Date: July 19, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Snap! How to grab a great course pic

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We all love the majesty of a great golf course photo. To stop and be able to admire the withering shadows that cascade across fairways, the curves and lines of the edges of bunkers, the clouds of a storm brewing on the horizon, or fairways striped in alternate rows of green, all frozen in time by a single frame is something very few words can describe.

Have you ever wanted to grab that perfect shot of your course? Here’s five quick tips to help your pictures glow.

1. Take your photos during the 'golden hour'
Beautiful landscape photos are made by the quality of light they were taken in, so get out there and shoot early in the morning or during the late afternoon light when the sun is lower. The light at these times of the day takes on a palette of a golden hues. Shadows are long and the edges of bunkers and greens become really well-defined.

2. Understand Composition
Composition is the key! Use the "Rule of Thirds" to begin with. It's an easy principle to apply. Divide your frame into imaginary thirds on both the horizontal and vertical axis, then place areas of interest on the lines or at the points where the lines intersect. For example where the edge of a water hazard meets a fairway, or a bunker lip intersects with a green. A "third line" is always a good spot to place a flag stick if your shooting near a putting surface.

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3. Scout your location
Put in a bit of research beforehand. Be on the lookout for the best picture locations, get a course map, and remember that you'll probably have to walk to get the best shots. 

4. Use a polarising or graduated neutral density filter
Most professional photographers carry a polarising filter. They help to cut out reflections and nasty glare from a scene, as well as increase the colour intensity, and saturation in a picture, especially in blue skies. Graduated neutral density filters help balance the exposure and assist your camera's sensor record the massive differences in brightness between the sky and the ground, which can often be in shadow.

5. Use a tripod
Many photographers want an image that appears sharp throughout the scene, so using a tripod is essential to help you keep your camera steady when using slow shutter speeds to compensate for the extremely small lens apertures required to get as much of the image in focus. A tripod is particularly useful during the golden hour as the sunlight available can be quite dim. It will also help to keep your composition straight.

"Happy snaps!"