Landscape photography is indubitably one of the most popular sectors of photography. But from beautiful to stunning, jaw-dropping landscape images is a long run. Wonder how to shoot astonishing landscapes? Check out our tips and tricks addressed both to amateurs and professional photographers wishing to improve their skills in this area.
1. Useful Equipment for Landscape Photography
Apart from a good digital camera, you should also consider taking some lenses and a tripod with you. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your gear, but there are a few basic things to consider.
To keep it short, here are the tools you need in order to enhance your landscape shooting:
- Angle lenses
High quality landscape photography requires using wide angle lenses. Lenses in the 24-70mm range should help you reveal a broader perspective. Also, as more light gets through your lenses, a faster exposure time can be set, which will result in sharper images.
We know that sturdy tripods are hard to carry, but if you want to better control the composition of your shots, these are essential tools to have them handy. Tripods are extremely useful when it comes to shooting long exposed images, as well as panoramas, as they help you keep the camera steady and align the pieces perfectly.
2. Basic Rules of Photography
There are rules of composition that need to be respected, many professionals say. We totally agree, but there also rules that can be creatively broken. Let’s have a look at what you can and what you cannot do when it comes to breaking rules in photography.
- Rule of Thirds
The ‘Rule of Thirds’ refers to the process of composing images. According to this rule, you need to mentally divide the image into thirds and decide how your subject will fill each third of your photo in order to achieve more tension and interest in the composition. Basically, according to the Rule of Thirds, you shouldn’t just center your subject.
You can either create or break symmetry in your landscape pictures depending on the effect you want to achieve. Yes, symmetry rules can be successfully broken sometimes.
Framing is important for pleasing the eye. Use natural frames such as trees, holes or archways. This will help the viewer focus more on the central subject or dominant elements in your picture.
3. Best Photography Techniques for Landscape Pictures
- Depth of Field Techniques
Create more depth in your landscape images by using a small aperture (from F10 to F22) and ISO (100, 200, depending on light conditions). Also, set a longer exposure time for a greater sense of depth.
- Shutter Speed Techniques
Learn how to use the shutter speed function of your camera for amazing long exposed landscape images. Long exposures are great for shooting waterfalls and rivers. If you want to capture a sense of movement, set your camera on Shutter Speed Priority Mode and choose a long exposure time, preferably exceeding 2 seconds. Don’t forget to use a tripod!
- Post-processing Techniques
Post-processing is really important in achieving quality results, and, why not, mind-blowing effects. For more useful info on how to enhance your photos from the post-processing perspective, check out our post on Editing Tips and Tricks for Landscape Photography, ranging from how to blend raw exposures to adding a surreal touch or element.
4. Looking for Creative Ideas?
Many brilliant projects are born not only of experience, but of experimentation as well. That is why we encourage both hobbyists and pros to experiment and play with settings and techniques as much as possible. You never know when a genial trick or idea hits you. Here are a few creative ideas for stunning landscape shots.
- Add a magical touch to your landscape pictures, by profiting from the golden hour. Check out our post on Useful Golden Hour Photography Tips as we have already discussed how these few minutes after sunshine or before sunset can enhance your landscape photographs.
- Create a story by shooting the same landscape in different periods of the year. Shoot a seasonal calendar if you have the chance to go back to your perfect location.
- Make a time-lapse video. For more inspiration watch Dustin Farrell’s video composed with raw images taken with a Canon 5D2 DSLR and processed with Adobe software. These beautiful landscapes are located in Arizona and Utah. Enjoy!
5. Search for New Gripping Ideas
There are so many extraordinary websites and portfolios of landscape photographers across the web! To drop just a few names, you should definitely take a look at the work of Randall Sanger, Daniel Kordan, Zach Schnepf, and Danny Seidman. And, just for fun, you can drop an eye on National Geographic Photos of the Day in the Landscape category from time to time.
Great landscape photography is not only about being technically correct. It involves creativity and emotion. Always convey a story or a feeling to your images.