So I have some basic rules to follow when it comes to landscape photography. So in landscape photography, you want everything in focus 99% of the time, you're going to want your entire scene in focus. So what does that mean? That means that you want an F stop of F 11 or above, you can use an F eight and F nine and F 10. But I have a basic rule that I follow pretty pretty strongly. And it guarantees that I'll always have an in sharp in focus and sharp image every time and that is shooting at F 11 and above.
Now, f 16 is a really good f stop for landscape photography. Everything comes out in focus and really detail and really, really sharp. As far as focusing, you want your focus to be either on your foreground so if there's a rock or you'll see in the videos, I have a shot With a feather, that's where my focus was, if it's just a normal landscape, and by that, I mean, if there's nothing close to you, in front of you, then you just focus on the horizon. If you can't find a focus spot, just put your focus point on infinity. And everything should be in focus, as long as you're using an F 11 or above. Now, your ISO, that should always be at 100.
For landscape photography, we're always shooting on a tripod, for the most part. So ISO should always be at 100 that will guarantee your cleanest image that is the native ISO to most cameras. What that means is that it's using every pixel and everything should be really really sharp and really, really nice. With no grain whatsoever. Now, cameras nowadays, they're so good and the sensors are so good that you can push your ISO and you won't really See that much of a difference in a photo, if any at all. On my Nikon I can shoot.
ISO I have a one of my favorite photos is it was shot at 3200 ISO and you can really tell that it's not grainy, it's actually really really nice. So that's the ISO as far as the shutter speed, we adjust that accordingly. For landscape photography, we'd like to shoot at slower shutter speeds. That way you can get the water movement, the cloud movement, and also for cityscape photography. That's how you get those light trails by shooting at a slow shutter speed. And that can be also done on a tripod.
If you try to do that handheld, you're going to get a blurry image. So if you're doing a slow shutter speed, always make sure you're on a tripod. Now one thing to know is that the higher your F stop, such as f 18 f 22. That will give you The Starburst effect on the light, give me an a streetlight around the sun in itself. By that, I mean it creates this beam. So it looks like a star is exploring.
And you will see that in the next video and on the Edit. So I accomplished that. And that can be done like I said, f 18 and F 22 or F 18 and above. One thing to note on those higher f stops is that you will see some of your sensor spots. So keep that in mind when you're in post production when you're editing to remove all those sensor spots. And again, we will go over that in the next few videos when we're editing.
Now there are three rules that I follow in that I live by. And they're not rules is just kind of what I created that make sense for me. And that's so when I go out there, I'm looking for the light, beautiful light and I'm looking For a subject, and then I'm looking for leading lines into that subject. So basically when I'm shooting, I try to find, obviously I want to get there when it's the lightest, really nice, that gives me my life, then I try to find a subject. So whether it's a son, or a mountain or a tree, or something that I can, that I want the viewer to see, that's my subject. And then the leading lines, that is the most important part of the composition.
So you want to create some sort of, of guide of walkway for the viewers I to invite them into that photo. A lot of people don't do that and in in return if you have kind of a boring image, but by creating leading lines, you create a very interesting photo, you create a balanced photo, and you create a beautiful photo. So those are my three rules light, beautiful light subject and leading lines. And to me, that's the easiest way to create a good composition. So when you're out there, easy things to remember f 11. And above beautiful light, a subject and leading lines, leading lines being the most important because that creates an interesting composition.
That creates a beautiful photo that creates a balanced frame a balanced photo. And you will see as we walk through the next videos, what I mean exactly by that, especially in the diagrams, you'll see how I use water, how you sand and how you use all this other things, too, as leading lines to guide me into this beautiful composition and that's what creates landscapes so beautiful. When you look at a landscape photograph. You just look at it you don't think about this stuff, but it's your job as a photographer to think all this through. So the viewer and yourself can be in this beautiful scene. You want somebody to feel what you're feeling.
And you can accomplish that by having a beautiful subject, beautiful light in very interesting leading lines. As far as the best times to shoot, you want to be out before the sun rises half hour before the sun rises, we'll get you the most beautiful light. After the sun rises, everything gets pretty bright and kind of boring. So you want to be there half hour before, maybe an hour before but half hour before is when you get the most beautiful light. So keep that in mind. Same for the sunset, half hour after the sunset.
That's when you want to shoot because that's when all the colors come together and just go buckwild so that's when you want to be there. It always drives me crazy when I'm shooting somewhere. And as soon as the sunsets the photographers leave Don't do that. As soon as the sunsets you stay still, you stay put and you capture those beautiful colors. Now after the sunsets after that half hour is gone, those colors are gone, then you entered the blue hour, that's when everything looks really blue, really crisp and really, really beautiful. It's also beautiful time to shoot.
But if you want a lot of color, then you want to be there half hour after the sunsets. Okay, so don't pack up your stuff. And the don't do that. As far as knowing the times when it sets and when it rises, I use an app called called rice. It's free on the App Store ri s E and it tells you you type in the date it will tell you exactly when the sun is gonna rise and when the sun is gonna set. So always make sure and be there before the light gets crazy and stay till after the sunsets.
Because I like it's pretty crazy as well. So those are my three basic rules, guys, as far as composition, you need a beautiful subject. You need beautiful light and you need interesting leading lines. So don't just stand there, point and shoot, create, create an image, create something, think about everything you're seeing. So when I'm out there shooting, I'm looking at my clouds. I'm looking at which direction they're moving, you want them to be moving towards your subject, that when you're creating those leading lines, same with the water, you want to capture the water when it's moving towards your subject.
A lot of times that means you have to be in the water, but that's how you create the beautiful leading lines. There are a lot of things you must think about when creating these beautiful photos. You also have to move around, don't just stand still in one spot. I always tell this to people in my workshops so my students don't just stand there, move around, you know, take some photos, then move around, move around. Keep Moving, if you just standard, you're going to get the same photo over and over again. And the only way you're going to learn composition is by practicing it and moving around.
So always look at your foreground always look what you have on the sides. Always look at your eyes, your sky as your clouds where the sun is, I don't really follow the rule of thirds too much. I just kind of whatever looks pretty in my mind, that's what I try to put out there. But the rule of thirds is a good rule to go by, if you're just starting out. But always, always, always make sure you move around and you look at all your elements. So if there are rocks, if there's a stake if there's a tree trunk, if there's a tree, you want to use all these elements as leading lines into your into your photo into your main subject, and of course you want to do this during beautiful light.