Landscape photography is the art of capturing pictures of nature and the outdoors in a way that brings your viewer into the scene. From grand landscapes to intimate details, the best photos demonstrate the photographer’s own connection to nature and capture the essence of the world around them.
Landscape photography is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and enjoyable forms of photography. That is why I am going to share “13 Awesome Tips For Landscape Photography” with you. This article is especially meant to help a beginner photographer. So, I will explain each and every tips as simple as possible. So, let’s get started!
Each and every tips will help you through every process of the Landscape Photography from planning to the post-processing. Here is a quick look at 13 Awesome Tips For Landscape Photography:
- Pre-plan The Destination And Time To Go
- Consider Using ND Filters
- Consider Using Polarizing Filters
- Invest In A Tripod
- Make Wide Angle Lenses Your Best Friend
- Use Nature To Your Advantage
- Dramatic Sky And The Importance Of Cloud
- Add A Subject
- Minimalism Is The Key
- Use Leading Lines
- Find Movement
- Shoot In Raw
- Don’t Rely Too Much On Post-processing
Now, I am going to explain what each one of those mean and how it will help you to get better at landscape photography.
1. Pre-plan The Destination And Time To Go
Researching locations might just be one of the most fun parts of shooting landscapes. Whether it’s a favorite place that you’d been to a million times or an entirely new location far away from your home base, a little research can go a long way in planning to take the best shots possible. You can use online maps to plan your route to the spot and different vantage points that you think will make the best shots.
It is always better if you pre-plan your destination especially if you are planning on going to a new destination. It is the same with the time you want to go, once you have an idea of where to go and how to get there, consider when you want to be there. You’ll want to plan quite a bit of time to scout the location in person, set up your gear, and move around the place but beyond that, you’ll want to plan for the best light. You might wind up taking some sample shots and realizing that you really want to come back at sunset, or even after dark.
By time I just don’t mean evening or morning, make sure you also consider the seasons and months. For instance, there are some places which looks better with snow so, you will have to consider going in winter between the months from december to february. That is why it is always better to pre-plan your destination and time of arrival in order to take the best photo for your deired look.
2. Consider Using ND Filters
A neutral-density (ND) filter is a great, and often underrated tool, in landscape photography. An ND filter does not have an effect on the color of your photo. It works by preventing light from reaching the camera sensor, which allows you to shoot at a very slow shutter speed and in bright sunny conditions.
For instance, if you want to capture a long-exposure photograph but the scene is too brightly lit to allow it, an ND filter is just the thing. ND filters are invaluable when you are seeking to make water smooth with motion or when looking to make clouds streak across the sky. When used correctly, ND filters can create a surreal, painting-like quality, especially with seascapes and waterfalls.
You can use ND filters like Kodak Variable ND Filters, this is one of my favourite ND filters because it will save you the job of carrying 2,3 or more various ND filters and you won’t have to keep changing the ND filters you can just use this variable ND Filter which covers from ND2 to ND2000. You just have to rotate the ND filter instead of having to change the ND filter. Also, kodak has been for a long time in photography and one of the best place to buy any photography equipments. In fact, I think there are not many photographers who don’t know about kodak.
3. Consider Using Polarizing Filters
The circular polarizer is one of the most powerful landscape photography technique in the professional landscape photographer camera bag, so don’t leave home without one. This magical piece of glass makes all the difference between the professional artists and the point and shooters, and there are few situations where the polarizer won’t make your photos shine. In every daytime scene, the polarizer allows you to manipulate the light in the sky, making blues pop and clouds more dramatic and more defined. When near water the polarizer will enable you to control, limit, or even eliminate reflections. You can see fish swimming over tropical reefs or rocks at the bottom of a mountain stream.
Polarizing filters are best equipment to have if you shoot a lot of seascapes, river or waterfall. If you are looking for a good quality budget friendly Circulat Polarizer Filter check out Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Filters.
4. Invest In A Tripod
When you are shooting landscape shots with a quick shutter, having a sturdy and reliable tripod is indispensable. Of all the landscape photography gear you could invest in, a good tripod is most important. It should be stable enough to withstand weather of all kinds, but should also be light enough for travel. It will especially help you while shooting at a low shutter speed or a long exposure photograph.
5. Make Wide Angle Lenses Your Best Friend
Using the best landscape lenses is key when it comes to taking great landscape photos. Wide lenses (16mm or larger) are most photographers’ go-to. Wide lenses will have a wide angle view which will let you get everything you want in one single frame.
However, there is nothing wrong with trying other, less conventional lenses in your landscape photography. For example, a telephoto lens can help you capture the vast scale of your landscape in a way that a wide lens arguably cannot. The scale of a photo taken with a telephoto lens will appear wider and flatter.
