Landscape photography is a genre loved by many beginner and professional photographers. As for the audience, we all love seeing beautiful places and natural landscapes, and thanks to this genre, we can appreciate the beauty of the world we live in.
Landscape photography is a genre that is in high demand on stock photography websites, as it is one of the most popular photography categories. If you are confident about the quality and appeal of your pictures, consider becoming a contributor on a stock video website to submit your shots. You can start a freelance career and start earning money for your landscape shots.
Regardless of your experience in photography, you might be interested in how you can improve your landscape shots. Well, keep reading this article to learn the essential tips for better landscape photography.
What is landscape photography
Landscape photography is a photography genre inspired by classical arts, dedicated to shooting landscapes with little to no presence of humans or urban buildings. Unlike with nature photography that includes images of animals in their natural environment and plants on close-ups, landscape photography is about capturing beautiful sceneries to highlight natural landscapes.
Nowadays, some photographers use landscape photography as a way to remind people about environmental issues we face at the moment. They might purposefully search for places destructed by human presence and shoot contrasting photos with the remains of a landscape. Nevertheless, many photographers still opt for shooting landscapes for solely artistic or aesthetic purposes.
Tips on shooting landscapes
Your photography equipment matters when you shoot landscapes. It’s good for you if you have a DSLR camera with a set of prime and zoom lenses. You can still capture a great landscape picture with any gear you have at hand with these tips.
1. Always use a tripod
Landscape photography requires using a decent tripod for several reasons. Very often you will have to opt for slow shutter speeds when you shoot nature, especially at night, so you will want to avoid unintentional shake of your camera. What’s more, a tripod does help you frame your shots more efficiently, especially when you try to frame a wide field of view, such as with landscape photography. A tripod is a must both for owners of digital cameras and mobile photographers since you need to stabilize your camera for sharp, noiseless images.
2. Shoot in aperture priority mode
If you only begin with photography or it is hard for you to grasp your camera’s manual mode, try using your aperture priority mode. Most of the time, you will need the majority of your scene to be in focus. Aperture influences the depth of field, which means when you shoot with a wide-open aperture or a smaller f-number, you will get a shallow depth of field.
3. Experiment with slow shutter speed
Smaller apertures don’t let much light through your lenses, which means you will need to compensate for the lack of light with your shutter speed. In general, try to keep your ISO low when you rely on natural lighting conditions, even when it’s dim. Instead, experiment with slow shutter speeds if you have a tripod to keep your camera steady.
4. Include water and light sources in your landscape shots
A water source can make your images more intriguing. You should also search for natural light sources. Even a simple road light can drastically change your photos. Combining water reflections and light sources mirrored in water will add a magical and dreamy touch to your images, so be attentive when you study your location.
5. Experiment with compositions
Apart from the most popular ways to organize a composition of a photograph, such as the rule of thirds or golden ratio, there are other ways to make your composition appealing. Compositions based on symmetry work really well with landscape photography. A human’s eye is naturally attracted to balanced compositions, so try to use symmetry in your landscape photography. For instance, water can help you create horizontal symmetry in your images, when mountains or trees are mirrored in the crests.
Don’t forget about other ways to make your composition stand out among thousands of other shots from the same location. Explore your location, change your angles, and search for leading lines to produce stunning landscape images.
6. Work in different weather and lighting conditions
You might have heard about the golden hour and the blue hour as the best times of the day to shoot outdoors. While the lighting conditions are surely great during these times, you shouldn’t limit yourself only to them. Shooting on a cloudy day can bring in mesmerizing results, and the light is actually very soft as clouds diffuse it.
If your camera resists rain and wind, you should even try shooting on a rainy day. Snowy landscape photos are equally stunning. As an idea for a photoshoot, try shooting mountains at night and see what interesting compositions you can achieve with a moon-lit landscape.
7. Research locations on the internet
It’s a great idea not only to check the weather forecast beforehand, but also to research locations even before you head to a photoshoot. This will help you get new ideas for your landscape photography experiments and create a list of dream locations where you will want to shoot. You can use Google Maps for this, as you can view and ‘walk through’ the place with the help of the service. What’s more, explore your dream locations on Instagram to see what people shoot there and get some inspiration for your own landscape photoshoot.
Get creative with landscape photography
To really succeed in landscape photography, you need to think outside the box. You’ve probably seen hundreds of alike, generic landscapes on your Instagram feed. Trying to be creative in your approach will help you avoid taking boring and average photos. Think how you can be better and different from the others in this specific location, use some props if you need them, and always keep practicing to become a better photographer.
Featured image: kamchatka | Depositphotos