BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Scott t. Richards

Sunset, landscapes, and pets/horses

How do I take better pictures of my horse so he looks clear and not distorted?

How do I take pictures of sunsets so that trees look good in the pictures?

How do I take pictures of landscapes so it looks like a landscape and not a ugly piece of land?

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Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  As for horses and pets, avoid a wide angle lens. Shoot with a lens that is as close to 105mm as you got. Back up if you need to.

For sunsets with nicely silhouetted trees, meter off the sky. Do not point right at the sun or at the trees when taking your reading. Also, consider just shooting the trees as they appear beautifully lit by the setting sun. If this is the thing that interests you most, shoot it.

Your landscape question is a tough one and an issue all artistic photographers wrestle with. One thing to remember is that most of the best landscape art is shot with medium and large format equipment. This is not only because the film is so much larger; it also has much to do with the fact that these diehard photographers often spend 30 minutes at a time working on one shot. However, us 35mm photographers do have hope; we can make beautiful landscapes as well. In short, wake up really early to catch the morning light and shoot in the late afternoon. Obey the laws of composition. And have fun!

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Barbara L. Ketchum   Shooting images of horse: make sure your lens is clean and in focus. Use 50mm or 85mm; possibly slow shutter speed on bright light day to blur background. Frame scene (this goes for landscapes) with part of the environment. Landscapes: squat, kneel, lay on stomach with telephoto (70-210mm lens). Use rule of thirds. Have a point of interest in the scene. Use road way at various angles to "lead into scene" Early am means often 6AM-8:30am and late pm means often 3:30pm to just before sunset. Good luck.

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