My first love in photography was and will always be landscape photography, as it holds scope for creativity and beauty. There is something very special about going out in nature with a camera in your hand, ready to capture the amazing beauty that comes before the eye.
Moreover, the outside challenges make it even more exciting and fun. The quietness and stillness along with the joy of aesthetic scenery add more appeal to it. It is the most enjoyable kind of photography that fits all personality types. But not everyone can master it. It requires skills and experience and there are techniques you need to be aware of.
But we have made this beautiful genre of photography easy for you by compiling top tips for you which can help you create landscape masterpieces. If you follow them then, in the end, you will love the result they bring about.
While it took me a lot of years Landscape Photography to learn these tips and techniques, but I am jotting them down for my fellow photographers to make the journey easy for them. Here are some landscape photography tips and techniques that will take you a long way:
1. Maximize depth of field
In landscape photography, the normal approach is maximizing depth of field to ensure that as much of your scene is in focus as possible. It is the simplest way to get consistent images. You can maximize depth of field by choosing a small Aperture setting which means a larger number because the smaller the aperture is there is greater the depth of field in your images.
While there are always times when you want to become a little more creative and go for narrow depth of fields. So, of course, you can go for it as in your Landscape Photography there are no hard and fast rules. Even shallow DOF can lead to some extraordinary results.
2. Use a Tripod
As stated above, if you use longer shutter speed to compensate for a smaller aperture, then you will also have to find a way to ensure that the camera remains completely still during the exposure. So the use of tripods come in really handy in landscape photography. As the subject is mostly still, you can set up the tripod and shoot with ease and focus without getting blurry and shaky pictures
In fact even if you are not shooting at longer shutter speed, tripods can be very beneficial as landscape photography takes time and you cannot hold the camera without shaking hands for that long. Also, consider using a cable and wireless shutter release mechanism to get extra camera stillness.
3. Search for a Focal Point
All shots in any kind of photography require some sort of focal point and landscape images are no different. In reality, landscape photographs need them the most because without it the images end up looking very empty and will make your viewers eye wander with nowhere to rest.
They will generally wonder throughout the image what to focus on and move on quickly. So focal points need to be searched and found before clicking the image. They can be anything from a building or a striking tree or a boulder, rock formation, or a structure, etc…
It is not only about finding the focal point but also locating it well. Where you place the focal point matters and can give your image a whole new perspective. You can use the rule of thirds to help you here.
4. Be patient
Remember the perfect shot won’t come in the first go. You will have to wait for the perfect moment which means you will have to scope the area for the best vantage point and then wait for the perfect light, and weather. It might take over a few hours for the right conditions so be patient.
Sometimes you believe that you have gotten the perfect shot quick but in reality, you haven’t. So you should wait for the lights to change and perceive the newer impact before leaving the scene
5. Think about Foregrounds
Using the foreground is very essential in landscape photography. It is what makes the landscape stand out so ensure that this one element is perfect in your landscape shots.
Think about it carefully and place points of interest in them to make it stand apart. If you successfully do this then not only do you give your viewers a way into the image but also add a sense of depth in it.
Consider enhancing the foreground by using techniques like color composition, shadows, etc.
6. Considering the Sky
Another element which can be used to make your landscape images stand out is the sky. Most extraordinary landscape images have a dominant sky. This is because a bland, boring sky is not what your viewers want to look at.
So if you have a sky filled with dramatic cloud formations and contrasting colors then use it well by placing the horizon lower. This will make your image shine.
You can enhance the skies in post-production as well or can use filters such as polarizing filters to add color and contrast.
7. Using Lines
One common question you should ask yourself before taking landscape shots is ‘what is the shot leading to and how is it leading the viewer’s eye?’ There are many ways to lead the eyes and one way to ensure this is by using an interesting foreground.
But the best way is to provide your viewers with lines which can lead them straight into an image. They give an image not only depth and scale but can also act as a point of interest by creating patterns in your images.
8. Capturing Movement
Capturing movement in landscape photography might sound odd to you as most people believe that landscape is all about calmness, serenity and passive environment. However, in reality, landscapes are rarely still and there is the need to convey this movement to add a touch of genuinely and uniqueness.
So do utilize movements as they will add more drama and mood to your image and can also act as a point of interest to make it stand out. Go for subjects such as wind in trees, flowing waterfall, waves on the sea, birds flying, moving clouds, etc…
Capturing movement like these will generally require a longer shutter speed which means you will have to go for a small aperture or use a filter
9. Work with the Weather
Working with the weather is really essential when taking landscape shots. It is necessary to watch put for weather forecast as it can dramatically affect your image. As the beauty of the landscape image lies in its environment, it is essential to befriend the weather and choose the right time to shoot
Many beginners believe that landscapes look only good on a sunny day so they think that it’s best to shoot then. However, sometimes the wild weather provides a great opportunity to shoot some exceptional images. They give an image a real ominous mood with dark overtones.
So watch out for storms, overcast weather, strong wind, sunsets, dramatic mist, shining sun through dark skies, rainbows, and sunrises, etc… These add versatility to your images and working with these variations makes you stand out as a photographer.
10. Changing the Point of View
Normally what beginners do is, drive up to the scene, get out of the car, lookout, hold the camera, raise it to the eye, click left, click right, click a little zoom, get back in the car and off you go to the next scenic location. But this is not landscape photography.
This is what tourist do, so don’t expect to get amazing images like that. For the wow factor, you have to capture images from changing the point of view which means that you have to thoroughly explore the scene and experiment with it. Then and then only, you will be able to get different perspectives which will make your image stand out. This is what professionalism is all about.
Taking more time with your shots can really help you experiment more with different perspectives. Particularly you will be able to find a more interesting point of view as you wander around and discover newer spots and angles to shoot from.
Summing it up, landscape photography can be learned over time. With these tips and techniques adventures will become easier. So don’t hesitate to add these tips to your photography study kit permanently. We hope that they come in handy during your journey when you explore the environment and capture truly unique landscapes with ease!