6. Use Nature To Your Advantage
Fog, dew, and rain can add really beautiful dimensions to your shots. Photographing these natural phenomena is simple, and can easily be done with some careful planning. Shooting into the light using a slow shutter speed can also highlight raindrops beautifully. So, use nature to your advantage. In fact, there are some places take looks better in snow for example: Iceland and some which looks better in summer like beaches. This is where you can get creative with your photography skills.
7. Dramatic Sky And The Importance Of Cloud
Clouds often add interest and drama to a photo. Even just a few fair-weather cumulus puffballs can make a world of difference to an otherwise uninteresting landscape. Streaky cirrus clouds reflect pinks and oranges during sunset, and dramatic and contrasty cumulonimbus thunderheads change the tone of a photo entirely. A landscape taken at golden Hours around dawn and dusk can make even the most dreary vistas beautiful which will help you make your sky look dramatic and you can use clouds as a softbox for the harsh bright sunlight.
8. Add A Subject
A great landscape photograph really stands out when it is balanced with depth to it. This means something needs to be in the foreground: a character tree, a piece of driftwood, a sailboat, or a mountain creek. Where ever you are, look for foreground objects that help tell your story. An island in the distance is pretty, but a sailboat passing an island in the distance is epic. A mountain range is nice, but a lake surrounded by forest, reflecting those mountains is majestic.
You can even add a person as a subject. Adding a human subject to your landscape photograph can actually make your scene appear more impressive. With the addition of a person, viewers can really get the scale and the vastness of your landscape. Bring along a friend on your photography adventures, or set up your tripod and timer and do a cool self-portrait. Consider letting hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts tell a story in your images. While a beautiful view is gorgeous to look at, seeing a person in the scene invites us in as we imagine ourselves in their shoes.
9. Minimalism Is The Key
What I mean by that is, landcape photography is not just about capturing mountians, seascapes, cityscape, etc. It is also about the story you are capturing. Minimalism is the reduction of everything unnecessary. It is an excellent benefit when shooting landscapes to keep a minimalist’s eye. Often capturing the whole scene is just too much for one photograph. Use composition wisely, keeping the composition simple and embracing minimalism, we can use small details to tell the whole story without overloading the viewer.
Not all landscapes are going to be huge, impressive expanses of forms and flows. You’ll come across areas that will be more minimal in their design. Capturing these situations can make some very impressive and interesting images. This is also an area of landscape photography that you can create yourself. Simply changing your perspective can be enough to capture the scene in a ‘less is more’ manner.
10. Use Leading Lines
Leading lines are some form of visual interest that lead the viewer into the image. Roads, rivers, rocks, bridges, or anything else that might provide a path for a viewer to put themselves into the photo. Once you understand the concept, you will find leading lines everywhere you shoot. It’s a simple composition technique that can pay dividends in your photography. This tips works hand in hand with the above mentioned tips: mimimalism and adding a subject. Use this three combination together, you will achieve a breath-taking landscape photograph.
11. Find Movement
If you are working with moving water you can create a stunning white water effect by choosing a long exposure. One way to do this is by using TV or S (Shutter-Priority) mode and choosing an exposure of 2 seconds or longer. You can also use AV (Aperture-Priority) mode and choose a small aperture like f/32 (which generally requires more light). If working with bright daylight you must use an ND filter to reduce the amount of light hitting the camera as mentioned above, and this way the camera will allow you to have a longer shutter time. You must always use a tripod for this kind of shot so that the rest of your image remains sharp.
12. Shoot In Raw
RAW files contain more information than their JPEG counterparts. While it might seem simpler to save in the camera as a JPEG, you will be losing valuable information that could be important during post-processing. With the ability to adjust color balance and exposure details much more accurately, developing a good workflow with RAW files can be invaluable. Remember one thing, RAW due to having more image data than JPEG, it will also take more space than JPEG in your storage device.
13. Don’t Rely Too Much On Post-Processing
Following some post-processing best practices can seriously help take your photos to the next level and improve your landscape photography technique. While it is certainly true that adjusting the horizon on your photo or changing up your exposure or saturation can make a big difference, it’s important to not rely too much on post when taking landscape photos. Instead, set yourself up for success while you are shooting by using the right landscape photography settings and techniques.
One thing to be mindful of is the time of the day. You ideally want to shoot away from the sun to avoid shadows. To get a truly amazing shot, play around with your camera’s white balance setting. White balance removes unrealistic coloring from your photos, which will save you time in post.
Thank you for reading this article this long, to appreacite it here is a bonus tip for you:
Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things
A beauty of shooting with a digital camera is that there is never any harm in trying. Got a wacky idea for an awesome photo? Just try it. In photography, maybe even more than other hobbies, there are no real rules. Try out your crazy ideas, have fun, make mistakes, and most importantly learn from those mistakes.
Landscape photography is more than just capturing landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, etc. It is also about capturing the moment, story, beauty, connecting with nature, etc. Just follow these 13 tips mentioned in this article to get an awesome landscape photograph and include it in your photography portfolio.
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