Landscape photography aims to capture the essence of the great outdoors. It is quite challenging to narrow something so vast and limitless within the boundaries of a camera frame. Your scene might involve the sky, mountains, oceans, forests or anything large and majestic. On the other hand, you will also be shooting small natural and human-made structures which include people or wildlife for perspective.
If you are already into landscape photography or just getting into it, you must have realised that a lot goes into planning and preparing for your landscape shots. You need to do a lot of scoping and surveying to find the best position and angle to place your camera. Before you leave your house, you also need to ensure you pack the proper gear required for your adventures.
Gear that is durable and fit for purpose makes all the difference once you are out in the thick of it. Based on your preferences, we have several recommendations for you that will help you unleash your potential as a landscape photographer. The first of which is the impressive Sony a7R IV.
Sony a7R IV: A Landscape Photographer’s Dream Camera
The renewed physical design of the Sony a7R IV accommodates many protective and ergonomic elements. You can use the camera in rough weather conditions, which is a common occurrence in landscape photography. In fact, some of the best pictures have been taken in bad weather! The rear tilting LCD offers a superior 1.44mm-dot resolution for an optimal shooting and viewing experience in any environment.
Why do we love the new sensor on this fourth edition of the Sony a7R IV?
It features a Fast Hybrid AF system, including 567 phase-detection autofocus points that will fetch you quick and precise results. Since you have less control over your environment, a fast camera is essential for landscape photography so that you do not miss that perfect shot. You can use the Tracking AF and Eye AF technologies to shoot incredible UHD 4K videos at 30 fps or take detailed images of the land, sea or sky.
The Sony a7R IV includes some amazing features which include:
- A revamped full-frame 61.0 MP 35mm Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and an enhanced BIONZ X image processor for detailed landscapes.
- Contrast-detection AF (425-point) and Fast Hybrid AF (567-point focal-plane phase-detection AF) for fast focus in bright or low light environments.
- Shoot continuous frames up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking for those rare wildlife encounters.
- Exceptional low light support with a standard ISO 100–32000 range with a reduction of noise.
- A high-resolution 5.76-million-dot electronic viewfinder provides better brightness and contrast visibility.
An Added Level of Stability For Landscape Photography
During landscape photography, there may be situations where using a tripod is difficult. Even in the hands of an expert, with a tripod a picture is prone to showing a bit of a blur and a shake. The Sony a7R IV offers certain stabilisation measures that will bring out the best in your photographs. Its 5.5-stop effective 5-axis SteadyShot image stabilisation system can counter five kinds of camera movements that you may struggle with while shooting handheld. The system also works well when different types of lenses are used with the camera, including third-party lenses.
Upgraded Storage and Connectivity For Longer Trips
Never find yourself running out of storage space thanks to the fast performing UHS-II rated dual SD card slots. When you are out and about trekking, camping or clamping the inclusion of a quick charging battery and a USB Type-C port means you won’t be wasting a lot of time charging your camera. Plus the extra slot of memory gives you peace of mind for time lapse or day-long shoots. The Sony a7R IV also offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity (including both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands) for wireless transfer and backup when you are on the road. This method of connectivity can also be used to control the camera from a mobile device remotely.
Unlock Available Light Using Filters To Improve Your Landscape Photography
Here is a pro tip for you: the secret to good landscape photography lies in the way you present the scene in front of you, not in replicating what you are actually seeing. One way of doing that is by using lens filters such as neutral density, graduated neutral density, or polarisers. These speciality Nisi landscape filters will lend a creative angle to your images and will help you produce refreshing and dynamic images.
The work of polarisers is to filter out the light reflected directly at the camera at certain angles. While photographing a landscape that involves a blue sky or water, haze can appear in the picture and make it look less vibrant. A polariser can reduce the haze and reveal the actual colours in your photos.
Nisi Filters are some of the best for landscape photographers. Their level of craftsmanship and quality is famous in photography circles. When using a NiSi 100mm Starter Kit you can expect the following features:
- Achieve a 25% greater saturation effect than a NiSi 86mm Circular Polariser using a NiSi 86mm Enhanced Circular Polariser Filter.
- Every slot has been designed to hold an installed filter only along the surface of a filter-edge, thereby avoiding contact with the front or rear-facing surfaces of the filter.
- The screw-in locking pin and pull-and-release locking pin provides additional support to the device.
- A push on lens cap has been included with the kit.
- It includes a padded pouch for better transport and storage of the holder and filters.
What do you get?
Besides the NiSi 86mm Enhanced Circular Polariser Filter included in the pack, you can also attach three separate filters (100mm wide, 2mm thick) using the Si V6 100mm Filter Holder Kit. Out of the box, the kit consists of an aluminium alloy filter holder pre-installed with three pairs of plastic filter slots, designed to support three rectangular filters. These filters are designed to go on the front of your lens in the holder. The drastic improvement in highlights and reduction of reflections makes these the ideal kit for landscape photographers. The box includes a NiSi 100 x 150mm Nano Medium-Edge Graduated IRND 0.9 Filter (3-Stop) and a NiSi 100 x 100mm Nano IRND 3.0 Filter (10-Stop).
