Last Updated on November 10, 2020 by PixelPluck
14 Photography Tips for Better Landscape Photography
Beautiful landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, skies, lakes, and even uninhabited environments are some of the near-perfect places for photographers to showcase their talent and skills capturing the essence of a place in a still frame. In this blog, we will share 14 Photography Tips for Better Landscape Photography.
With the advances we’ve seen in technology, cameras like Nikon D850 and Canon 5D Mark Series are now extremely accurate and capable of capturing incredibly stunning photographs, add this to the complex photography editing tools we now have access to, and you might think that anyone can just head outdoors and capture incredible landscape photographs.
However, if you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of some of the greats, such as; Ansel Adams (Known as the Supreme Master of Landscape Photography), Michael Kenna (Famously known for his black and white landscapes) or even Charlie Waite, then you’re going to need to master a few skills beforehand. In this article, we’re going to take a look at 14 Photography Tips for Better Landscape Photography.
- Bird’s Eye – Go Above the Landscape
With the huge advancements in technology in recent times, aerial photography is now easier than ever – All thanks to the use of drones. This represents a whole new way of shooting outdoor scenes from new angles and places that couldn’t be captured from ground-level previously. However, there are still plenty of regulations surrounding drones that must be abided by in order to fly them legally, not to mention the skill needed in order to get the most out of your drone. If you abide by the regulations and master the skills needed, you could have yourself some incredible shots from never before seen angles. Check for the cheap and best drones here.
- Make Use of the Golden Hours
The golden hour refers to the few hours after the sun rises or before it sets. Shooting during these hours means you avoid shooting in the full, harsh sunlight that cameras can occasionally struggle with and instead leaves you shooting in much softer, natural lighting. As the sun is lower in the sky during these hours, it becomes less dominant in your shots and creates a lot more natural and long shadows that suit your camera’s dynamic range. During the golden hour, the color temperature is best for landscapes and portraits.
- Pack Smartly
Outdoor and Landscape photography isn’t always going to be within 10 minutes of your home, sometimes to capture the really exquisite shots; you have to travel further afield. You don’t want to be lugging around every single lens, tripod, and camera you own, instead, pack smartly. Make sure you’re bringing enough supplies and equipment to capture the shots you’re looking for – Plan these shots out before you head out, that way you know what you’re looking to capture and can leave the un-needed equipment at home. Check for the best upgrades from your Kit-Lens here.
- Select your Scene
Not just the scene mode on your camera but the real-world scenery. Eric Lindberg – An award-winning photographer and writer who travels regularly to familiar and remote corners of the world – advises us to choose the scene we want beforehand. He recommends researching the place you wish to capture by looking at maps, Google Earth, or even other photographer’s work from the same place. If you know what to expect from the area you’re visiting and have already looked at the various different angles and perspectives the scene has already been captured at, you can look to capture your own unique perspective.
- Modify the Scene to your Perspective
Anyone can go online, use Google, and find a few incredible outdoor spots to shoot at, but it takes a real photographer to visit the same place as others and still capture their own unique images. Most professional photographers want to give landscapes their own personal sense of scene by figuring out which parts of a landscape are most visually appealing, as well as the bits of a landscape that make them unique.
- Sharpen Images with Depth of Field
Depth of field is also referred to as Near-far focus. Achieving beautiful, sharp near-far focus landscapes means having to master plane of focus, depth of field, and hyperfocal distance. Which according to Ian Plant, can be achieved by approximating the distance between your camera and the foreground of your shot, then focusing on a point that’s around twice that distance away from you.
- Use Lighting to add Colour and Texture to Photographs
Sidelight is a great choice if you’re looking to capture the definition and texture within your shots. However, if you want to create an ‘explosion’ of colors within your shot, for example, when shooting in a forest filled with various shades of green, red and yellow, then backlight is the way to go in order to capture all the contrasting shades and hues. When using backlight, ensure you manage lens flare as well as using a lens hood to shade the lens’ front element from light.
Using Tilt-Shift Lens
When shooting in urban landscapes, the tilt-shift effect is a great way to blur the edges of your picture and really focus on the central point of interest. Many people like to add a blurring effect during post-production, but expert photographers would recommend using tilt-shift lenses for a more natural effect.
- Shoot in RAW
When you’re a beginner you might not care too much about the postproduction of your images. As you progress further through your career, postproduction is going to become a large part of your life. In order to allow yourself to experiment with editing your shots, you need to shoot in RAW file format as this gives you the most flexibility when it comes to editing your images. Read why you should shoot in RAW.
- Wide Angle Lens
When shooting outdoors – especially landscape images – wide-angle lenses are extremely popular with photographers. Wide-angle lenses often emphasize the sense of distance in your shots. If your image includes a large foreground, then wide-angle lenses are a must as they cause objects that are close to the camera to appear larger and more imposing. Check some wide-angle lenses here.
- Be Sure to Include Foreground and background for Depth
If you’re shooting landscape images, then you should ensure you include the foreground as well as a background in your images. This gives landscape photographs a sense of depth. The foreground can help to set the stage of your shot, adding context to the image, as well as potentially even serving as the main focal point of your shot.
- Use a Polarising Filter
If you’re looking to become an outdoor landscape photographer (or perhaps you already are), then a polarizing filter is a must-have item. The filter works by only letting in light from certain angles, meaning you can rotate the filter to improve color saturation or remove any unwanted surface glare from the sun or other light sources. Polarising filters are cheap and also acts as a safety element in front of your lens optics.
- Experiment with Slower Shutter Speeds
If you’re looking for the right opportunity to experiment with slower shutter speeds in order to create long exposures, then outdoor photography might be the perfect excuse. You can use slower shutter speeds to blur the movement of nature, for example, waterfalls, clouds, or even animals. If you’re trying to use a slower shutter speed during the daytime, while it’s light outside, you might find you need to purchase a neutral-density filter in order to filter out some of the light in long-exposure shots.
- Branch Out and Diversify
Outdoor photography encompasses so many different types of images for you to capture, from reflections and waterfalls to wildlife and macros. The list is endless, so don’t be afraid to try your hand with a few different types of photography and see which works best for you.
Read some of the most popular tips for Landscape and Outdoor photography here: 10 Amazing Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks
We could write dozens of pages around top tips for landscape photography or just about any type of photography. But it’s you who needs to be creative and different. Which of these tips will you look to implement next time you’re looking to capture the great outdoors, or perhaps you already have? Let us know your comments about 14 Photography Tips for Better Landscape Photography!
Author Richard is the owner of Meadows Farm Studios having started his photography career after graduating from Art College in 1985.