire and Ice and whether they're best for sunrises or sunsets?
When you decide to take a trip to Iceland for photography, it's important that you plan ahead of time, so that you'll have a better chance at capturing the photos that you want to take home. Research plays an important role in making a photograph. It gives you more time to visualise and compose your shots even before you reach the actual location.
However, you can take the headache out of organising everything yourself by joining a photography tour or workshop with a reliable photo tour company, that will save you the hassle and time spent looking for the exact locations that you've seen in photographs.
Make sure you do your research before coming to Iceland! Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
- See also: Ultimate Guide to Sunrise Photography
Depth of Field.
To get as much of your scene in focus as possible, try maximising your depth of field. The simplest way to do this is to choose a small aperture setting between f/11 to f/16. Unless you're shooting puffins and you want the bokeh effect. In that case, switch to a larger aperture like f/2.8!
Bokeh effect with puffin. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
These are the primary weapons of landscape photographers. Neutral density filters are used to diminish light, thus resulting in the silky smooth waters that you may have seen in photos of waterfalls or the Diamond Ice Beach in Iceland. Graduated neutral density filters help to balance exposures between the sky and foreground.
Filters help you to balance the exposure, particularly when the sky is bright. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Use a Focal Point.
Landscape photos always have a focal point that will lead your eye through the image to the rest of the scene. A good foreground element is usually critical for visual design and composition. Rather than shooting an empty horizon, try finding something that will help to anchor your image, such as a rock or a stick, which can serve as your main focal point and create an interesting leading line.
Have a strong focal point within the scene. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Get Yourself in the Action.
The most successful landscape shots are not taken by the road or from a safe distance on the sandy beach. To make the most of your time photographing the landscape in Iceland, you'll have to explore and at some point even trek to get to the best locations.
If you're not keen on finding them for yourself, then joining a photo tour or having a good photography guide will benefit you greatly, as they'll make sure to get you to the best locations at all the right times to make the most of the conditions... all whilst ensuring that you'll arrive safely.
Sometimes you'll need to get your feet wet for the shot! Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Get it Right at the Click of the Shutter and Not the Mouse.
It's important to do your best to take the image in-field, rather than to improve things later on in post processing. Digital photography doesn’t mean that discipline must be sacrificed. After all, it's not the number of shots that is important but the quality of these shots. You have all of the equipment that you'll need in your hands to get the right exposure, so don’t waste this technology by correcting and editing it all later in post. The technology is there to help you. Your camera is a tool which you should learn to use if you want to master the art of landscape photography!
Technology is there to help you. Try to capture it right the first time in-field! Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
About the author: Edwin Martinez is a landscape photographer based in the Philippines. You can find more of his work on his website or by following him on Instagram.
Take the hassle out of planning your trip to Iceland! Check out our range of photography tours and workshops that will ensure you'll learn all there is to know about landscape photography in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
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