Using The Filters for Landscape Photography
The first step involves attaching the 82mm adapter ring to an 82mm thread lens. Step-up rings are also included for use with other size lenses. After a lens has been installed with the adapter ring, you can use the pull-and-release locking pin. This will provide a secure framework for the holder to be rotated across 360 degrees. This works as a benefit while using a graduated neutral density or other filters whose performance is improved due to a change in positioning. The position of an installed filter can be secured further using the screw-in locking pin, which will prevent further movement of the filter holder.
Use a Stable Platform To Capture Longer Exposures
A tripod is an essential tool for photographers, especially those interested in landscape, low light or long exposure photography. Advanced cameras today are capable of capturing photos in low light with minimal grain, thanks to their higher ISOs. However, you can further avoid a grainy picture by using a tripod for longer shutter speeds.
A tripod comes in handy when photographing landscapes as it expands the types of photos you can take. We highly recommend the Sirui W-1204 Waterproof Carbon Fibre Tripod with K-10 II Ball Head for landscape photography. Long exposure effects such as light trails, star trails, lightning, and many more are all made possible due to the incredible features shown below:
- Achieve different heights on uneven ground thanks to the ten layers of carbon fibre on each leg, extending in four sections.
- Use the tripod with gloves in cold weather as it contains easy to hold grips.
- Adjust the dust and waterproof legs locks quickly and quietly so you don’t scare wildlife when on location.
- Includes reversible ⅜ inch and ¼ inch screws for different heads and cameras.
- Legs can fold up to 180 degrees making it ideal for on the ground use.
- If you have a longer lens you can use the integrated monopod.
A ball head also plays a pivotal role when photographing landscapes. Being able to rotate the camera or tilt the camera up and down to level the horizon is essential. The Suiri K-10 II Ball Head make this a reality with great features including:
- Includes a vertical notch and a 360-degree panorama function.
- Aluminium knobs provide added durability.
- A head assembly with a ⅜” thread and a plate with ¼” stainless steel screw.
- A safety lock and sliding stopper prevent slipping of the plate or the camera.
- Spirit level for horizontal and vertical measurements when composing landscape photos.
Safe and Compatible
In landscape photography, you will be mostly shooting amid nature. That means you need something that will go through harsh weather, rugged terrains, and wet, flooded areas. Therefore, you must use a tripod kit that is durable, secure, and appropriately weather resistant. The Sirui W-1204 tripod kit ticks all the boxes for a quality tripod. Developed using carbon fibre, it holds your camera in place with water and dustproof twist locks. The tripod stands securely on all surfaces because of the metal spikes and rubber feet. By removing one of the legs, you can convert it into a monopod extending to a height of 163 cm making it a versatile product for landscape and wildlife photographers.
When used along with the K10 II Ball Head, you will be benefiting from its 360-degree panorama function. Aluminium knobs are also made for effective control over your pictures. The safety lock and stopper adds additional security to the camera body thereby making it an essential accessory.
Take Your Landscape Photography to the Next Level With Capture One
Capture One is a professional-level photo editing software for serious photography enthusiasts and professionals . The software works with either tethering or as a post-processing image editor.
It offers numerous features, such as image cataloging and RAW image file processing. You can also work on layering, keystone adjustments, local adjustments, and much more.
The software is available in multiple versions for Sony, Fujifilm, Nikon and others in multiple licensing options. The extent of Capture One editing options is ginormous for landscape photographers. Some of the main features of the software include:
- Ability to edit, crop, retouch and organise your photos.
- User-friendly and superior image processing capabilities
- Supports import of catalogues from other software such as Lightroom
- Compatible with a wide range of popular camera brands
- Offers flexible subscription and license purchase options
What Does Capture One Pro 20 Offer For Landscape Photography?
Besides the new camera support, Capture One prioritises improving the ease of access of the app and deriving better performance while working on your images. New users of the software will find its updated interface very accommodating. It is highly customisable and allows you to have quick access to the tools you use the most.
The developers designed the tools and algorithms to make actions such as cropping, dynamic range adjustments, and noise reduction better and easier. The enhanced functionality of the layers based editing feature makes copying elements between the images simpler.
A User-friendly and Seamless Experience
Using the Basic Colour Editor is effortless. Just click on the closest colour in the tool panel and control the sliders to modify the picture without affecting the other colour ranges. The sliders let you adjust the lightness, saturation, and hue of the selected colour. You will be able to view the changes in real-time.
For a perfect image, you can use their noise reduction tool to hold onto details and colours while taming your pictures’ noise patterns. The software is compatible with RAW files from approximately 560 different camera models. It also offers profiles for the various fixed-lens and changeable-lens combinations. Overall, the performance of the app is smooth and responsive. You will encounter virtually no lag while browsing or editing your photographs which can be the case for landscape photographers using Lightroom.
Combine All These Elements To Take Your Landscapes Photography To a New Level
The tools you use will not only assist you in capturing your favourite landscape scenes but also will help you develop your skills for more challenging tasks. A camera that is quick and fast will serve you well while taking landscape photographs, but it also needs to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Combine a camera like the Sony a7R IV with a robust tripod and you will be well on your way to capturing those beautiful long exposures. To take your landscape images to the next level use NiSi’s 100mm Starter Kit. Finally, don’t stop once you have taken your epic landscape image. Instead, take it to your editing suite running Capture One where you can really smoothen out the rough edges in your pictures or add some finishing touches to them.