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Tips for better landscape photography

Tips for better landscape photography

2020-01-22 | photography

There are many variables which can determine the success or the failure of the photograph. Understanding the basics of composition and lighting of course plays a crucial role in how the landscape will be presented. However there are few tips and tricks which can be applied when shooting landscape photography which will help for better photographs.

landscape photography tips

#1 Stabilize your camera

Most landscapes are based upon non-movement. This does not mean that there is not movement within the scene, but that the actual earth appears to be stationary. Utilizing a tripod or a similar device (such as a Steadicam) will greatly minimize potential of unwanted movement within the landscape photograph. Consider, a photograph which is capturing the movement of clouds the greatly diminished and its impact that the rest of the scene appears to be a movement.

#2 Plan the time of your


Your photograph is going to tell a story. As the photographer, it is your responsibility to determine what that story will be and to do so you must establish a time and place. If you are shooting at landscape at sunset or sunrise the elements need to be framed in such a way to emphasize that time of day. Seems which are shot at night should have minimal lighting so as to give off the impression of moonlight/starlight unless specifically planned otherwise. Planning the time does not only encompass the physical time a day but also the historical time associated with the shot. If shooting something historical the photographer wants to ensure that modern elements are not introduced into the composition.

#3 Establish a depth of field

When trying to create better landscape photography, the photograph or needs to have a mind how they will establish the depth of field. Do you want to emphasize the foreground and minimize the background? If so you need a higher aperture. In cases where you want to the foreground and the background to the sharp (typically in instances where you have a high contrast between the two) been a lower setting is needed. Feel free to experiment with the settings to get the best results. Most landscape photographers will want to maximize their depth of field unless that person is focusing on a particular element within the shot (such as a tree with very distinctive features or a tombstone of a particular person).

#4 Minimize unneeded reflections of refractions within the landscape

Most professional cameras will allow you to change lenses to us to establish the best shot. A circular polarizing filter is best for photographers trying to minimize reflections of refractions. Why is this helpful? In landscapes consisting of reflective surfaces such as water glass a photograph can be ruined a reflection captures the photographer or another unwanted element. Furthermore, highly reflective surfaces generally present a glare which is undesirable to viewers.

#5 Refrain from shooting cliché landscapes

If you want to have better landscape photography then you need to shoot better landscapes. Landscapes which have been shot repeatedly and have become industry clichés should be avoided. If you want to see the sunset or sunrise you need to do so from a new creative angle. If your landscape looks generic the odds are that will be considered generic. Feel free to incorporate figures and other elements into your landscape in order to make it more interesting. One great example of this would be Oak Creek Canyon #8 by Bryan Nielsen.

#6 Capture your landscape photography in RAW format

a great practice for any photographer whether doing landscape or any other genre is to shoot in raw format. The reason for this is that your photography will be non-compressed which will allow you to do manipulations and apply filters if needed. Where there are many filters which usually come standard with professional cameras it is advised that these be used sparingly. If you use the filters on your camera, ensure that you get at least one raw format photo. Landscape those can be enhanced minimally within the professional program such as Photoshop and captured in the raw format. It is advised that these filters be kept to a minimum if you want to maintain a natural look to your photograph.

#7 Never have your horizon line in the center of your photo

When shooting at landscape ensure that your horizon line is either above or below the center of the shot. A horizon line which cuts across the center of your photo physically divides the landscape. As you want to encompass the full image into your photo, shifting their horizon line helps to minimize that line. If your focus is on the sky, lower your horizon line. This will allow you to have more of an area for the actual sky. When moving the horizon line up, keep in mind that the viewer will feel closer to the ground. Idealistically, a horizon line will be camouflaged (by trees, rocks, buildings, etc.) unless it is an essential part to the landscape which the photographers trying to capture. Landscape photography is much dependent on the composition and the lighting. Once these two were established to a professional level, then play around with your filters and your depth of field to get a better landscape photograph. Although the rule of thirds is a great way to establish a composition such as a landscape, consider manipulation of this rule. By being creative and working outside the box, your landscapes will become more dynamic.