Checklist For Landscape Photographer

I have many interesting experiences from trips during which I photograph the landscape. Many of them concern the situations in which I find myself, because of my forgetfulness, haste or simply my oversight. You can choose from most of them, but there are also situations when the whole trip is lost, because I forgot about something important.

It’s not worth wasting the opportunity to take beautiful pictures just because we forgot to take some key equipment with us, without which taking a picture is impossible. What can it be? Imagine that you are going to the pictures and forget to take your camera (fortunately, it hasn’t happened to me yet) ! Or maybe you haven’t taken a single memory card or battery ? What then?

Because I found myself in similar situations, I prepared for you a checklist of a landscape photographer, which is worth going through while going for landscape pictures (some points also apply to any other field of photography).

BEFORE THE JOURNEY

  • Check that the batteries are charged
  • Charge your phone
  • Clean lenses and filters
  • Pack the necessary equipment – camera(s), lenses (think about what you need – wide angle and telephoto is the minimum), batteries, memory cards, tripod, filters, filter holder and trigger hose, flashlight.
  • Pack or screw the camera’s tripod mounting plate onto the camera right away
  • Pack your power bank and the appropriate charging cables
  • Pack something to eat and drink.
  • Read the weather forecast
  • Pack the right clothes
  • Pack the map
  • Take a small notebook and pen if you have important information (you can also do this on the phone)
  • If there is a risk that you will have to spend the night in the field, then take a compass, matches and a knife or a multi-tool tool with you.
  • Leave the house with plenty of time to spare.
  • Fill up the car.

PREPARATION AND TAKING OF THE PHOTO

  • Get to know the area and look for the most interesting compositions, try different focal lengths
  • Make sure you find an interesting foreground. If there is no such plan, look for the leading lines. Every line of sight will be interesting. Especially interesting are “S” type lines – wraps that lead the eye through the personnel.
  • Check the ISO – the lower the level, the less noise.
  • Set the white balance
  • Set the aperture. For high depth of field, set the values between f8 and f16. Avoid closing the aperture very strongly, e.g. f22.
  • Check the saving format of the photo – it is best to save the photo in RAW format, you can also save JPG files.
  • Set up a tripod so that it is stable. If you put it on soft sand or water, you can put CDs under your feet.
  • Attach the camera to the tripod head and make sure the clamps are tightened securely and the camera does not fall off.
  • Connect the Trigger Hose or set the shutter speed to at least 2 seconds.
  • If you are taking pictures with a telephoto lens, you can lock the mirror.
  • Frame your composition – use LiveView if available on your camera. Turn on the spirit level if you have this function in your camera or attach a small spirit level to the camera’s foot. Make sure you straighten out the horizon.
  • Sharpen the frame. You can do this using autofocus or manually. Zoom in on the LiveView to check the details.
  • When you are ready, take a picture by releasing the shutter with a snake or trigger on the camera.
  • (OPTIONAL) You can use filters for long exposures.
  • (OPTIONAL) Think about making multiple exposures of one shot.

THE POP OF GOING HOME

  • If you take pictures in winter, leave the camera in your backpack for a few hours. This will not lead to condensation on the camera sensor.
  • Copy the photos from the cards to the disk.
  • Backup the photos on an additional drive(s). Two copies is a safe minimum.
  • Make sure that the photos on the disk open.
  • Format memory cards
  • Charge all batteries
  • Dry clothes if necessary
  • Browse through the photos and mark those worthy of further editing
  • Clean the equipment from sand, pollen, water and dust. Blow the inside of the camera with a pear. Dry the tripod if it was standing in water. Once a month, you should unscrew the tripod and clean it of sand and other dirt.

Ronald K. Johnson

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