Landscape photography is the art of capturing pictures of nature and the outdoors in a way that brings your viewer into the scene. The best landscape photos demonstrate the photographer’s own connection to nature and capture the essence of the world around them. Now let’s come to my 50 tips to improve your landscape photography. Get ready for a long scroll!
If you feel it’s too much to read, check out my video about these 50 tips for Landscape Photography…
1. Understand Your Gear
You can take bad photographs with the most expensive cameras and you can take good images with a point-and-shoot. The important thing is to understand how to use the camera and to know its limitations.
2. Use a Wide Lens
Wide-angle lenses are preferred for landscape photography because they can show a broader view, and therefore give a sense of wide-open space.
3. Appropriate Settings
You need to use a small aperture – anything between f 8 and f 16 should be fine – and the least ISO your camera allows you. I use Auto White Balance and Matrix Metering.
4. Use a Tripod
A tripod is very useful to avoid that unnecessary camera shake you may get. It also helps you in shooting at the least ISO of your camera.
5. Start with the Fundamentals
If you really wish to improve your craft and become a better landscape photographer, you’ll need to start by learning the fundamentals even though it might not sound as fun as the most extreme post-processing techniques.
6. The Right Camera Backpack
The camera backpack is an accessory we often take for granted. A solid backpack will help you not only organize your camera gear and easily bring it when traveling, but also take care of your body.
7. Pack with Care
With the prospect of walking several miles to get to a location, it’s imperative that you only pack what you’ll need in your backpack. Pack comfortable clothes and footwear as landscape photography may involve a lot of walking, hiking, and travelling.
8. Know Your Location
You should always have a clear idea of where you are planning to go, and at what time of the day you will be able to capture the best photograph. Learn how to read maps, and understand how you can utilize them to find the perfect location.
9. Shoot in RAW
If your camera can capture photos in RAW, then I recommend that you always capture RAW files. They contain much more detail and information and give far greater flexibility in post-production without losing quality.
10. Clean your lenses
Regularly clean your lenses to avoid having dust or dirt on them. Consider buying a lens hood and carry some microfiber cloth with you on the location.
11. Stay Charged Up
Always keep a spare battery in your bag, to prevent unnecessary mishaps. I once left my camera on in my bag. It drained all my battery but since I had a spare battery, it saved my day.
12. Enough Storage
Make sure that you’ve got enough storage for your images and remember to make backups! RAW files are large files and it doesn’t take long to fill up a hard drive.
13. Find Inspiration
Looking at other photographers work is a great way to learn and get inspiration. There are so many sources on the Internet today where you can find great imagery. But try to take those shots in your own style.
14. Best Time to shoot
Dusk and dawn are the two best times for landscape photography simply because the light is most pleasing at these times. But shooting in broad daylight or the night can also give you some amazing frames.
15. Choose an interesting spot
Once you’re at your location, and before you even take your camera out of its bag, look around for the best place to shoot from. Try to find a different view of your chosen landscape.
16. Think About The Composition
You should always aim to get your composition right in-camera, rather than relying on post-production. You need to train yourself to be able to see a scene and analyze it before pressing the shutter release button.
17. Capture Movement
Landscapes are rarely completely still; so convey this movement in your image to add drama, mood and to create a point of interest. Examples – wind in trees, waves on a beach, water flowing over a waterfall, birds flying overhead, moving clouds, etc.
18. Use Neutral Density Filters
In order to capture the movement of the water or clouds, you may have to work with slow shutter speed. Slow Shutter speed means more light hitting the sensor and may give you a fully-blown out image. A Neutral Density or ND filter prevents light from reaching the camera sensor, thus allowing you to shoot at such a slow shutter speed.
19. Use Polarising Filters
Polarising filters help to deepen blue skies, remove a degree of glare, reduce reflections and increase colour saturation. They can also be used as a limited neutral-density filter because they reduce light entering the lens by one or two stops.
20. Use a Remote
Another accessory for slow shutter photography is a remote. The remote allows you to click without touching your camera and reduces the risk of blurring your images while pressing the shutter release button.
21. Use The Best Light
The challenge of landscape photography is about being able to cope with different lighting conditions, for example, great landscape photos can be captured even on cloudy or stormy days. The key is to use the best light as much as possible and be able to influence the look and feel of your photos to it.
22. Look for a focal point
All shots need some sort of focal point to them and landscapes are no different. Your Focal points could range from a building or structure, a striking tree, a boulder or rock formation, a silhouette, etc.
23. Mind The Sky
Stop clicking shots of the clouds only. Follow the rule of thirds and include some part of the ground as well. Consider enhancing skies either in post-production or with the use of filters.
