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How to Include Wildlife in your Landscape Photography

How to Include Wildlife in your Landscape Photography

Have you ever considered incorporating wildlife into your landscape photographs? Come to think of it, it is a very sensible and practical combination since many of the locations wherein wildlife can be found also have amazing landscapes around them. Perhaps it is because of the difference in pace in shooting landscapes and wildlife that the combination, while not rare, is uncommon.

Living visual elements add a whole new dimension into a landscape photograph. This can either be a human element in frame, or an animal that brings the environment to life. The presence of a living element in frame benefits the overall visual design of the image in 3 different spheres.

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For one, a person or animal in a frame automatically gives a sense of scale to the entire frame. It being in the frame allows the viewer to deduce how big the actual environment is which aids in illustrating the beauty and wonder of a particular place.

Second of course is that a discernible figure of an animal works as a possible focal point for the entire composition. While the subject wouldn’t entirely be the animal itself, it works as a focal point which draws the attention of the viewer. By creatively placing the figure on a beneficial part of the frame, it becomes part of the visual experience that you would want your viewers to enjoy when looking at your landscape photographs.

Lastly, the presence of an animal, whether common or illusively rare in the frame would add a multitude of layers of context that would illustrate a story. From a simple image that talks about the beauty of a place, the photograph can go on to tell the story of it as a habitat, it can show how the animals interact with the landscape, and even trigger curiosity and emotions within the viewers of the images. 

wildlife in landscape photography

A mixture of two genres 

Of course an obvious reason why we don’t commonly see wildlife in landscape photos is because of the fact that wild animals avoid people probably as much as people also avoid wild animals and these safety precautions are crucial in maintaining the safety of both the people and the animals.

Animals are easily threatened by people who are often a new sight to most of them and at the same time, a prudent photographer would not risk disrupting the ecosystem of these animals as well as risk their safety. There are proper limitations to follow when photographing wild animals that keep the best interest of everyone protected. 

essential gear for wildlife photography

 

Another possible reason why this combination of genres isn’t as common is because of the difference in pace and workflow between photographing landscapes and photographing wildlife. Photographing animals, especially those who tend to move fast, requires a very swift workflow with camera reflex. One would need to shoot in fast shutter speeds and probably wide open apertures for more light and isolation.

On the other hand, landscape photography is usually done at a slower pace with longer exposure times as well as small apertures to get as much detail in-frame as possible. To be able to incorporate one with the other, there would have to be compromise between them which can be challenging. 

Essential Gear

With the mixing of two entirely different genres comes the need for more versatile gear. To be able to capture landscapes with living elements in it, one would have to be able to make swift adjustments to framing and camera settings to be able to capture the image before the animal moves away. For landscape photography, we often prefer a camera with as much resolution as possible, good lowlight capabilities, as well as high performance lenses that would give the sharpest images.

On the other hand, photographing wildlife often requires fast frame-rate cameras to capture as many frames as possible while the animal is still in sight, fast focusing, and good accuracy. Doing both in one workflow can of course be done by cameras that fall within the specifications of either genres with some compromise, however it can best be done by cameras that come with both speed and resolution such as the Sony A1, Canon EOS R5, and the like. 

essential gear for landscape photography

Choosing lenses for this kind of photography would have to depend on two things. First, is how wide or how large is the view that you want to include in your shot. This generally governs how you will compose it as a landscape photograph with or without any wildlife in frame. Choosing your lenses and framing would depend entirely on how you aim to use space and all the details to artistically portray the location. For images that showcase a wide open vista and large structures such as nearby trees or distant mountains, a wide angle lens would be best. For images that aim to isolate and showcase distant objects and emphasize patterns, using a standard zoom lens or a telephoto lens would be the best option.

On the other hand, it is also important to be able to predict how far away your wildlife subject will be. The factors surrounding these are of course yours and the animal’s safety, the animal’s size, and how sensitive are the animals to humans (and their camera gear) in their habitat. More often than not, dealing with wildlife would require long telephoto lenses to be able to capture their images up close even when shooting from a safe distance. 

wildlife photography ideas

Attire 

In other kinds of photography, your attire might seem irrelevant to how successful your shooting process can be. However, with the combination of landscape and wildlife photography, your attire has a huge impact. For one, being out in the wild will require you to wear clothing that gives a certain amount of protection. This means protection from the weather as well as bugs.

More importantly, choosing the right color for your clothing can be crucial. When seeking to photograph wild animals, there is a need to stay as hidden as possible so wearing colors that blend well with the environment matters a lot. Depending on the location and the season, it would be best to wear clothes that blend with grass, trees, or snow. When using camera gear with significant sizes, it would also be best to use camouflage sleeves or skins on your lenses that will help your gear blend in with the environment and avoid scaring away the animals as you point your camera towards them. 

Support Gear 

Depending on your approach, you might need support gear to keep your shots steady especially when dealing with wildlife subjects that move around a lot. A good monopod can help you be versatile while maintaining stability in seeking animals with relatively longer and bigger lenses. This is ideal for faster paced shooting that requires swift movement. On the other hand, a more landscape-oriented approach would of course require a tripod to be able to use exposure techniques to achieve a more satisfying aesthetic. 

Another reason for using a tripod is to keep the camera in position for multiple exposures. One way to be able to use wildlife elements in your landscape photographs is to blend multiple images in post processing later on. One image can be taken with settings that make sure to capture the animal clearly while still in frame. This means using faster shutter speeds, larger apertures, and possibly higher ISO values. The other image or images can be set to be able to capture the environment better.

support gear for wildlife landscape photography

For this part, you can choose to do longer exposures if necessary, smaller apertures for more detail, and relatively lower ISO for cleaner images. By doing this, you can be sure that all the parts of your image are taken with the best approach. However, this should be guided by the primary aim of your photography. If the image is to be taken in a documentary context where authenticity is of utmost importance, it would be better to consider a simpler approach. However, if the aim is to simply illustrate the scene, then exposure blending and post-processing should not be an issue. 

Another innovative approach is to make use of a smart camera trigger that will serve as both a remote control and an automated way of photographing wildlife. The MIOPS Flex is equipped with smart laser sensors that trigger the camera to shoot when anything moving crosses the path of the laser. Having this setup with a smartphone that acts as a remote control allows you to be non-intrusive to the natural environment while also never missing an opportunity when animals come by. With this smart camera setup, the photographer can keep a safe distance and be able to capture the natural interaction between the animals and their environment. 

These smart camera triggers also have additional functions that can be useful for both landscape photography and wildlife photography. The MIOPS Flex features a wide array of long exposure tools that can help the photographer bring out the best in any scenario. At the same time, both devices can aid in shooting dynamic time-lapse clips through various intervalometer functions as well as modes triggered using the sound and lightning sensors.

To be able to capture as many frames as possible without causing any distraction, you can set the trigger to interval shooting and maximize the time by continuously shooting as the animal is within the angle of view. By doing this, you can select a particular image taken in the sequence wherein the animal is in a spot visually beneficial to your composition of the entire environment. 

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Photographing landscapes with wildlife can be double the challenge. However, it also offers potentially more rewarding results. Animals are integral parts of the environment that we aim to photograph in landscape photography and having them in-frame adds a multitude of layers in the story that the photograph tells. With proper planning, the use of smart tools, and technical skills, photographing the world with the wonders of the animal kingdom opens an entirely different perspective from what our landscape photographs normally show. 

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.

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[faq q1="How to Include Wildlife in your Landscape Photography?" a1="Come to think of it, it is a very sensible and practical combination since many of the locations wherein wildlife can be found also have amazing landscapes around them." q2="Which photography gears do you need to Include Wildlife in your Landscape Photography?" a2="With the mixing of two entirely different genres comes the need for more versatile gear." q3="how can you improve your landscape photographs?" a3="Living visual elements add a whole new dimension into a landscape photograph. This can either be a human element in frame, or an animal that brings the environment to life."]

Essential Gear for a Simple Landscape Photography Timelapse Workflow

Essential Gear for a Simple Landscape Photography Timelapse Workflow

Landscape photography is a genre  that never runs out of unique opportunities to show a different view of the world. Whether you’re in on the edges of land shooting seascapes, on top of the highest mountains, in the heart of the Earth’s forests, or atop the skyscrapers of the city, each landscape photograph tells a unique story about the environment, a place, its beauty, and how it interacts with life.

However, a common dilemma in photographing landscapes is that a single frame can often be a limitation in the photographer’s hope to convey a much bigger story about the place. This is where time-lapse photography comes in. 

Timelapse photography allows the landscape photographer to go beyond the bounds of a single frame. By capturing the movement and the passing of time from within one frame for hours or even days long, the resulting images and clips brought about by this workflow shows a very dynamic side of the place that would otherwise be invisible to human observation in real-time. 

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However, such a tedious workflow also means a lot of challenges to face in terms of successful and flawless execution. For one, the process itself is long and the longer it gets, the more prone it becomes to errors. One missed exposure in a time-lapse sequence doesn’t render the output entirely useless, however if it happens in between smooth and constant movement, a missed exposure will definitely be noticed.

This is why, even though time-lapse photography can be done and shot with minimal gear and done manually, the use of reliable and automated equipment minimizes the margin of error and the probability of making mistakes. 

Cameras

Timelapse photography is getting more and more common. Of course even the simplest of cameras found on our smartphones can do time-lapse photography with the press of a few buttons. There are also many specialized compact cameras made to shoot automated time-lapse videos out in the market. However, if you aim to have significantly high resolution output and full control of the parameters of your exposures, the intervals, and the length of your sequences, then high resolution DSLR or mirrorless cameras are still the equipment of choice.

For landscape and cityscape time-lapse photography, a camera with better low-light capabilities would be more beneficial to assure clean and crisp output even at night. It is important for the camera to have manual functions when it comes to exposure, color settings, and even focusing  to be able to make the shooting process more versatile and precise. 

cityscape timelapse

Lenses

The choice of lenses and focal length for landscape photography and time-lapse depends highly on the location and the environment you wish to capture. A distant vista is of course best shot with a lens with significant zoom, and alternatively, when shooting immersed into the environment, a wide angle lens is more effective. When shooting time-lapse and star trails at night, it is also more favorable to shoot with a large aperture lens, at least f/2.8 or bigger, to be able to capture the night sky without having to use extremely high ISO and lose image quality in the process. 

Support Gear 

A sturdy tripod becomes more and more crucial as the shooting process lengthens. This is even more true when shooting from a very windy environment, or when submerged in flowing water. The camera can afford to miss one exposure and shoot the next one properly with a minimal (yet noticeable) effect on the output. On the other hand, the tripod failing would either mean that the camera loses the positioning and framing necessary to make it a time-lapse sequence, or worse the gear gets physically damaged altogether.

A lightweight tripod can be convenient in terms of logistically bringing your equipment to the vantage point, however there has to be a certain balance between being lightweight and being sturdy. The tripod should also be heavy enough to not be blown by the wind and at the same time capable to hold however much the camera gear weighs. 

Essential Gear for a Simple Landscape Photography Timelapse Workflow

A ball head can be a quick and convenient option in shooting landscape photography and time-lapse. However, for instances when you want to make minute and precise adjustments to your composition and framing, using a geared precision head is more beneficial. Geared-precision heads have individual knobs of panning, tilt, and yaw. These small adjustments can infuse motion into the time-sequence when done consistently over the span of shooting. 


When shooting from an urban location, a good alternative is a strong and reliable clamp such as the Manfrotto 035 Superclamp. This eliminates the need for a tripod when the location has usable grills and railings facing the view. This can also be paired with a variable-angle friction arm that makes it more versatile in terms of angles and height. 

Filters

Since time-lapse photography deals with the same exposure and dynamic range challenges of the outdoors, filters are great to have handy for when you need them. You can consider each frame of the time-lapse sequence as one individual landscape photograph which is why you can also consider using exposure effects on the image to come up with more appealing visual elements and smoothen the motion in the individual images.

For general use, a graduated neutral density filter will come in handy during the bright hours of the day because there will be a need to balance out the luminosity between the sky and the land. When working with a composition that makes use of reflections or one with the blue sky in frame, a circular polarizing filter or CPL will be very useful in managing reflections and improving the contrast in the sky.

At the same time, using long exposures even when there is sufficient ambient light can create smooth appealing textures on what would otherwise be rough surfaces in the scene. This applies to clouds and flowing water. With the use of neutral density filters, you can slow down your exposures just enough to smoothen the textures that would create satisfying movement in the time-lapse clips. 

stormlapse photography

Motion tools

Time-lapse videos are almost always very dynamic. Especially when a lot of moving elements are in frame and at the same time, when the change in the environment is drastic from the start to the end of the time-lapse sequence. Another very effective way to enhance this is to make use of tools that would infuse movement of the camera and of the frame during the duration of the shooting sequence. For the movement to be smooth and appealing, the adjustments in camera position has to be done is very small but consistent amounts. To make this process easier and more precise, there are a variety of automated tools that can be utilized. 

One useful motion tool for time-lapse is the MIOPS Capsule 360. This round device which you mount between your tripod and camera not only controls the panning movement of your time-lapse sequences but also serves as the camera remote trigger. The Capsule 360 connects to your smartphone through the MIOPS mobile app on which you can set the parameters of your shots as well as the movement that will transpire throughout your time-lapse sequence.

Another option is a camera slider. The MIOPS Slider+ is a device that allows your camera to move side-to-side or back-and-forth for the duration of the time-lapse sequence. Through the motion created by the slider, your time-lapse videos can have creative reveal transitions as well as immersive movement to complement the motion in the scene. The Slider+ can also be used in combination with the Capsule 360 to complete the range of motion of your camera for an even more dynamic output.

camera remote trigger

Camera Remote Trigger

For the most precise and foolproof time-lapse photography workflow, a good camera remote is the best tool to have. A device for camera control should be able to trigger your camera to start exposures and count down to the next depending on the interval you set. This interval depends on the rate of movement that happens across your frame and also how fast you want your resulting clips to move. The reliability of the camera remote dictates how worry-free your shooting workflow can be. 


On the other hand, there are devices that offer more than just simple camera control. A much smarter camera remote device offers not just an automated way of shooting but also many other features that would make your shooting workflow easier, precise, and ultimately successful. The MIOPS Flex is a smart camera control trigger that offers the most convenient user experience, as well as a variety of functions that give you a more intuitive creative process. The MIOPS Flex offers standard time-lapse intervalometer functions for a secure and effective shooting workflow.

More than that, it is equipped with various sensors that can help you capture even the most elusive environmental phenomena. This camera control device has a light sensor that triggers an exposure when it senses a strong flash of light coming from a lightning strike and this can even be implemented in your time-lapse workflow to shoot Storm-lapse in extreme weather conditions. This trigger can also simultaneously produce HDR frames for your time-lapse clips. The time-lapse shooting modes offer the utmost versatility that allows you to set your camera to shoot exactly how you want it and be able to execute your ideas with barely any limitations. 

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In addition, the MIOPS Flex has the ability to complete the production process for you. The MIOPS Flex can assemble your time-lapse video clips on board to give you an instant preview of what you have created. It also saves the individual images as well as the output onto its own micro SD card not just allowing you to properly manage and segregate your files but also to give you a convenient way of assembling your time-lapse output on-the-fly. 

Time-lapse photography takes the wonders of photography to a whole new level. It allows us to show and witness how the world changes at a rate that is different from what our eyes witness. The process can be challenging and tedious but with the help of innovative equipment, a more convenient and efficient workflow brings forth extremely satisfying output.

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.

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[faq q1="what do photographers need as a gear for landscape timelapse photography?" a1="even though time-lapse photography can be done and shot with minimal gear and done manually, the use of reliable and automated equipment minimizes the margin of error and the probability of making mistakes. " q2="why do you need a remote camera trigger in landscape photography?" a2="For the most precise and foolproof time-lapse photography workflow, a good camera remote is the best tool to have." q3="how can you use motion tools in landscape timelapses?" a3="Time-lapse videos are almost always very dynamic. Especially when a lot of moving elements are in frame and at the same time, when the change in the environment is drastic from the start to the end of the time-lapse sequence."]

Effective Composition and Framing Tips for Landscape and Cityscape Photography

Effective Composition and Framing Tips for Landscape and Cityscape Photography

Composition is probably the most overlooked aspect of photography. Composition and visual design are deeply embedded into how we see and appreciate photographs but are perhaps under appreciated because of how viewers look at the entirety of the image altogether. However, composition plays a much bigger and more encompassing role in what we appreciate in photographs. The simplest and most common understanding of composition is how we place a subject within a frame.

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However, it is evident that in landscape and cityscape photography, we are not limited to just a singular subject. Some would say that the subject in landscape photography is the location, some would say that it is the light and environmental condition, however it is safe to say that landscape photography deals with all of those factors which is why a deeper and more analytical way of understanding composition and visual design is the key for better photographs. 

To execute better composition and visual design in landscape photography, the most important aspect is strict attention to even the smallest details. Composition in this sense concerns every single visible element in the entire photograph and being able to identify how a single visual element interacts with other parts of the photograph will be a great step towards masterful artistic intent. The way we use empty spaces, rough and smooth textures, shadows and light, all make up the general visual design and play a huge role in how viewers perceive our images.

symmetry and geometry at landscape photographySymmetry and Geometry

One way to achieve striking visual design in your landscape photographs is to create a satisfying visual experience. It is said that the human eyes perceive random patterns and try to make sense and order out of it. By achieving near-perfect patterns in your images, you give your viewers a satisfying experience when looking at your photos and this is done through various ways. 

Symmetry is one of the most commonly used compositional techniques that give a satisfying viewing experience. The meticulous execution of framing that achieves proper balance of visual weight on two halves of the frame provides resolution to the visual experience. Doing this requires a lot of attention to detail. However, the presence of symmetry in landscape photography is almost impossible to perfect especially in natural locations.

The easiest way to achieve symmetry in landscape photography is to make use of reflective surfaces in the foreground. The most common of which would be a still body of water. By using low camera angle to emphasize the foreground, you can achieve a satisfyingly symmetrical composition given the right lighting conditions. This is commonly easy in well-lit environments.

However, sometimes the conditions have to be managed with exposure techniques to fine-tune the surface and give more emphasis to the reflection. This can be done by using a circular polarizing filter. A CPL filter (when not pointed towards the sun) can help enhance contrast in the sky by intensifying the blue hue.

At the same time, this contrast also enhances the intensity of the reflection of the surface of water. When shooting bodies of water with significant current, it is best to make use of a heavy ND filter and shoot longer durations of exposure to achieve a smooth surface where the reflection is pronounced. Using a camera remote trigger such as the versatile MIOPS Smart trigger allows you to set and control the exposure length to execute such a specialized process. The mobile app that connects your camera to your phone also aids you in estimating the right exposure given the current lighting condition and your ND filter of choice through the ND filter exposure calculator. 

symmetry and geometry at cityscape photography

Another possible option for achieving satisfying compositions is emphasizing patterns in the landscape that may or may not be readily visible. These patterns can be obvious solid structures that create lines or shapes to fill the frame, or alternatively they can be patterns created by repetition of many small visual elements such as rocks, trees, street lamps, traffic lights, or other foreground elements that come in multiple numbers naturally in an outdoor setting.

By emphasizing and showing these patterns from a particularly unique point of view, the image can be impactful because it shows the viewers something that they may not have realized to be there and at the same time allows their subconscious to find resolution in making sense of a seemingly random scene. 

Negative Space and Direction 

Every genre of photography deals with isolating a certain fraction of a perspective of the world and finding the best angle to capture it in. This means that the game of composition relies so much on eliminating other details as well as empty spaces. Framing is defined by this aspect of photography. By selecting that perspective out of all possible angles, one is able to find the one that translates into an effective visual design. 

Proper use of space is crucial to any kind of photography and this is even more emphasized in photographing landscapes and cityscapes. Empty spaces can be used both to emphasize subjects as well as to direct the flow of the visual experience towards a certain direction. By being able to use space with artistic intent, your landscape and cityscape images can successfully tell stories and convey emotions. The direction, progression, and resolution of visual patterns, much like in a story or a song, gives the viewer something to experience and interpret into their own version of a story. 

negative space and direction at landscape photography

Negative space can either be readily present in a certain scene or it can be created using exposure techniques. Landscape photography deals with the most unpredictability in terms of location, weather, and other environmental factors. Because of that, it is also difficult to manipulate. Commonly, negative space is found in the sky and on bodies of water in the foreground. However, slightly rough textures found in small patches of clouds and in the surface of the water can have such a big effect on cancelling out negative space.

To refine this and achieve a more perfect composition, long exposure effects can be used. If dealing with very minimal water current or small chunks of clouds, exposures of around 10 seconds can be enough to smoothen them out. However, when dealing with strong waves or significantly cloudy skies, heavier ND filters will have to be used to execute longer exposures. With the use of a 10 or 15-stop ND filter, one can do exposures of around 2 to 5 minutes to achieve perfectly smooth surfaces. This can be made more precise by using a smart remote trigger that will help you determine the necessary exposure settings to achieve the effect. 

Negative space can also dictate movements within a frame. This is best done with singular  foreground elements against a much larger surface. By placing the foreground element on one side, especially if the structure points toward a certain direction, the presence of negative space implies that the flow of the image goes from the foreground towards the larger empty space. This use of scale also gives an impression that the location is much bigger because of the wide space in frame. 

visual paths at landscape photography

Visual Paths

As with any kind of photography, substantial visual designs give satisfying viewer experience when the viewer is lead to different parts of the image without confusion and distraction.

Since landscape photography often deals with complex environments with a lot of detailed layers, a piece is satisfying to look at when viewers are guided on how the artist wants them to experience the image and when the image requires no need for instructions or explanation. With the unpredictability of visual elements both in nature and in an urban scenario, the use of both motion and still visual elements to create visual paths to follow, is a highly effective way of doing so. 

This is another matter in which long exposure can significantly enhance a landscape or cityscape image’s impact and overall visual design. Through long exposure, a photographer can successfully render motion elements into patterns and textures that are not just pleasing to the eyes but also contribute into creating a visual path in the frame.

On a significantly windy day, moving clouds can be used to create movement in the sky. With the use of ND filters and a remote trigger to control exposure time, clouds moving from side-to-side within the frame can create an additional layer and dimension to the photo. Even more so, clouds moving from front-to-back within the frame create diagonal lines that create virtually infinite depth. 

When shooting bodies of water, this can be done depending on the rate at which the current flows. When photographing a flowing river, an exposure of a couple of seconds will leave rough and turbulent textures in the foreground. When shot for 30 seconds or more, the water will be rendered in a smooth and silky surface.

Either way, the effect creates a notion of movement especially when there are still elements such as rocks or vegetation immersed in the flowing water. When shooting from a beach, the crashing and back-flow of water on the solid foreground creates a similar effect. 

In the urban setting, there are many visual elements that can be used to create visual paths or leading lines. Aside from the possibility of also using clouds and water when present from a certain urban vantage point, structures such as lamp posts, roads, tunnels, and details from architecture can be used.

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However, perhaps the most popular way of rendering patterns in the city is using traffic trails. With the use of long exposure, the light from moving cars can be used to create flowing patterns around and into the cityscape. Doing this depends on your distance from the moving vehicles and how fast they are moving. When shooting very close to the foreground, a few seconds of exposure will leave thick enough trails because of the illuminated surfaces of the vehicles.

When shooting from far away, longer exposures have to be done especially when movement is slow because of heavy traffic, or if there are not enough cars moving to fill the spaces with light trails. 

There are many ways that long exposure techniques can enhance and improve both landscape and cityscape images. By looking at the potential of what motion can infuse into your composition, any shooting scenario can be improved with a tripod, some filters, and a good camera remote trigger. 

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.

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[faq q1="what is visual path at landscape photography?" a1="As with any kind of photography, substantial visual designs give satisfying viewer experience when the viewer is lead to different parts of the image without confusion and distraction." q2="what is negative space at landscape photography?" a2="Every genre of photography deals with isolating a certain fraction of a perspective of the world and finding the best angle to capture it in." q3="how to do effective framing and composition at landscape photography?" a3="One way to achieve striking visual design in your landscape photographs is to create a satisfying visual experience."]

Ambience and Light: Photography In the Golden Hour and Blue Hour

Ambience and Light: Photography In the Golden Hour and Blue Hour

Any form of outdoor photography is heavily governed by the time of day and the quality of light that it provides. Whether for portrait photography, photographing wildlife, travel, or landscapes, certain times of the day provide more beneficial lighting than others. This is mainly because the intensity of light varies from the direction of the sun which in turn affects the quality of light that is cast on to every visual element in frame. Photography can be done at any time of the day but of course, there are times that are more beneficial to shoot. 

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The time of day affects many aspects of the light and the environment that have huge effects visually on the image. The quality of light affects depth, texture, as well as the hue of objects illuminated in the images which consequently affects the overall mood of an image. Softer light from certain times of the day leads to softer edges, more balanced luminosity, less reflections and glare, and smoother textures.

Under harsh daylight when the sun is casting light from a more direct angle, both the lights and the shadows are more intense. Shadows are also more condensed to a particular area and which means that distant details may lack depth and appear flat. At the same time, the quality, direction, and intensity of light causes one of the most important obstacles in outdoor and landscape photography, which is dynamic range. 

Dynamic range is the spectrum of light that the camera’s sensor can record in one single image. In application, this is why backlit images leave a silhouette because the details on the darker parts of the image can not be recorded due to lack of luminosity. Different times of day and positions of the sun cause the intensity of light to vary making it harder for certain times of the day to capture outdoor images that are balanced in terms of luminosity and detail. 

golden hour

Landscape Photography During the Golden Hour 

If you ask any landscape photographer, they would tell you that the golden hour is one of the most magical moments of any day no matter what location you are photographing. The golden hour gives a unique feel that enhances the ambiance of every location. This magic hour starts the moment the sun begins to cast warm light onto the sky before sunrise, or as the sun begins to set in the afternoon. During this time, the low and tangential direction of sunlight is more diffused by the particles in the atmosphere and the clouds that it casts a warmer and softer light than the rest of the day. During this time, it gives vibrant colors to the usual blue skies and enhances the contrast of the sky as the background to any landscape photograph. 

When doing landscape photography, the golden hour is one of the best times to use exposure techniques. With the right visual effects in mind, long exposure techniques can refine and enhance your composition and visual design of any outdoor photograph. At this time, lighting is also more gentle and generally covers less dynamic range. 

There are various ways to photograph landscapes during the golden hour. As the light gets more balanced between the sky and the foreground, single exposure images are easier to do. However, shooting with the sun in frame is a totally different game. With the bright sun in frame, your foreground elements become less luminous and less detailed.

The tricky part of landscape photography at sunset is capturing both the sky and the foreground that represents your location while keeping both extremes of luminosity detail and color rich. Most cameras can’t capture such in a single frame which is why exposure blending or HDR are often very handy approaches. 

cityscape photography in golden hour

The goal of this approach is to capture multiple exposures with varying levels of brightness to get multiple images with the most detailed exposure for each part. The exposures are then combined later on into a blended image that uses the best exposed parts of each one. Whether you are doing long exposures with a moving foreground element or just quick exposures, it is best done with a good tripod.

The tripod’s role is to keep your multiple exposures aligned so that blending the exposures will be easier and sharpness of the images is maintained. While it is possible to be done manually by tweaking the settings after each shot, exposure bracketing sequences are best done with a good reliable trigger for camera control. This remote control can be the one to set the exposure values on the camera to program it to take consecutive exposures with different brightness in a stepwise manner. Using a good camera remote trigger makes the process quicker and more seamless so you can focus on the creative side. 

The MIOPS Flex is an advanced camera remote trigger that was created to aid landscape photographers in many ways. One of the features of this smartphone camera remote control is an automated way to shoot in exposure bracketing and HDR. With your smartphone as the control panel, you can set the number of exposures, set the intervals between them, and trigger the exposures to start even from a distance.

On top of that, the MIOPS Flex is an even smarter device as it can give you a real-time preview of the HDR output just a few seconds after the exposures are taken, and saves the result on a separate built-in storage. This amazing tool allows you to shoot HDR and exposure blended images on-the-go no matter where you are shooting. 

blue hour

Landscape Photography During the Blue Hour

While the blue hour happens just right before or after the golden hour, the character and behavior of light is very different. The blue hour happens before sunrise when the distant indirect light of the sun begins to light up the sky and after sunset when the sun has dipped below the horizon but still gives off indirect light to the atmosphere. The blue hour has a different character altogether. For one, this is the time when the foreground is almost as bright as the sky and is therefore the easiest time to achieve a balanced exposure.

When photographing cityscapes, this window of opportunity is the perfect time to capture a relatively dim and highly detailed sky against a foreground of a city that is just beginning to turn on its lights. Even without post processing or HDR techniques, a 10-minute window within the blue hour would give a perfect balance between the sky and the foreground just before it gets dark. 

The blue hour is the perfect time to shoot long exposures especially if you don’t have any neutral density filters to use. In a natural landscape setting, the relative dimness of the surroundings allows you to prolong exposures without having to cut any light which is perfect for shooting slow movement that will give smooth and serene surfaces to a moving sky or water surface. When shooting within the city, the blue hour is a great opportunity not just to capture movement of clouds or water but also to make use of dynamic vehicular traffic trails to enhance your visual design.

landscape photography in golden hour

Without the need for an ND filter, one can do quick 3-8 second exposures just as the sunset ends. As time passes and as the environment gets darker, one can do even longer exposures to achieve any intended effect. This can be to smoothen any water surface with a current, to show dynamic movement of clouds, or to illustrate the flow of traffic. 

To do long exposures during the blue hour, a sturdy tripod is a must. Any minor movement of the camera, even just from pressing the shutter button can blur your image and ultimately ruin your photograph. If you’re doing a 3-minute exposure, a fraction of a second of movement can render it absolutely useless no matter if it happens at the beginning or at the end of the shot. Filters are often unnecessary during the blue hour. Since the light is very minimal compared to daytime, there is no need to reduce light to be able to lengthen exposures. The luminosity of the sky is also closest to the ground so graduated neutral density filters aren’t generally used since most cameras can compensate for any difference if any during post processing. 

Most cameras can only do a maximum of 30 seconds for each exposure. To shoot longer than that if your intended result requires it, the combination of using bulb mode and a camera remote trigger is the best way to go. The remote trigger should be able to set the camera’s shutter speed in bulb mode so it can keep the shutter open for as long as you intend.

