Les be real, to most of us, the desert is just an endless heap of sand and plants that thrive in this died up conditions. It’s almost as if it doesn’t want t to be discovered! Yet again, great desert photography with amazing composition have been produced. This means that the desert has lots of ancient secrets ready to be unfolded by a photographer with a keen eye. We shed some light into the mysteries of the desert by showing you great tips for desert photography.
Desert Photography Tip #1
Come Armed With The Right Gear
Specialized photography instruments are essential for landscape photography. Here are a few pieces that you will need to make your landscape photography in the desert successful.
You will more often than not, be using long exposure when taking desert photos. This is because your subject will mostly involve the sun setting or will happen at night. A tripod steadies your camera enough to take photos without blur that may result from camera shakes.
When it comes to lenses, nothing is set in stone. You can carry along both wide angles and telephoto lens. Having access to both options will open up more opportunities and ensure that you can take more professional shots. You will be able to take scenic and fascinating as well as compressed images.
- Filters and a lens hood
Filters will be useful for the protection of your lenses. A UV filter will ensure your lenses are protected from sand which you are likely to encounter in the desert. The bright light that is found in the desert is likely to destroy your shots. A Neutral Density filter will ensure that such bright light that could be an obstacle in desert photography is eliminated. A polarizer will come in handy when you need to darken the light blue skies so that you have the skies in a darker and photography rich shade.
Desert Photography Tip #2
Lighting Is Everything… Obviously!
As you would expect, yes, the golden hour rule applies here too. You want to avoid the scorching midday sun as it will give you hell adjusting your camera settings (not to mention adjusting o the extreme temperatures). In the morning and evening, the sun is close to the horizon giving room for perfect sunrise and sunset shots.
Remember your aim is to create and capture patterns of the sand. To do this, avoid shooting directly into the sun. Instead, have your back facing the sun to create shadows of the desert landscape.
Desert Photography Tip #3
Pay Attention To Details
You are probably thinking… “What details?” ill have you know that the desert has so much action going on (besides sand and the sun) that often go unnoticed. Take for example the unique vegetation and rocks found in the area. Sand dunes are always a sight to behold especially with some detail such as footprints to tell a story. Speaking of, you can easily tell stories of the desert by including animals like camels as well as including people in your shots. Notice things that stand out like a road in the desert. Better yet, you can include your car in the shot especially on those calm days where nothing stands out or dunes haven’t formed. The whole idea is to be creative and have an eye out for special features.
Desert Photography Tip #4
Change Your Perspective
Composition is another important aspect in desert photography. You don’t want to end up with lots of “empty space” in your shots. To get composition right the first time around, you need to take your photos from the right angles. For instance, getting low while capturing a wide angle will give you the opportunity of capturing excellent foreground for your shots. You can also use a telephoto lens if you want to capture distant objects such as Desert Mountains.
If you are interested in getting fascinating, attractive panoramic shots, a slightly higher ground will provide for this. You will have a bonus of covering the hills and valleys with the raised posture.
Desert Photography Tip #5
Incorporate The Sky
Another great subject for you while in the desert is the sky. With no buildings, cables or any other clutter distracting your shots, incorporating the sky in your shots creates stunning photos. A polarizing effect will render the sky as a deep and rich shade, so go ahead and use the right polarizer. While doing so, be careful not to illuminate part of the sky while leaving part of it darker. You can avoid this by taking shots that are not angled.
Desert Photography Tip #6
Give HDR A Try
A dynamic photography style is good for a dynamic scene such as the desert. High Dynamic Range photography is essential here as it will illuminate your photos accurately. This is particularly good for deep canyons that might form dark shadows in your shots.
You can start by taking 4-8 shots at different exposures while changing the shutter speed. Don’t bother too much with altering the ISO and aperture as it might immensely affect the depth of field and noise in your shots. Try and be constant in your shots and remember that the aim is to come up with realistic shots. So don’t get carried away in HDR mode.
Desert Photography Tip #7
Get Ready To Be Nocturnal
The desert is absolutely stunning at night! Better yet, you get to use natural light when taking your photos and you can escape the scorching sun. You even get to include the breathtaking desert night sky in your shots, and if you a lucky, you will catch a shooting star or two. If you can, get there right after sunset when it’s not too dark neither is the sun present. The sky is usually a sight to behold. You can time different phases of the moon as well. Once more, you will require long exposure so come armed with a tripod.