Landscape Shooting Tips from Ben Greenberg

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Larry Bouterie
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Landscape Shooting Tips from Ben Greenberg

Landscape Shooting Tips from Ben Greenberg’s presentation to the Charlottesville Camera Club, March 10, 2016: Capturing Quality Panorama Landscape Photographs.

1. Read Lee Frost's Landscape Photography: How to Take Spectacular Photographs in All Environments
2. Rules of thumb:
a. Fill the frame with your subject
b. Rule of thirds still works
c. Achieve balance in the composition
d. Negative space is reduced
e. Diagonals still make sense
f. Leading lines still make sense
g. Framing still makes sense

3. If you want your foreground in focus when shooting panoramas, learn and use nodal point – you will need an L-bracket
4. Level your tripod, ball head and camera independently
5. Decide if you are shooting a horizontal or vertical image
6. Select lens and set nodal point
7. Put camera in MANUAL mode and set white balance – set all 5 (focus, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and white balance—do not set white balance for auto) and check exposure
8. Shoot a blank at front and back of your shot sequence for identification
9. Shoot left to right
10. Use a 25% overlap (editors note: many references suggest 33%)
11. Don’t use a polarizing filter
12. Check for flares, “butterfly effect” and light falling off in the corners
13. Watch for parallax
14. Now SHOOT
15. There are any number of software packages to process panoramas
a. PTGui
b. NIK
c. Photoshop
d. Lightroom
e. Etc.
16. Consider spending $1,000 for a GIGAPAN device to drive the camera if you will be doing this often and can afford it.

Steve Muskie
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FYI there are several versions of the Gigapan robot. The most expensive is about $1,000. I bought a used Gigapan Epic 100 for under $300 a couple of years ago on Ebay. It works great with mirrorless cameras and smaller, lighter weight DSLRs. You can see one of my panorama selfies, taken at the McGuffey Art Center with my Gigapan Epic 100, a Sony a7, and an old, manual focus Canon 20mm FD lens. See Another is at It's of the inside of our former house, showing about a 180 degree pan of the main floor.