I feel the need to start this topic with an explanation about the term itself – landscape. It is a disputed one because when it comes about landscape photography, it is hard to come with a definition.
Some people consider that landscape photography should only refer to pictures of the land only, without including the horizon line or the sea view. Others say that it includes any scenery like cityscape, night scene, seascape, mountain scape – with all the great details added by water and / or sky.
What is landscape photography?
I believe that the definition of the landscape photography is open to personal interpretation, which in my case is a picture showing a scenery – rustic, urban or natural. In each case you can apply different techniques (panorama, time-lipse, long exposure) or just immortalize the moment with a fast shoot.
Landscape photography types
Referring to the beauty of the sea, the seascape is a picture that indicates its vastness, power of waves or stillness, the amazing colors of water and beaches,wild life and maritime vessels and pretty much everything else related with the sea.
You can shoot the waves and reflections, wildlife – static or in action or you can shoot with longer exposure for great effects.
The seascape is one of the most popular landscape photography types, as the possibilities are limitless.Your own creativity may be the limit.
This can be a challenge as you might need to hike depending on what do you want to achieve. You can take shoots with mountains simply from a distance, or you can climb to the heights for more spectacular views. There you could find animals on cliffs, or birds roaring, or views with lakes and the mountain reflection.
You can make a good use of the sun hitting the peak or maybe try to shoot against the sun for astonishing results.
This can be a pretty difficult one unless you are experienced enough.For the most of people, the forest might not be the best place to take shoots because there are so many obstacles in the way. Like the parable – I can’t see the forest because of the trees…
But there is so much you can have in your picture when it comes about shooting in the forest: can be fog, sun flare trough the trees, autumn colors or the spring flowers all over. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Understanding the camera settings is a must for great pictures.
Shooting in the fields can be great if you can find good sceneries. You could meet animals, field wild flowers or something as great as the Stonehenge.
What about the swamps with their amazing wildlife? Surely you’ll be able to find a lot of subjects to capture.
The returning to life in the Spring time, the green and full of animation Summer, the colors of the Autumn and the Winter cold with blizzards, snow and ice will give you a wide range of ideas.
We can refer at the cityscape as being a type of landscape especially if you are out of the streets, taking photos of cities that are included in the landscape. Like taking photos from a hill with the overview of the town. Pretty amazing in the night with all those lights, maybe with fireworks or lanterns.
You can capture architectural details of the city, big monuments or other buildings which stand out.
Rustic (rural and agricultural)
This is a category similar to cityscape photography. In addition you can take advantage of the agricultural side, traditions and specific vehicles and tools.
Like villagers going or coming back from work with scythes in their arms, wagons with horses or bovines and many others, you get the idea. Of course, shoots taken from a distance to include all of this in a landscape.
Night scene is a very spectacular type of photography. A city from a distance, Aurora Borealis, the sky with the moon and mountains or sea, there are a lot of options for a great capture.
With long exposure you can have star trails and light trails from cars.
Day time – sunrise, sunset and golden hour
Sunrise over the sea or a sunset over the mountains are very nice photos which everyone enjoys.
The golden hour is considered to be the best time for shooting landscapes. This is the time around sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and it will not result in a high contrast in your photos.
Since the landscape photographer has no other choice than to use the natural light, this is the best time to do it. It does not last long, so you have to be ready to shoot when the sun breaks through.
It will be a good idea to be at your desired location an hour before sunrise or sunset, so you’ll be ready with setting your gear.
Black and white
In black and white landscapes photography it is very important to have good knowledge of lighting and shadows because the contrast in textures is stronger.
Not my favorite, but I have to admit that I have seen some great photos and I can understand why some photographers are bound to it.
Time-lapse photography is the way of taking single shoots and add them together to form a video that shows the action of the environment around you. Will show how a scene can change over time. Let’s say you are shooting a flower in the morning, when it is closed. You can capture how the petals are opening and show that in a video.
We are using this technique when a single picture can not show all we want others to see.
We are using this technique to expose a scene for a few second or more. Gives great results when shooting moving water or clouds, for example.
In this situation you will need a tripod. If you want to find out more, you can read my post about tripods here.
Used when the opening of the lens is not enough to capture all the scene we want. With the panorama setting, the camera will shoot several pictures in few seconds and combine them in an wider one.
You just set the camera on panorama, chose a starting point and move slowly to the right (or up – down) to the desired end of the scenery.
It can be done just buy taking the shuts and combining them after using a software, but in our days all digital cameras got the panorama setting, so it will be a waste of time. If anyone insists in following this way and needs some advise, please just comment below and I will write a tutorial about that very shortly. Happy to help 🙂
Landscape photography is really amazing and, with the right techniques, you can make genuine pieces of art. It is a really very nice way to show the world were you’ve been traveling, to share amazing sceneries with your friends and family and to store your photos for future memories.
Being a photographer is like any other art, you can do a good (technically) job and no one will argue. But when you want more you need to let yourself feel. That will be visible in your work and will make the difference between professional and artistic.
I hope you found my article sufficiently clear and enjoyable. Please leave bellow any comments you may have and thank you for reading to the end.