By Rex Dolby
By Rex Dolby

The Wassenberg Camera Club will meet Thursday, July 11, at 7 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center. Landscapes will be the competition theme in prints and slides that evening.

Landscapes used to mean just that, a sweeping view of a landform. Over time however, those broad views have come to include the seacoast, urban settings, industrial areas, and nature in general. What does it take to get a good landscape picture?

Light is huge factor. Shoot early in the morning or late in the evening for the most dramatic light. In addition to more dramatic lighting, the air is more still and the chances of adding a good reflection to your picture is more likely.

Be patient. Wait for the light to hit a particular area or cloud for more impact. Shooting right after a storm when the clouds are very dark, but the sun is shining where you are can make for an impressive combination.

There are three basic filters that can be beneficial to use. A color-enhancing filter can warm up sunsets, fall foliage, or flowers. A graduated neutral density filter can be used to reduce the overall contrast in the scene such as darkening the sky without influencing the darker ground. Lastly, you could try a polarizing filter. It can reduce reflections, increase the contrast in sky and clouds, and increase color saturation.

As you set up the shot, place something of interest near the lens, another interest item near the middle of the scene, and something of interest on the horizon. Lead the eye into the scene by placing these elements in an S or Z pattern. You will want to maximize the depth of field so are all in sharp focus. This means a small lens opening, which in turn, means a slow shutter speed. It will be imperative you use a tripod and take steps to avoid camera shake when you trip the shutter.

Try to capture an interesting sky, but if it's not, tip the camera down slightly, so only a little of it shows. Ideally, the horizon located in the exact middle of the picture should be avoided no matter what. As is often the case, patience and being in the right place at the right time are huge factors in a great shot, but being ready and estimating the right time stacks the deck in your favor. Good shooting!

If you have any questions regarding our camera club, classes or programs or would like to sign up please call the Wassenberg Art Center at (419) 238-6837, email: info@wassenbergartcenter.org or register for classes online at: wassenbergartcenter.org. Hours during exhibits are: Tuesday through Sunday 1-5 p.m. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 South Washington Street in Van Wert.