Shooting tips > Capture Dynamic Landscapes

    Level: Beginner

    LESSON 3Capture Dynamic Landscapes

    Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 11 / Shutter speed: 1/100 sec.

    If you encounter an extensive landscape while traveling, you want to capture it in a photograph just as it is, including its magnificence and the brisk atmosphere you feel at the moment.
    To take photographs like these, set the camera to the A-mode and try the techniques below.

    Shooting with smaller apertures

    First of all, use smaller apertures to shoot landscapes. Setting the aperture value to around F8 brings the entire image sharply into focus, although the recommended value may vary depending on shooting conditions or lenses.
    Generally, if you want to take sharp photographs with high contrast, increase the F-number. Conversely, if you want to add a soft feel to the entire image, decrease the F-number.

    Shot with the aperture set to F9.0, this photograph looks sharp, with both the pine in front and the sky in the background in focus. If the F-number is too small, the photograph tends to suffer from the lack of crispness, as only either the tree or the sky can be in focus.

    Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 9.0 / Shutter speed: 1/30 sec.

    Capturing the wide range on the wide-angle side

    If you shoot landscapes with a zoom lens, you can capture the wide range of the scene by using the wide-angle side (with shorter focal lengths) of the lens. Also, if you shoot landscapes that include the sky, filling a large area of the image with the sky will give a more extensive impression and convey the power of the scene.

    This photograph was shot on the wide-angle side of the zoom lens. Although the main subject is the ocean, the magnificent atmosphere is enhanced by filling a larger area with the sky and clouds, instead of capturing only the ocean in the entire frame.

    Focal length: 16 mm / F-number: 11 / Shutter speed: 1/800 sec.

    How to enhance sharpness and vividness

    If you want to render the landscape or clouds more sharply and vividly, change the Creative Style settings. Selecting the [Landscape] setting will enhance contrast and saturation, and finish up the photograph with enhanced image depth. If you want additional contrast in colors or shadows for a more impressive finish, adjust "Saturation" and "Contrast" in the option settings. Each parameter can be fine-tuned with ± 3 steps.

    [1] Creative Style: Standard[2] Creative Style: Landscape
    Saturation: +2 Contrast: +2

    These photographs were shot with different Creative Style settings. Photograph [1] was shot with [Standard]. Photograph [2], meanwhile, was shot with [Landscape] with "Saturation" and "Contrast" enhanced in the option settings. As a result, the sky and colored leaves are reproduced vividly and powerfully.
    However, take care not to enhance contrast and saturation too much. This may result in a photograph that looks like a painted picture because of color saturation.

    Trying wide-angle lenses

    To shoot dynamic photographs with a wider angle of view, using wide-angle lenses is recommended.
    Wide-angle lenses can capture a wider range of scenes than human eyes. As a result, you can enjoy capturing unique images in everyday snapshots and street shots, as well as landscape photography.

    Focal length: 12 mm / F-number: 16 / Shutter speed: 1/5 sec.

    This compact 12–24 mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens features the shortest focal lengths available in any full-frame E-mount lens, with stunning corner-to-corner G Lens resolution at all apertures. It is an excellent choice for dynamic landscape and architecture photography. Outstanding mobility and quiet, fast, precise autofocus make it ideal for shooting movies as well as stills.

    F-number: 8 / Shutter speed: 1/100 sec.

    This full frame E-mount 16–35 mm ZEISS Vario-Tessar zoom offers outstanding performance in a compact, lightweight package. A versatile zoom range coupled with built-in optical image stabilization makes it a great choice for snapshots, indoor scenes, group shots, landscapes, and more, especially with a full-frame α7 series body. A constant F4 maximum aperture facilitates exposure and depth-of-field control.

    Trying fixed focal length lenses

    Focal length: 35 mm / F-number: 8 / Shutter speed: 1/400 sec.

    SEL35F18F

    Offering outstanding image quality even at its maximum F1.8 aperture, this compact and lightweight 35-mm prime lens for full-frame cameras is a versatile choice for everything from tabletop photography to the great outdoors. Fast, precise, quiet AF operation and reliable AF tracking make it suitable for shooting videos and stills.

    Focal length: 24 mm / F-number: 11 / Shutter speed: 1/250 sec.

    SEL24F18Z

    This first-class 24 mm (35 mm full frame equivalent) prime lens features a large F1.8 maximum aperture and is capable of outstanding sharpness and contrast throughout the frame plus beautiful “bokeh” in out-of-focus areas. Maximum magnification is 0.25x for dramatic 1:4 close-up capability, and an internal drive motor offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation that moviemakers will appreciate.