How to Create Dynamic Landscape Shots Without Photoshop

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This may be controversial, but I felt it was worth the share. As I made a stop in Salt Lake City, I found myself atop a mountain side taking photos of the horizon. Landscape photography is not my specialty, nor something I actively seek out, but I couldn’t leave the view without saving the memory.

This may sound like a basic photographer tactic, but I use it often. There may be a more ‘professional’ way to do it but hey, it works for me. Ok, enough ranting here are the steps:

  1. Set the camera on automatic. Once you do that, look through the lens and see what settings the camera is adjusting to. Take the photo and review it. More than likely, your shot is going to be over exposed. Remember the settings, you’ll need this next.
  2. Switch the camera to manual. Set the camera settings to the same aperture, shutter speed and ISO as it was when it was on automatic. At this point, you’re probably thinking that you’re just going to take the same shot and you would be right! That’s why we aren’t going to do that.
  3. Make these two adjustments. First drop your ISO by one level and take a photo. See if it still looks over exposed. If it does, increase your shutter speed. This will make your image darker. Keep increasing the shutter speed, one increment at a time , while take shots in between. By doing this, you’ll get some deep colors.

And that is it.

By simply darkening the photo, using the cameras settings, you can create some incredible shots without needing to use Photoshop or Lightroom. However, of course you can use these programs to create photos in your own vision , but I wanted to give this alternative for those who do a lot of quick shooting and posting (like myself).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Until next time,


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