Landscape Photograph – The Best Camera?

February 16, 2019

When wanting to take a photograph, any for instance, but in my case, a landscape photograph, they say that you often need to have the best camera available if you want to take a great photograph. I would argue with that statement many times over. In fact, recently I was in Melbourne CBD, on a Friday evening. We were out celebrating a birthday and had enjoyed a lovely dinner down at a well-known restaurant along Southbank, when walking back to the car park the Melbourne sunset absolutely went off! Everywhere you looked there were amazing colours and the landscape looked beautiful. There are also times when we should just stop and enjoy what nature has to show us, without worrying about taking that amazing landscape photograph. We can become so focused on capturing the memory we don’t actually have a chance to enjoy it. 

It is amazing how only a matter of 30 minutes prior, the sun had been still well above the horizon and we were enjoying a beautiful blue sky, and that rapidly changed into a spectacular show of bright pinks and oranges and all shades in between.

Yarra River Melbourne at Sunset

Naturally I wished deep down that I had been prepared for this amazing Melbourne sunset, that I had been waiting along Queens Bridge or somewhere nearby ready to capture the sunset, but I did have an amazing night out with family instead. Next time I’ll be sure to have all of my camera gear so I can take that perfect Melbourne Landscape Photograph!

So as we were walking back I stopped at a few places along the way and took photos with my iPhone XS. Now, this is far from the quality of my full-frame Canon 5D Mark IV but it actually was the best camera that I had on me. It was the ONLY camera that I had on me, and I guess that is where this post is going. That the best camera is usually the one that you have with you. It is impossible to always plan to have all of your gear on you and if you are always worried about “I don’t have my tripod and lenses and full-frame body” therefore I’m not going to worry, you will miss all of those opportunities for photographs that sneak up on you. 

Federation Square Melbourne – Sunset

The iPhone and other smartphones have come a huge way in terms of the way they process colours and the computer learning and processing power of a scene is amazing. You will most likely be able to take a great photograph in a typical setting, especially if there is plenty of light. Would I use it as my main landscape photography camera? Of course not, it will never be able to produce prints that are the same quality I expect when producing high-quality landscape prints but to record a memory, post it on Facebook or Instagram or share with friends and family, it is perfect. In fact, the way smartphone cameras are going, they are continuing to offer increased megapixels, higher quality lenses with zoom options that are optical instead of digital and software that is more intelligent than most DSLRs. It will be hard to differentiate in the near future for some types of photographs. Some of the higher end smartphones also have inbuilt stabilisation built into either the lens or the sensor, allowing for clearer images. In the end, I don’t think it necessarily matters what type of camera you use as long as you make the most of it and enjoy the experience, and find a way to enjoy the images afterwards. 

This is the photograph I was really happy to take, just as I was quickly crossing the road! I think it showcases Melbourne really well also, with the tram in the front, Federation Square to the left and down Flinders Street there is our landmark station. There are so many wonderful places in Melbourne to take Landscape Photographs of! 

Flinders Street Melbourne at Sunset

It is also worth investigating specialised apps for your smartphone that allow you to shoot in RAW format and adjust settings manually to maximise the quality and result of your landscape photograph. I personally will often use the Lightroom mobile app to take photographs in RAW which then allow me to have greater control of the final image quality that is uncompressed. So remember, you may be missing that heavy digital SLR camera when you see the perfect scene, but at least make sure you remember you have that smartphone in your pocket which if used correctly will still allow you to create an excellent result and keep the memory of that special moment. Happy Shooting.

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