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Which Type of Landscape Photography Is For You?

We’ve got 7 types of landscape photography in this article that you can pick from if you’re feeling stuck.

1 – Urban

This is an exciting area of photography for many photographers. Not least because it’s likely you already live in, or near a big urban centre.

Urban landscape photography can roughly be divided into three sub-categories.

  • Cityscape – This type of photo aims to show a large part of the city. It needs to give a sense of scale to the place. You’re looking for a vantage point, and you’ll use a wide angle lens for this. Look for accessible tall buildings, or a hill overlooking the city for this.
  • Urbex – This entails photographing abandoned buildings, or accessing underground tunnel systems. Urbex stands for urban exploration. Look to take gritty photos, in interesting locations. Urbex can be dangerous though, so make sure you stay safe.
  • Architecture – Stunning architecture is a staple of urban photography. Look for new buildings, statues or bridges for this.

2 – Astrophotography

Camera’s can now perform well even at higher ISO’s. This has meant photographing the stars is easier than before. Subjects like the Milky Way are becoming more and more popular.

The following are some typical subjects you can photograph in the night sky.

  • Star trails – Use a program like StarStax, and create beautiful star trails across your photo.
  • The Milky Way – You’ll need a wide-angle lens with a large aperture, and a camera capable of performing at high ISO. Milky Way photos can be magical, it’s an amazing genre.
  • The Moon – This requires a lens with a long focal length. You can still get good results with a regular zoom of 300mm. You will have to crop the image in post processing to zoom further in on the moon. Look for events like eclipses for even more dramatic results.
  • The Aurora – Visiting somewhere like Iceland is like going to Mecca for a photographer. One of the main reasons for this is the chance to photograph the Aurora. You can photograph this anywhere as long as you’re close enough to the north or south pole.

3 – Landscape Photography Techniques

The type of landscape photography technique you use can also lead to you have a particular style.

4 – Light Painting

Light painting is one of the most creative techniques out there. There is an immense amount of potential that comes with it.

The genre has many tools you can use. Keep in mind you’ll need to find a location that’s dark, and you’ll need a tripod.

  • Wire wool – Place some fine grade wire wool into a metal whisk, set it on fire and spin. You’ll get dramatic results, but be careful of the fire risk.
  • LED light stick – Two light sticks have transformed light painting in recent years. The Magi light, and the pixel stick are very creative tools.
  • Light orbs – Place a light source on the end of a string and spin it to create light orbs.

5 – Infrared

This technique is a great way of transforming your scene into a dreamscape. You’ll need the conditions to make a success of this technique.

You can manipulate the white balance in camera, or post-process later. IR photography will make any green vegetation appear white.

There are two main approaches to this form of photography.

  • Filter – Attach this to the front of your camera to filter all light out, except infra-red light. You’ll likely need to use long exposure when using a filter.
  • Adapted camera – You can get your camera body adapted so that it photographs in infrared light. It now performs like a regular camera, only the images will all be infra-red.

6– Bird’s Eye

The bird’s eye view describes looking straight down. You’ll want to be taking this type of photo from an elevated position.

There are several ways to achieve a perspective like this.

  • A high position – This can be an overpass looking over a road, or the viewing deck of a tall building. Getting into a higher position than your subject is all that’s required.
  • A drone – Nowadays there is the option to fly a drone. This gives you a lot of freedom for your composition.
  • In flight – The old approach to flying could also work. A ride on a helicopter, out of the window of a plane, or even taking a hot air balloon ride.

7 – Wide Angle

The wide angle composition makes you work more for the photo though. You will need to think about what to include in the foreground elements of your photo.

The final part of any photographers workflow is post processing. This is an area rich with possibilities. You can explore it more for your type of landscape photography.

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