Top tips from professional photographer Josh Beames

The world of photography has gained much traction and attention over the years, yet to perfect the craft takes hundreds, if not thousands of hours behind the lens to really start capturing some exquisite shots. Josh Beames, who has earned his title as a professional landscape photographer, and who now works for Nikon Australia as a Nikon Z Creator and Lecturer, knows the challenges novice photographers face once they enter the competitive industry. Luckily, he has shared some of his best tips for, not only those at entry-level but even more experienced photographers who would like to benefit from these trade secrets. 

Tips on Getting Started with Photography

Beames started his photography journey with a Nikon D750, and shared his advice on how to get started, saying, “you should take photos of heaps of different genres: landscape, people, or cities; and once you start to realize what you like to shoot, start to work in that direction – but in the meantime always try to keep variety in your photography skills.” 

Living in the modern age of social media also means that you have plenty of platforms to choose from when it comes to sharing your content. Josh cautions that when it comes to Instagram and growing your following, the next tip should help you on your journey:

Maintain the Aesthetic 

In the beginning, post your best content as much as you can, with a focused style. To grow your following as a photographer, you should post content of a single genre of photography, and then utilize your Stories and Highlights for more variety shots and edits.

Although technology has become accessible to most, what got Josh Beames, and so many others ahead in the industry is a dedication to creativity and making photographs personal. Landscape photographer Michael Kenna once said that “everybody now has a camera, whether it is a professional instrument or just part of a phone. Landscape photography is a pastime enjoyed by more and more. Getting it right is not an issue. It is difficult to make a mistake with the sophisticated technology we have now. Making a personal and creative image is a far greater challenge.”  

Tips on incorporating dramatic foregrounds and capturing rare events in nature.

When photographing landscapes, it is easy to sometimes lose sight of what could be a better image, since the grandiosity of the overall view can be quite overwhelming. A useful landscape technique is to use an ultra-wide-angle lens to emphasize the foreground while incorporating the beautiful expanse as background for an image. Lenses such as the Nikkor 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 Zoom, Nikkor 20mm f/1.8, Nikkor 16-35 f4, and the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 are all go-to lenses when shooting landscape photographs since they allow you to emphasize elements of composition and capture wide expanses.     

 

3 tips by James to help change up your landscape photography.

 

Tip 1 

When approaching a scene for the first time or maybe it’s a popular spot that has been shot a thousand times, I always look for a nice foreground that can lead the eye into the scene. I find that having a nice wide lens like the Nikkor 14-24 is crucial for capturing a dramatic foreground. 

Tip 2  

The best technique to find that delicious foreground is to simply switch in the LCD and walk around with your camera and asses all the different compositions using the screen as a reference. Once you find something interesting set your camera up and fire away! 

Tip 3 

Don’t be afraid of trying new perspectives. Leave your tripod at home and use what is around you to get that unique shot! I have been known to set my camera on almost anything to get a shot. A lot of my personal favorites that I’ve captured have been without a tripod. You would be surprised with what you can achieve!

Remember, Focus

Be sure your camera is in focus once you have that foreground element in place. To achieve this would mean to sharpen everything in the image you want to capture by calculating your hyperfocal distance. By observing all areas of the scene while doing landscape photography, the foreground, as well as the middle ground and background, will become more visible through your lens, and therefore you will be able to create and fully express what you feel with the shot that you’ve set up. Landscape photography will always be different, whether it be the assignments, places, days, or approaches used – as a photographer, you should always be open to possibilities, for one thing often leads to another.