As an added benefit, using a remote camera control will totally eliminate the chances of camera shake from pressing the shutter button. In this situation, the MIOPS Flex still proves to be an efficient tool. By controlling your camera with your smartphone, you can set your exposures to last for minutes or even hours without having to touch your camera. The timed release setting can give you shutter speeds that are precise down to milliseconds and can even trigger a delayed shutter release if needed.

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Another capability of the MIOPS flex that are useful for both the golden hour and the blue hour, and generally any time of the day is it’s array of time-lapse shooting functions. Using the MIOPS Flex, you can set your exposure settings through the smartphone app, or even let your camera take care of the metering for each image, and designate the interval of exposures. At the same time, this intelligent camera remote tool is also capable of on-the-go time-lapse assembly and give you a quick preview of what your time-lapse would look like and even save it to its own built-in storage. 

Landscape photography can be done any time of the day but these two moments of greater ambient light are definitely beneficial for more vibrant and more dynamic images.

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear. 

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[faq q1="what is the most beautiful time of a day for landscape photography?" a1="Photography can be done at any time of the day but of course, there are times that are more beneficial to shoot." q2="when is golden hour?" a2="This magic hour starts the moment the sun begins to cast warm light onto the sky before sunrise, or as the sun begins to set in the afternoon." q3="what is blue hour in photography?" a3="While the blue hour happens just right before or after the golden hour, the character and behavior of light is very different."]

Landscape Photography, Any Time of the Day 

Landscape Photography, Any Time of the Day 

Landscape photography remains to be one of the most universally loved genres of photography because of its ability to transport the viewers instantly to a certain place and give a glimpse of the experience of being there. Landscape photography not just allows us to photograph and document a certain place and the environment but also allows us to use the world around us to express our creativity and even our emotions in a singular image. 

For new photographers trying out landscape photography, a common tip for more successful pursuits of breathtaking images is to shoot either at sunrise or sunset. The golden soft light often gives an easily vibrant feel to any location and this is why that tip has always been effective. However, for more experienced landscape photographers, any time of the day can be turned into a unique aesthetic environment with the use of various exposure techniques and shooting methods. 

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Golden Hour 

There's a reason why the golden hour is the most favorable shooting scenario for landscape photography or any kind of photography in general. For one, the quality and direction of light are more favorable in a way that the shadows are produced to give the scene more texture and depth, and the colors of the sky have a characteristic vibrance. 

Shooting landscapes during the golden hour can often be the most rewarding. The light coming from a mildly cloudy sky can produce a very dynamic and rapidly changing backdrop. No matter where you may be shooting from, even the simplest of locations to the grandest views, the vibrant skies of the sunrise or sunset can definitely transform it into a stunning scene.

Shooting landscapes during the golden hour can be done in various ways. If you’re shooting from a perspective facing the sun or the bright sky directly, the easiest way is to capture the fiery sky with a characteristic silhouette of significant foreground elements. This can be done very simply with any camera without the need for tripods or filters. 

sunset in landspace photography

In locations where applicable, photographing landscapes with the sunlight coming from the side can be a great way to produce dynamic images. Tangential lighting emphasizes depth and increases the contrast in the scene. However, a common problem encountered in such near-perfect shooting conditions is dynamic range limitations. This problem arises from the huge gap in luminosity between the foreground elements and the bright sky. Specifically when you would want to retain details in the darker foreground while making sure that the sky remains vibrant and properly exposed. 

One solution is to use graduated neutral density filters. GND filters limit the entry of light into your camera’s sensor but only do so to a fraction of the frame depending on how you position it. The most common use of the GND filter is to put the darker part of the filter in line with the sky so that you can adjust your settings to make the foreground brighter while keeping the sky properly exposed. However, using such filters has its own limitations especially in very busy compositions. 

Another way to overcome the challenge of dynamic range is to use exposure bracketing or HDR. This process involves shooting three to five consecutive exposures with varying levels of brightness. This way, the camera can capture as much detail as possible through the sequence of shots. This is then put together either by an automated built-in function or through post-processing to combine the most detail-rich parts of each image into one high dynamic range photograph. Many cameras have automatic exposure bracketing modes on board. However, more advanced camera control devices such as the MIOPS Flex not only automate the exposure bracketing sequence but also gives an instant preview of the resulting HDR image, as well as back up the data to its own built-in storage. 

Early Morning Light

Early Morning Light 

The light given by the early morning sun has its own characteristic vibe. The soft light from the relatively diffused light source gives a pleasant and gentle feel to the landscape. Shooting landscapes from relatively higher altitudes often has an added bonus of a moody atmosphere. This can be due to relatively low clouds that interact with the mountains or due to moisture and fog. These environmental elements make great additions to your landscape images as they render smooth textures to complement your composition. 

The movement of these atmospheric elements can be a great tool to utilize in landscape photography. With the use of 6 or 10-stop neutral density filters, one can shoot long exposure images that will allow the clouds or the fog to move across the frame and produce softly brushed textures that enhance contrast against the still solid elements of the landscape. These exposures can be as short as 5 to 10 seconds or even longer as the light intensifies. With the use of a smart camera remote trigger, exposures can be stretched to minutes to achieve smoother textures. 

High Noon

Many photographers dread the harsh light of noon. This is mostly true for portrait photographers who shoot outdoors. However, in landscape photography, the harsh lighting of noon can be used to a certain advantage. Shooting landscapes at noon when the weather is right can give significantly compelling results. 

The brightest part of the day also means the best time to do even longer exposures. When shooting locations with flowing water or waves, this can be a great opportunity to create minimalist landscape images by shooting for very fine textures on the surface of the water. Alternatively, strong winds with moderate clouds can give very interesting textures in the background when shot in very long exposures. This can be done with the use of heavier neutral density filters typically between 12 to 20 stops. Neutral density filters reduce the entry of light allowing the photographer to extend the exposures to achieve such effects. 

