First of all, if you want to take really breathtaking shots, you have to do everything without compromise. Maybe you have to hike for hours to find a spot deep in the mountains, or you have to stand for hours in a muddy deep water to get the right perspective. Whatever you do, you have to give 120% … Because in the end, no matter how tired you are, the feeling after you have the perfect shot on your card is better than anything.
How I Work
I mostly work with multiple exposures – which basically means I use different exposures to set all the parts of the shot. I change the focus point from the foreground to the mid-ground to the background.. I also use exposures of different lengths to get the right brightness of every part of the picture. I shoot spots with water.. If I have water or clouds in my picture, I use my Haida 100mm Filters.
I take a single long exposure shot just for the water or/and clouds to make it really soft. I try to shoot all the immovable parts as fast as possible and all the movable parts as long as possible. Through this, you’ll have the perfect balance between sharpness and softness. Meanwhile, if I shoot the Milky way I use different exposure for it, since the camera settings for Milkyway are totally different.
How I Find the Spots
One of the most important part of a good landscape picture is planning. I use google, 500px, Facebook and the rest of the Internet for research. When I know which spot I wanna shoot, I have to do the planning. I use 5 different weather apps to be 100% sure that the weather is spot on and on the target spot. I use apps like Photo Pills, Skyguide, and Dark Sky, to know which time the Sun, Moon and Milkyway is on which place then I use Google Earth maps and a special GPRS Hiking apps to find the right way.
How I Shoot
The usual Aperture I use is between f/8 and f/16 normally for landscape f/11. f/11 is the perfect middle between the sharpest setting of my objective (EF 16-35 f2.8) and the biggest depth of field with a minimum of diffraction blurs. For water or clouds, I use times between 2s (to see the motion of the water) and 2 or 4 minutes to have the water or clouds completely soft. I try to set my ISO as Small as possible (50-300).
And shoot all my foregrounds for the night shots right after the sunset with minimum low-light to have less noise. My settings for the Milkyway are always the same: 16mm f 2.8 25s Iso 6400. If you don’t know how long you can expose the milky way without having Startrails use the rule 500. That means : 500 : Focal length = Exposure Time (if you use an apsc cam you have to multiply it with your crop factor). Ore use an app to count it.
How I Do Post Processing
First, I use Lightroom to process the Raw files.. After that I move all my shots to Photoshop in one project to blend them manually with masks. I never use a HDR software, because I don’t like to give the most important part to a computer. First, I blend the sharp parts of my pictures together, after that, I try to use my brighter and darker exposures to work like Dodge and Burn. If you do really long exposure shots, it is not really possible to brighten some really dark parts, because of the extreme noise of a long exposure shot.
Normally I work in ETTR (Exposing to the Right) to have more information in my pictures which means I try to shoot the picture a little brighter as I use it at the end. At the end I do some Mature contrast, color, Sharpness and saturation/dynamic settings over the whole picture.
Who Am I?
I’m a Swiss based half Italian Landscape Photographer living in Zürich. I’m 34 years old and lived my whole life as a Musician and Audio engineer. I’m an owner of a Music recording Studio, and I work 50% in a Music Store as adviser in professional Audio. But since two or three years, photography has been on my mind. In addition to the photograph I give weekly lessons Thaibox and Carry else a lot of sports. I’ve been doing photography for 3 years.
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