Landscape photography is about capturing nature and the outdoors. Everything from basic nature scenes to the photos of woods, ocean, roads, lawns, sunsets, etc. Look though these basic landscape photography tips and tricks to take those breathtaking nature photos.
Before going outdoors and trying to capture at least the piece of the beauty that surrounds you, look through these landscape photography tips about composition, shooting tricks, camera settings, gear, and creative ideas.
Show the lines as if they guide your viewers into a photo. Seek out patterns, shapes, lines and colorful subjects in nature. Use roads, railway tracks, boardwalks, waterfalls, streams, fencing, etc.
Any landscape photo depends on the weather. So, it is very important to select the appropriate time for shooting. You can't always predict the weather, but the mobile apps like The Weather Channel (Android, iOS) or Dark Sky Weather (Android, iOS) certainly come close.
Search not for perfect blue sky, sun and warm, but try to pay more attention to the rarer nature’s character demonstrations like a storm, heavy wind, great dark clouds and the sun that shines through them, magical sunset and vivid rainbows after heavy rain.
You won’t find better light, than sun light that is low on the horizon. During the Golden Hour (the hour after sunrise & the hour before sunset) the light is special and greatly influences the scene, depending on its angle and gives you more space for fantasy and creativity.
Download a Golden Hour app ( Android or iOS ) that will become your personal assistant for landscape photography. Play with shadows or sunbeams to create a unique shot. Create sun flares or add backlights to your photos. Use a tripod and bump up your ISO to compensate for the lower amount of light.
According to the rule of thirds, the horizon should lie not exactly in the middle of the picture, but on one of the thirds lines in a photo (on the top third or on the bottom one). For a dramatic effect, place it towards the bottom of the frame.
Mind distortion of any vertical lines at the edge of the frame like small houses or trees.
When shooting landscape photography, try to find various places to take photos from, discover new ways and roads, search for other angles, lay on the ground or find the highest point and climb on it – you may achieve a truly captivating shot.
To make your landscape photos pop and vivid, make color correction. Lightroom and Camera Raw are the best photo editing softwares for that. If you're a beginner, use Lightroom presets that automatically enhances colors, tints, saturation, shadows, etc.
One of the most widespread landscape image categories is panorama. Panorama image is a technique which is applied in order to widen the image’s scene. It is also called “wide format photo”.
This is a short video of quick moving clouds or other objects in movement. Although the process is pretty fun, it is quite complicated from the technical side. You need to take a lot of photos during a long time period with the help of the tripod.
If the clouds are moving very slowly, set the interval of 10 seconds. If they are very fast - 3 seconds. If you photograph people who are walking down your landscape view, set the interval of 2 seconds. If you’ve decided to take the path of the sun on a clear day, it will be 30 seconds.
Maybe you have seen the breathtaking images of the night sky with thousands of stars which form a circle. To create dazzling star trail photos you need a DSLR camera, remote shutter release, tripod, clear skies, Photoshop, and much time.
The ISO speed and aperture will depend on the lens you use. If your aperture is f/1.4, set ISO400, if it is f/2.8, set ISO1600. I always set f/1.4 ISO400 30s, let my DSLR take photos on its own for about 20 minutes to several hours. It depends on how long you would like the star trails to be.
If you are eager to create unusual landscapes photography, then try the technique of light painting. This is a vivid example of using artificial light for landscape shooting. Use of flash or flashlight to illuminate some parts of the image, for example, a rock in the seascape foreground at nighttime.
Landscape photos look amazing with long exposures. All you need is the element that moves at an adequate speed. It can be cars (as on the example), waterfalls, seas, streams, and clouds.
Look for overcast weather, track the Sun’s position, focus a third of the way into the scene, lower your ISO settings, use filters, and experiment with bulb mode.
Landscaping photography needs appropriate camera features that are slightly different than those for other genres of photography. High resolution and capturing a lot of details are one of the most important specs.
Your lens should have a wide angle and a big level of sharpness at narrow apertures. But an ultra-wide-angle lens isn’t a must-have to take magnificent landscape photography. A standard lens like 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 with just the right zoom range will be a good and inexpensive variant for beginners.
With its help, you can shoot highly detailed pictures at any surface. When choosing a tripod for outdoor shooting, remember three main criterions of the good tripod: sturdiness, stability and light weight.
To make the tripod more stable, you may put some additional weight onto it. You can also tilt the tripod’s legs or to fold them up to 180-degrees to shoot the landscape pictures from different angles.
This camera accessory will come in handy in case you need to add more textures to clouds to make them more massive and natural. The polarizer will help you in bright days and in dimmed lighting, as it is able to cut through the haze and make your landscape photographs more vivid and colorful.
For regular landscape photos (not a macro, zoom or night shooting, and other “outside of the box” pictures) the best aperture varies between f/7.1 to f/13. This is the space where you will receive the whole picture in focus that is maximally sharp.
When you are shooting fast-moving objects, for instance, water, the ideal shutter speed is approximately 1/1000th of a second, because it fully stops the motion, and, as a result, you get a crisp and sharp picture.
If you use lower shutter speed, for example, 1/160th of a second, the object will not be frozen and some areas of the photo will be blurry.
As for the ISO, there aren’t the one setting for all landscape photos. Lower the ISO as much as possible because high ISO provokes additional noise and grain in your pictures. The lower ISO for the majority of digital cameras is approximately from 100 to 200.
Landscape photography is not just picturesque nature views, seas and mountains. You photograph building, roads, people, and whether.
Each of you will agree that the sunrise has a unique color palette that seems to be unreal. So, don’t waste your time and capture this moment on your camera. Use ultraviolet or polarizing filters to reduce the amount of light coming into your camera sensor while increasing the required exposure time.
If you are not an early bird to capture the sunrise, you can always take a shot of the sunset, which looks amazing too. But don’t forget to plan everything in advance to get the desired sunset picture. Use the HDR effect on your photos for making sunset vivid.
Always check the weather before shooting the seascape to find out the tide periods because some landscape areas look good just when the tide is out. Use this trick to receive the best possible image of the area.
Look for the point of interest to take better forest landscape photo. Use your fantasy and try different points, it can be a tree trunk, a little path or a blossoming vine.
How do you see the mountains? Are they great and threatening or inspiring and enigmatic? Convey your image of mountains so the viewer will feel what you feel.
Black and white scenic photography has its own charm. This style focuses our attention on the texture, shape and contrast of the photo. Colors, especially bright and vivid ones, like green and blue, may draw the viewer away from the main meaning of the photo.
Taking landscape photography during the nighttime is quite a challenging task that requires various tricks. For instance, you may change the object’s position, like stars, still in relation to the general picture. Of course, light is the most important problem to face.
One more great location for your landscape photos is a desert. It is a rather permanent landscape, which means that you may have the same settings for a long time. That gives you an opportunity to focus on the shapes and forms of the surroundings.
It is quite a hard task for landscape photographers to find at least one point of interest when shooting views of plains and prairies. Search for some objects and features, which are special for this area, and turn them into points of interest that convey the meaning of the scene and better show the general picture of the place.
Landscape photography requires good color correction. If you want to make your photos more colorful and clear, I recommend you to try these FREEBIES for photo editing.
This freebie for landscape photos is created for the nighttime shots with the lack of daylight. This action makes the photo more colorful and bright.
This preset emphasizes the foreground by boosting contrast and brightness. Apply this HDR effect when there are a lot of green objects like grass, trees or leaves in your photo.
This effect adds brightness and a nice “sunset like” glow to your photo, which won’t leave anyone indifferent. Adjust curves and exposure to highlight or darken some areas in the photo.