24. Include People
A landscape isn’t just about nature; so why not include people? Try to include some human elements in your frame to depict the scale of the landscape.
25. Add Foreground
Think carefully about the foreground of your shots and by placing points of interest in them. You can use some rocks, flowers, grass, etc to act as your foreground.
26. Straighten the horizon
You should try to click straight shots in your camera itself, but it’s not always easy to get this perfect on the first try. So simply rotate your images in post-production software and crop out the empty spaces.
27. Cut The Clutter
Probably more important than deciding what to include in an image is deciding what not to include. If there are things that do not add any interest to the image, consider changing the composition slightly to remove them or minimize them in the frame.
Water in subdued light can create beautiful effects and reflections. Pick an appropriate angle that allows you to capture both your subject and its full reflection.
29. Rule of Thirds
Use the rule of thirds. Divide your frame in a 3×3 grid and place your subject or horizon along the lines.
30. Leading Lines
Lines give an image depth, scale and can be a point of interest in and of themselves by creating patterns in your shot.
31. Take your time
Take a little more time with your shots – particularly in finding a more interesting point of view to shoot from. Explore the environment and experiment with different viewpoints and you could find something truly unique.
32. Shift a Little
Small changes in positioning make huge changes in composition. Even tilting a camera down with a wide-angle lens on can be the difference between a killer shot and an average shot.
33. Take vertical shots
Don’t take all your shots in the landscape mode. Try to mix things up by actively remembering to rotate your camera vertically for a different look.
34. Look behind you
When you’re taking your photographs, stop and look behind you to see what the scene looks like. This can often send your thought processes down another creative path and you can come up with a really cracking shot.
35. Add Drama
As long as the sky isn’t an endless expanse of grey and detail is present in the clouds, you can shoot incredibly moody images. And, if the sun does happen to break through for a moment, it will look amazing.
36. Discover minimalism
Minimal landscapes can look amazing. They can be just as compelling as a classic landscape scene bursting with detail and light.
37. Auto Exposure Bracketing
Cameras set to Auto Exposure Bracketing take two or more images at different exposures, one of which is likely to be correct (or closer to correct).
38. Get Creative
Instead of just capturing the scene in front of you, think of ways to tell a story or find a way to provide a different visual experience.
39. Convey Emotions
Next time you’re out taking landscape photos, ask yourself – How does the landscape make you feel? Whatever emotional response you have, try to convey it in your photo.
40. Consider the Histogram
Always check the histogram on your camera after each shot. If you see your histogram to the left, you’ve underexposed and are missing shadow detail. If you see your histogram to the right, you’ve overexposed and are missing highlight detail.
41. Try Something New
If you want to keep up your excitement for photography – or enjoy it even more – put some effort into doing things you’ve never done before. That could mean you visit a new location Or, shoot with a different set of lenses.
42. Learn from your mistakes
The more mistakes you make, the faster you’ll learn and improve your photography skills. So try a technique or style you haven’t done before and expect to make many mistakes along the way.
43. Post-process your images
Properly editing your images is a must for any genre of photography. Start learning and using any post-processing software – Photoshop, Lightroom, Snapseed – anything!
44. Get Feedback
Getting feedback on your photos not only is inspirational but it makes you improve your techniques and creativity. I have learned so much from getting my photos critiqued by other photographers.
45. Add to your portfolio
Once you have mastered these landscape photography tips, your work is going to be stunning! Make sure to add your best shots into your online landscape photography portfolio.
46. Print Your Images
Print your best landscape images and hang them in your home or gift them to your friends. The real magic of photography is in the print.
47. Practice more
You can study and read, watch YouTube and Vimeo videos day long but if you don’t practice you will not master the skills.
48. Be Persistent & Patient
The world outdoors is unpredictable, and landscape photography often requires dedication, patience, and persistence, despite the apparent obstacles. You may have to brave heavy rain or extreme cold or hot weather in order to get your shot, so be patient and persistent.
49. Spend wisely
It’s easy to get sucked into buying fancy new gadgets, but take time to push your current gear to the limit so you’ll be better informed of needs later, and prevent frivolous spending at the same time.
50. Break the Rules
Now that you have so many tips for Landscape Photography, learn how to break them. Take as many photos as you can breaking the rules and who knows, you might see something that really works for you.
I hope you find these 50 tips to be useful guys. Do comment on what you want to read more on my blog. Thank you so much for reading. If you liked my blog, please give it a star and start following me. Thank you and happy clicking!
Also Read – AMBOLI: A JOURNEY WITH MY CAMERA
CONNECT WITH ME: