photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
Landscape photography is one of the best types of photography for social distancing, so a lot of photographers have been searching for beginner landscape photography tips lately.
While you may not be able to safely travel right now, chances are you can at least go somewhere beautiful in your home town to continue practicing photography until you can travel again.
In order to help you out, we compiled a list of some of the best, easy landscape photography tips we could come up with. I hope you enjoy.
Shoot with a Low ISO
photo by sara_winter via iStock
Now, if you are so new to photography that you don’t know what an ISO is, we have a whole article explaining it for you. Essentially, ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light. It would make sense, then, that if you’re going to be shooting a lot of landscape photography, you will want to choose a low ISO since you will likely be exposed to the elements and you don’t want to overwhelm your camera with too much sunlight.
If you shoot with a high ISO, then you are running the chance that your photos will look grainy. Obviously, ISO is something you are going to need to play around with depending upon the way you like your photos to look and the particular day you’re shooting, but a good range for you to start would be somewhere between ISO 100-400.
But, as with all of these beginner landscape photography tips, this recommendation will change. For instance, you may need to shoot with a higher ISO depending upon your aperture and shutter speed.
Shoot with a Mid-Range Aperture
photo by Rezus via iStock
Again, if you don’t know what aperture is there’s no need to panic. We created an article explaining exactly what it means and you can read it right here.
But, to condense that article, aperture controls how large your depth of field is, so it controls how much of your photo is actually in focus. You can tell what your aperture is by reading your f-number. If you opt for a small f-number, like f/1.8, then your depth of field will be smaller and a lot of your background and foreground will be blurred. If you opt for a large f-number, like f/22, then your depth of field will be larger and a lot of your background and foreground will be in focus.
Most beginner landscape photography tips will suggest that you start with a mid-range aperture, around f/8. This is because most lenses are at their sharpest when a mid-range aperture is used.
Keep in mind, once again, that this will change depending upon the shot you’re trying to get. For instance, if you have a shot with some beautiful flowers in the foreground and some lush trees in the background, then you may want to opt for a higher f-number so that your photo is in focus from the foreground all the way through your background.
Like all beginner photography tips, this is just a starting place. Don’t be so concerned with following these beginner landscape photography tips that you ruin your own creativity.
Shoot with a Tripod, if Possible
photo by avid_creative via iStock
One of my favorite beginner landscape photography tips is to never leave your tripod at home. In order to understand why, you need to understand one last piece of the puzzle: shutter speed.
Your shutter speed controls how long your camera’s sensor is exposed to light and is highly important in active shots with a lot of motion. Now, some landscape photography probably won’t have a lot of motion. However, if you shoot at slow shutter speeds and your hand shakes while your camera is taking the photo, your photo can end up really blurry.
This is where the tripod comes in handy. In order to make the shutter speed something you don’t really need to worry about, you can bring a tripod and set your camera to aperture priority mode, which means your camera will decide what shutter speed to use for you.
This is one of the beginner landscape photography tips that will save you a lot of frustration when you’re trying to focus on other aspects of your photography. You can always learn how to choose your shutter speed later on after you’ve got a better grip of other things.
Shoot During Golden Hour
photo by erikreis via iStock
This is one of those beginner landscape photography tips that really bleeds over into a ton of other photography niches. You should always shoot at golden hour.
Golden hour is the hour right after sunrise and the hour right before sunset and it provides the softest lighting for landscape photography.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice shooting at other times of the day, since the conditions will be harsher so you will be forced to practice these beginner landscape photography tips. But, the easiest way to capture beautiful, glowing landscapes is to do it when the sun is low in the sky.
Besides, that low-slung light can cast beautiful shadows across the landscape, which can give your images wonderful depth and visual interest.
Protect Your Camera from the Elements
While this may seem like a tip everyone would automatically understand, that’s not the case. Most beginner landscape photography tips revolve around understanding your camera better, but not understanding how to take care of it better.
If you are going to be shooting in the elements, then you need to understand how to protect your camera from the rain and snow. Traditionally, photographers used plastic bags to protect their equipment, but these plastic bags are uncomfortable and definitely not full-proof.
So, there have been a lot more advances in camera technology to protect your camera from the elements in the last few years. One of these advances is known as the Camera Canopy.
The Camera Canopy comes in two different sizes, one for your DSLR and one for your mirrorless, and is essentially a plastic shield that screws directly onto your camera’s hot shoe to prevent water from getting on your camera or lens while you’re shooting.
The DSLR size is $90, while the mirrorless size is $60.
Since there’s no point in learning about all of these beginner landscape photography tips if you immediately ruin your camera in the rain, you may want to seriously think about purchasing one now.