MIOPS’ selection of camera control devices allows for easier and more precise processes for long exposure. Both the MIOPS Smart+ and the MIOPS Flex offer precise use of the smartphone as a remote trigger not just to start and exposure but also to achieve a setting beyond what the camera already offers. These smart remote triggers offer both extended long exposure times, timer delay, and interval shooting. At the same time, the MIOPS smartphone application includes a handy calculator for ND filters to give you a more precise approach in estimating how long your exposures should be depending on the lighting scenario and your choice of filters. 

twilight landscape photographyTwilight 

Twilights are the simplest and easiest times to shoot landscapes. Whether dusk or dawn, this means that the luminosity of the sky is very close to that of the foreground and therefore the challenges of dynamic range are eliminated. With the sun below the horizon but still casting light onto the sky enough to give it vibrance and detail.

For any beginning landscape photographer with no experience in using filters and processing HDR, shooting at twilight will be the best way to master exposure. Simply with the use of a camera with manual functions and a tripod, one can capture the perfect balanced exposure just by shooting at the perfect time. In this scenario, the perfect time means the few minutes when the foreground is just as bright as the sky.

Clear Nights and Astro Photography

Many photographic genres avoid the nighttime due to the relative absence of light sources. However, for landscape photographers, the night brings out a whole new array of natural wonders, a different character of nature, and entirely different perspectives on the world we see during the day. Night photography makes use of the absence of sunlight for us to see and photograph the distant and more faint light sources from the moon, the stars, and other distant galaxies. 

Photographing the night sky can be done to almost any landscape location that one may have already photographed during the day but the resulting images are drastically different. While the challenges of photographing landscapes with daylight lie in achieving good dynamic range and balanced exposures, the challenges of night photography come from the scarcity of light and physical obstacles that may reduce the visibility of these distant light sources. 

landscape and astrophotography

Night photography is best done on clear cloudless nights. Even if exposures are long and the stars are relatively bright, a few seconds of obstruction from thin clouds can lessen the clarity and vibrance of the night sky. In addition, the best time to be shooting nighttime landscapes is either during the new moon when the moonlight will not affect the luminosity of the stars, or before the moon rises at night. 

To photograph the stars, there are typically more technical requirements needed to achieve clearer images. A good camera with great low light performance obviously leads to better images and this is best paired with a fast lens with a wide aperture for better low light performance. Lastly, one non-negotiable is a sturdy tripod. Long exposure is a make-or-break method that can be ruined by even the slightest camera shake. 

Exposure times for night photography generally differ depending on the presence of foreground elements, the lens’ focal length, and the astronomical elements in the sky. Generally, wider lenses allow for longer exposures that also allow for lower ISO for cleaner images.

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However, using longer focal lengths to achieve a high magnification of the distant night sky elements also limit the feasibility of doing longer exposures due to the emphasized movement of the earth that can lead to light trails. Alternatively, shooting star trails with multiple consecutive exposures also produce interesting images and with the use of automated interval shooting, one can even produce dynamic nighttime time-lapse videos. 

Photographing the night is made easier with convenient camera control triggers such as the MIOPS Flex. These smartphone-controlled devices give the option of precisely timed long exposures, reduce the risk of camera shake with the remote trigger on your phone, and can also automate your night photography and time-lapse shooting process. 

Landscape photography is not just about warm sunsets and daylight. For a passionate landscape photographer, any location can be turned into a masterpiece at any time of the day. With experience, curiosity, and the right gear, any envisioned image can be made.

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.  

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[faq q1="what is golden hour in photography?" a1="There's a reason why the golden hour is the most favorable shooting scenario for landscape photography or any kind of photography in general." q2="how can you do nighttime photography?" a2="Photographing the night sky can be done to almost any landscape location that one may have already photographed during the day but the resulting images are drastically different." q3="how can you shoot at noon?" a3="Many photographers dread the harsh light of noon. This is mostly true for portrait photographers who shoot outdoors. However, in landscape photography, the harsh lighting of noon can be used to a certain advantage."]

Landscape Photography - Going Beyond the Snapshot

Landscape Photography - Going Beyond the Snapshot

Landscape photography is often seen as one of the most challenging kinds of photography. Probably because it deals with the most unpredictability as well as a lot of physical work. Success in landscape photography is often affected by so many factors, some of which are weather, tide, visibility, and many other logistical factors. However, most landscape photographers would tell you that these obstacles, once you overcome them, make the craft all the more rewarding. 

Most landscape photography tips would tell you that the craft is great about being at the right place at the right time. Of course, it is also about taking the right shot, with the right settings, with the right composition, with the best camera for landscape photography that you have. The process of landscape photography starts days, weeks, or even months prior to taking the actual shot. It begins with the inspiration to see a new place and see what it offers. It is then followed by planning every single step towards that particular vantage point. It may mean a long walk, a long drive, a plane trip, or a mix of all of them. It involves finding out the best time to be shooting a place, the best day that would improve your chances of getting good light, and ultimately the best spot to stand on. 

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Through all the logistical challenges and the legwork behind landscape photography, the actual execution of the shot remains crucial. Being able to put yourself in the right spot to take the shot at the perfect time is half of the ballgame. What you do with that shot as you take it, and afterward will dictate the success of the pursuit of amazing photographs. 

Landscape photography has evolved greatly. Thanks to advances in technology and the innovation of amazing landscape photographers, there are so many available approaches to taking the perfect landscape photograph. Landscape photographers aim to capture the essence of the location that they see and interpret it in the most artistic way that they can. While most landscape photographers differ in style, approach, and preferences, it is never harmful to know as many methods as you can. In this article, let’s take a look at these varying approaches that might suit your preferences and landscape photography tips that will help you adapt to the demands of the photograph you have envisioned. 

landscape photography with long exposure

Long Exposure

Long exposure is perhaps one of the most common tricks in the book of landscape photographers. Mastering the methods of long exposure not only makes a multitude of aesthetic effects but actually solves many of the challenges encountered in photographing the outdoors. Nature landscape photography seems easy when you’re looking at the final output but not when you’re actually taking it. Long exposure is an effective way to surpass challenges in lighting but to more experienced landscape photographers, it is also a visual design tool. 

