One of the biggest variables in landscape photography is your shutter speed. Not only is it the main driving force in your exposure for this type of photography, it also helps determine the mood of the final image and gives us creative control.
Setting a Mood
The shutter time for this photo above was only 1.3 seconds. As you can see, the waves are kept intact and although there is indeed some motion blur, there are more things to indicate to the viewer that the water is turbulent and moving forcefully toward the camera. The warm color temperatures evoke a more dynamic mood. To preserve some motion in the water and create a more realistic image like this one, set a shutter speed of 2 seconds or faster.
Image #1 - calm and cool - 67 seconds, ISO 100, f/16, 16mm
Image #2 - Warm and Turbulent - 1.3 seconds, ISO 100, f/18, 16mm
As with all things photographic, practice and experimentation are critical in developing your skills and determining the best settings to suit your taste and personal sense of style. So get out there and shoot!
(Photos & Article by instructor Rob Andrew)