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Rural Photography: A Step-by-Step Guide

Landscape picture

Now that the sun is shining and the pollen is reaching almost catastrophic levels, it is the perfect time for any photo book lover to get out there and take advantage of the very best the season has to offer.

Getting out into the country and utilising the summer glow is the perfect way to add that same glow to your Instagram, making it stand out above the rest and form the perfect photo book. While an urban landscape is great for movement, stories and perspectives, rural photography is just as rewarding. You don’t have to find the details to create something stunning. 

Whether it’s fields of wildflowers, clusters of forest bluebells or a collection of woodland pines, the beauty is all there in front of you. What’s more, it can pepper your Instagram photo book with a sense of colour and adventure which is hard to replicate in any other location. So, how do you take good rural photography? Here’s a step-by-step guide to turn your phone into the most professional camera around:

Shallow Depth Of Field

There are a wide array of editing apps which can allow you to simulate a shallow depth of field on your phone. This will help you give the photograph just a slice of sharpness, allowing subjects such as flowers or wild grass to stay highlighted and focused, whilst the background is blurred. 

Good Timing

The time of day will also be important when photographing a rural setting. The weather, specifically, will play an integral part in your flower photography. To capture the best angle and exposure, you will want the flowers to be as still as possible, meaning you should try to shoot early in the morning to reduce the chances of wind. 

Natural Light

Often, photographers attempt to shoot in the golden hour, when the world around them is at its most vivid and bright. But this is not always the case when it comes to rural settings. In fact, photographing landscapes on an overcast day can not only elevate the colours, but it can also reduce shadows and bright spots, leaving your photographs smooth and evenly exposed. 

Focal Points

For those of you who enjoy hiking through the countryside, you will know that there are plenty of obscure subjects which can appear in the most random of places. Whether they are derelict barns, ruins of old buildings or abandoned treehouses; these objects should all be utilised as focal points to make the most out of a photograph.

People

If you have taken the time to venture out into the countryside, then it’s probably important to bring a friend along with you for company. What’s more, you can put them to good use. Capturing people in photographs is always a good way to initiate some movement and contrast to the otherwise still scenes that you are capturing. Ask to take a picture of your friend, and get them to stand in the frame and turn away from you. This will not only give you a great focal point, but also tell a story which is unable to be told through just landscapes alone. 

Rule Of Thirds

With any landscape photograph, it is always important to remember the “rule of thirds”. This is a technique where subjects are positioned about a third of the way into the frame, putting the main elements of the photo off-centre. This can allow for truly beautiful and engaging photographs, and what’s more it’s easy to achieve on a phone. Simply go to your settings, click on the camera tab, and then switch the grid from off to on. Make sure to shoot horizontally, too, so you can capture as much of the scene as possible.  

Black And White

Although you are trying to add a bit of colour and adventure to your Instagram page or photo book, sometimes colour is not the best option for a good photograph. If the sun is particularly bright, then you can utilise a black and white palette to utilise the shadows and maintain the mood that you are trying to set. This can help you avoid photographs that are heavy in contrast, turning them instead into something a bit softer and more melancholic.

Leading Lines

Of course, when capturing the beauty of a natural setting, it can be hard to find straight lines anywhere.  That’s not to say it’s impossible, however. If you want to create perfect rural compositions, leading lines can come in the form of brick walls, wooden fences or natural rivers. If you make sure that the leading lines arrive from the bottom of the frame, then you can use them to lead the eye of the observer directly to the subject of the picture, turning any natural landscape into a beautifully orchestrated, eye-catching photograph. 


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