Get Better at Landscape Photography
photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
Landscape photography is my first love in photography, going all the way back to my childhood. From that early beginning, I have since branched out into several genres of photography and videography, but I always find a way to do more landscape photography for both fun and profit.
I learned how to get better at landscape photography and eventually how to master landscape photography by trial and error, reading a lot, attending classes, and joining other landscape photographers for mutual encouragement and trading landscape photography tips.
If you really love engaging in landscape photography and want some simple ideas at how to get started in it or get better at it, we have come up with a short list of six landscape photography tips for beginners including some useful landscape photography gear.
Get to Know Your Subject
photo by Eloi_Omella via iStock
With any form of photography, the art begins before you even pick up your camera. With just a small amount of research, you can find out how to turn a nice-looking picture into an amazing image of the beauty in the natural world.
Google is a good place to start, lots of popular places have had many, many photos taken and shared, some of them might give you ideas of what other views exist of the place. You can also take a look around as you get there, try to find the view that enables you to make an image designed how you want it to look.
Understand the Exposure Triangle
photo by krblokhin via iStock
Exposure is an important calculation to get right with regards to landscape photography, but there are so many variables to consider in any light situation. Additionally, there is more than one “correct” exposure available, depending on what we want the image to look like.
Since shutter speed can change certain aspects of an image, especially with regards to moving water or clouds, knowing how to adjust the other parts of the triangle to get the desired results is important.
The same can be said with regard to lens aperture. Depth of focus, deep or shallow, can change the entire feel and impact of the image, so knowing why and how to make adjustments to the other two parts of the triangle to get the aperture you want is also important, perhaps more often than changing shutter speed for the vast majority of landscape photography.
Try Many Composition Techniques
photo by sara_winter via iStock
There are so many composition techniques besides the super well-known (but often misunderstood) Rule of Thirds. Look for natural occurrences of other compositions, perhaps even using your Exposure Triangle tools, lens choice, and camera position to enable these other techniques.
Some composition tools that could improve your landscape photography are the Golden Spiral, Leading Lines, S Curves, Negative Space, and Symmetry. You may see some opportunities occurring obviously, others you may to work at, but it will all improve your landscape photography and photography in general.
Support Your Camera
Based on your use of the other landscape photography tips, sometimes we need to add accessory landscape photography gear such as adequate camera support.
We don’t always have the ability to carry a tripod with us, but we may want to use a longer shutter speed for water motion effects, or a smaller lens aperture for greater depth of field which would require longer shutter speeds to get correct exposure.
A tripod alternative that fits in a backpack or medium-sized sling pack is the OctoPad camera mount. OctoPad is a low-profile disk that has a ball head on top and a non-slip of the bottom. It’s slightly pliable so it fits well on a variety of surfaces, even if the surface is angled up to 45 degrees.
With the right adapters, you can also use OctoPad with a smartphone camera, or for placing a small light to illuminate macro subjects. You could also use it to hold a microphone if you try out your camera’s video mode.
photo by Misha Kaminsky via iStock
While we don’t need to use nearly as many filters in digital photography as we once did in film photography, there are 3 that are pretty much considered standard filters for a lot of landscape photography.
The important filters for landscape photography as part of our landscape photography gear are neutral density (ND) filters, graduated neutral density (GND) filters, and circular polarizer (C-POL) filters.
All three of these filters have the potential to help you create exactly the landscape photography image you have in mind creatively. Getting familiar with these filters is one way to learn how to get better at landscape photography.
photo by konradlew via iStock
Many beginners to serious landscape photography have an aversion to the thought of post-processing their images, perhaps thinking it is too difficult to learn or changes the image too much.
Post-processing with current programs can be as easy to pick up as learning composition techniques and exposure rules. Also, one never has to adjust their image files beyond simple enhancements to color or exposure. In fact, among professional photographers, post-processing is more likely to be a minor tweak as opposed to a radical change.
Using these landscape photography tips and continuing to experiment and learn will allow you to continue to grow as a landscape photographer creating fine images.