With the use of the right filters, long exposure landscapes can create visually enhancing effects that produce cleaner images with interesting textures and contrast. Depending on the length of exposure and the movement in the frame, long exposures can give you painterly textures on even the roughest seascapes, smooth brushed skies on a windy day, or minimalist surfaces for black and white landscape photography. The reason why long exposure is one of the most used techniques in landscape photography is that it doesn’t only help our cameras see in the dark but actually allows the photographer to transform the place into what their vision dictates. 

HDR in landscape photography

HDR

High Dynamic Range workflows are truly the epitome of overcoming the obstacles of landscape photography. A common challenge encountered in landscape photography is the limitation of what the camera can record in detail in very diverse lighting situations. From backlit mountain landscape photography, glistening waterfalls, and even bright glowing cities in front of a vibrant sunset, the limitations of the camera can often hinder the photographer from showing what they intend to illustrate. HDR photography makes use of multiple exposures of varying luminosity to overcome this challenge. High dynamic range situations lose detail in shadows and highlights if taken with just one exposure. HDR workflows make use of multiple shots to get the best detail out of each one to come up with a balanced and detailed exposure. 

Clearly one of the most impactful ways of capturing landscape scenes is catching an electrifying phenomenon such as the elusive lightning strike. Nature landscape photography is not just about blue skies and sunny weather, it’s about the vast conditions of nature and the environment. Photographing lightning is challenging because of the fact that it only happens in fractions of a second and can often be difficult to predict. However, with the use of predictive tools, forecasts, and the proper gear, it can be done. 

Timelapse in landscape photography

Timelapse 

The evolution of landscape photography truly goes beyond what we can capture in a single frame. These innovations have allowed us to show images of phenomena that either happened way too quickly or way too slow for our eyes to comprehend. It takes a set of eyes to see something happening at one moment but it requires a wider imagination to comprehend and understand long processes enough to be able to illustrate them. 

Time-lapse photography deals with exactly that. Using hundreds or even thousands of images taken at precise intervals, time-lapse photography allows us to see and illustrate how the environment changes, how large crowds move, how small seedlings grow, and everything else that the naked eye can’t. Through meticulous skillful processes, these images, the details, and textures that they create in the still canvass can be combined into a single image that becomes an embodiment of an astounding phenomenon. 

Alternatively, the hundreds or thousands of images taken in a time-lapse sequence can be turned into video clips. After all, video is in fact taken with the same principle of capturing multiple frames in sequences. The only difference is that they are often 25, 30, even 120 or 240 frames per second when time-lapse often comes in seconds-per-frame. Following this, time-lapse photos assembled into videos are able to speed up the usually slow and progressive changes in the frame into a few seconds with much more dynamism. Timelapse clips create the most eye-catching, dynamic, and encompassing videos that either enlighten us about such phenomena or make us turn our heads and keep our eyes peeled for what comes next. 

Advanced Landscape Photography Kit Essentials

Advanced Landscape Photography Kit Essentials

Any camera can be used for landscape photography, of course. However, having the best camera for landscape photography is to assure you of the best image quality, the most flexible raw files for large prints, and versatility for the challenges of any location, higher resolution, higher dynamic range, and efficient ergonomics are important. In the same way, a sufficient set of lenses that cover most focal ranges allow you to adjust to any angle of view that your envisioned shot would require. The best lens for landscape photography is basically the one that can give you the range that you need. For this, a trinity of zoom lenses is the most popular recipe. A set consisting of an ultra-wide-angle lens such as a 16-35mm (10-18mm for APS-c cameras) for wide vistas and substantial foreground composition, a standard zoom lens such as a 24-70mm (18-55mm for APS-c cameras) for utmost flexibility in shooting diverse scenes, and a telephoto zoom lens such as a 70-200mm is the best lens for landscape photography when photographing intimate scenes and distant mountain landscape photography. This is perhaps the most reliable combination you can bring on any shooting trip. 

Filters are often tricky to use but when you’ve mastered how to determine which filters to use to achieve the effect you envision and solve the problems you need to solve, these tools can transform the location and the environmental condition to suit the outcome that you aim to create. Filters allow you to achieve a better balance of luminosity in situations when the sky out-glows your foreground. They can help intensify blue skies and control reflections to improve contrast and symmetry that look best in black and white landscape photography. Of course, neutral density filters allow you to shoot long exposures even in extremely bright situations to be able to achieve attractive motion blur and smooth textures. 

lightning strike

Tripods are essential in making sure that any advanced landscape photography workflow is successful. Long exposures require sturdy tripods that would resist any shake against strong winds or water currents. Shooting HDR would mean having to maintain framing consistently as you shoot the consecutive bracketed exposures. Shooting time-lapse and star trails require the same maintained angle for very long hours of shooting. Needless to say that the reliability of your tripod dictates the assurance that your shots are kept sharp, in-focus, and consistent throughout the shoot. 

To make you ready for any creative endeavor on location and to make processes much easier and secure, a smart camera trigger makes all the difference. From setting precise exposures no matter how long they may be, to shooting in exact intervals for time-lapse and astrophotography, camera triggers make the creative process less mechanical so you can focus on composition and visual design. 

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Above the standards of camera triggers, the MIOPS Flex takes your workflow to a whole new level of automation and intuition. With the convenient use of a smartphone as your remote, the MIOPS Flex enables you to shoot long exposures from a safe distance. It features standard intervalometer functions for an easy time-lapse shooting process as well. The MIOPS Flex also packs a light sensor that detects flashes of lightning to trigger the exposure automatically to increase your chances of catching the split-second strikes. This smart camera trigger also eases your worries with its built-in automated processes for HDR and Timelapse. The MIOPS Flex allows you to see the result of your combined bracketed HDR exposures as you shoot and shows you a preview of your time-lapse sequence in real-time. On top of that, the built-in memory backs up your images without the need for a computer which is perfect for when you’re on the go. The MIOPS Flex is a perfect companion for shooting that offers you not just automation and efficiency but also security with your images. 

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.  

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[faq q1="what are landscpe photography tips?" a1="Most landscape photography tips would tell you that the craft is great about being at the right place at the right time" q2="what are the Advanced Landscape Photography Kit Essentials?" a2="Any camera can be used for landscape photography, of course. However, having the best camera for landscape photography is to assure you of the best image quality" q3="how to shoot landscape photographs with Long Exposure?" a3="Long exposure is perhaps one of the most common tricks in the book of landscape photographers."]