Adapted from my latest column in the People's Post - July 2010

A reader recently shared a series of his landscape photos with me. For example, a photo featured a very interesting view of a lagoon – resembling Knysna in the Western Cape. Significantly, he used an old wooden jetty to lead the eye into the photo, and kept a good depth of field, meaning that both the foreground and the background is in focus. Images like these help to bring out the character of a holiday venue by making a feature of ordinary things that might have been lost in a bigger landscape. They make your holiday memories much more interesting.

To achieve high depth of field, set your camera on a high f-stop (e.g. f16) or use the “Landscape” feature on your digital camera. To enure the camera selects the highest possible f-stop, and to minimise camera shake which can cause blurring, use an ISO setting around ISO400 – meaning don't set your camera to Auto ISO. Override it manually. Then, focus the camera on an object nearby to you, for example the closest of the posts on the left or the right. Force your camera to focus on this point by centering it in the viewfinder and hold the shutter release button halfway down. This will lock the exposure and the focus. Then recompose your picture in the viewfinder to the landscape you want, and push the shutter button down all the way. With a high depth of field, this should mean that everything in the background is also in focus.

Another trick is to offset the object of main interest to the left or to the right “one third” of the photo, instead of placing it in the centre. This adds interest to the photo from a composition point of view. Finally, you can convert to black and white on your computer. 

Digital photography tips by Gareth Griffiths. Read his Blog at www.ggphotoworld.blogspot.com . Email gg_imaging@iafrica.com , or email the People's Post .
Gareth is considering offering group coaching on digital. If interested, please contact via email.


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