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Sneaky Punk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2009-10-28, 01:59

Originally Posted by GSpotter View Post
Absolutely! I've seen too many HDRs where the settings were probably maxed out.

Your points are mostly right and a good starting point, but take them as a guideline, not a dogma.

Some additional advice:
- regarding point 5: You have to take diffraction into account, so the best aperture is in most cases somewhere between f11 and f16.

- regarding point 6: Old landscape photographer's rule: "If you don't know how to take a picture of a boring landscape scene: Take a super wide angle and it will suddenly look interesting..." On the other hand, you can also make nice landscape shots with longer focal lengths. The following picture was shot with a 400mm lens:
I agree with GSpotter. With landscapes you need a point of focus, even for wide shots. Just shooting wide can work, but it depends on what the area of interest is. If the colour in the sky is the point of interest, don't worry so much about the rest. If the landscape itself is the point of interest, find foreground and background settings of interest.

As noted, diffraction is also an issue you need to keep in mind. Sometimes greater depth of field is worth having, and other times sharpness is more important. Diffraction is dependent on several factors, sensor size, and lens resolution. For crop (1.5x/1.6x) diffraction kicks in around F11-13, while for full frame it is closer to F16. On a 4/3 sensor, diffraction starts to kick in at F8-10. Another factor to landscapes is atmospheric conditions, including heat waves during the day. They are not noticeable with wide angel lenses, but if you are shooting a landscape with a 300mm or greater focal length lens you may start to see haze if you shoot at times between dawn and dusk. Haze becomes more of a factor if you are shooting long distances over water.