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Image Credit: ApertureXplorer
The key to a great landscape photo is having visual impact that makes the viewer say "WOW."
The question is, how do you do that?
There are tons of different ways that you can enhance the look of your landscape photos. Below, I outline three of my favorites.
Wide-Angles are Great, but Not the Only Option
Image Credit: kurmyshov via iStock
Part of taking your landscape photos to the next level is experimenting with different gear, getting out of your comfort zone, and seeing landscapes through a different lens - no pun intended.
Though most landscape images you shoot will likely be with a wide-angle lens, it's certainly not the only option available to you.
In fact, I enjoy shooting landscapes with a telephoto lens quite a lot because the longer focal length offers such a completely different view of the landscape than a wide-angle lens.
As you can see above, there's a much greater intimacy to the shot when you frame all the extraneous features out of the image.
What's more, there's something to be said for focusing on the little details of a landscape that's so hard to do with a wide-angle lens.
By shooting telephoto, you can make a shadow or highlight, the shape of a mountain peak, the texture of a tree, and other smaller elements of the landscape the star of the shot.
Besides, since everyone else mostly shoots wide-angle, shooting a telephoto landscape image now and again will only help your photos stand out as being more unique and visually impactful.
Make Your Shots Easier to Get With the Right Accessories
Photo by sukanya sitthikongsak via iStock
When I first started in photography, I just shot handheld all the time.
I didn't have a remote shutter release. I didn't have a tripod. I didn't have a ball head. I didn't have an L-bracket. Yea. Life was difficult!
So if you're determined to create more impactful photos, one of the best things you can do is get the gear that will make it easier for you to do so.
Of the accessories I noted above, I think an L-bracket is the most underrated.
Think about it - an L-bracket enables you to quickly release, turn, and remount your camera. That's true for both vertical and horizontal shots.
Not only is that an easier way to switch from vertical to horizontal shots, but it also means that you can retain your shooting position.
That, in turn, means you spend less time fiddling with your gear and more time actually shooting and concentrating on getting the most high-impact photos.
I personally use the Kirk BL-D850 L-bracket shown above, and I can attest to its ease of use, craftsmanship, and durability.
In fact, this thing never leaves my camera - it's that valuable to my workflow!
It fits my rig perfectly, doesn't impede my ability to swap out the battery or access the ports, and the lines on each axis help me be sure the sensor is centered.
If you want to improve your workflow (who doesn't?!) and get better shots more quickly and easily, an L-bracket is a great investment!
Plan and Prepare
Image Credit: ApertureXplorer
Sure, there are times when you're in the right place at the right time and just happen to take an incredible photo of a landscape.
But those times are few and far between. To get shots like the one you see above, you have to plan and prepare well before the shoot.
Planning and preparing runs the gamut from doing research on the location to determine the best spots for great shots to having the right apps on your phone so you know when sunrise and sunset occur.
What's more, you have to figure out how to get there, where to park, how far you need to walk or hike to get to your desired spot, and so forth.
Image Credit: ApertureXplorer
Of course, you can let someone else plan and prepare for you, that way you can concentrate on the creative aspects of improving your photos.
A great way to hand the reins over to someone else is to take a photography adventure...
Think about it - not only do you get to travel to gorgeous locations to take breathtaking photos, but you do so without having to plan or prepare anything.
Instead, you rely in the experts in charge to find the hot photography spots, to get you there in style and comfort, and to give you some pointers along the way to enhance your images even further.
Companies like ApertureXplorer specialize in giving their clients the utmost of landscape photography experiences.
Everything is planned down to the T, that way you don't have to worry about things like ground transportation in-country, accommodations, and most of your meals.
These small-group outings are ideal for photographers that want to improve the results they get because there's many opportunities for one-on-one instruction and for discussions with fellow travelers.
Whether you fancy a trip to the Pacific Northwest or Banff, Norway or Iceland, or someplace in between, the experts at ApertureXplorer will plan and prepare for you, that way you have the ultimate landscape photography experience.
Bonus: Less-Than-Ideal Weather Can Equal More Impactful Photos
Though it's nice to head out on a perfect evening with no rain or wind and an unobstructed view of the sunset, the perfect weather doesn't always yield the best shot.
In fact, shooting in the rain or snow or fog can result in beautifully moody images that have an abundance of visual appeal.
Compare the image above with the image below and you'll see what I mean...
Though there's nothing wrong with the first image, it doesn't have the same visual appeal as the second one.
The fog in the second shot gives the image wonderful mood - a sense of foreboding, even.
In that regard, the weather adds much more feeling to the second image that makes it a more impactful shot.
The point is that you can't control the weather, and if you head indoors each time the weather isn't ideal, you'll never get any shots off!
Instead, embrace what weather can do for your landscape photos and make it a highlight of the images you create.