Landscape digital photography is a popular form for beginners, intermediates and professionals, so defining “success” for you may be different. As a beginner, being successful at landscapes photography means you understand the basic concepts of the form and are able to use the right equipment to bring home interesting images that are exposed correctly. If you classify yourself as an intermediate, then success for you will be adding more creativity to your images, with camera as well as editing techniques. Successful professional landscape photographers have full control of equipment and technique and are able to make a living selling photos that are truly unique and capture much attention from the public through the media or exhibits.
Helping beginners and intermediates to succeed as landscape photographers will be the primary focus of this PhotographyTalk article.
Although one of the most creative landscape photography challenges is to take unique pictures of familiar scenes that may be in your neighborhood or near your town, you’ll discover the best subject matter as a traveler and adventurer. Whenever you travel for business or pleasure, you’re more likely to find yourself in new environments with opportunities for landscape images not available at home. If possible, therefore, pack the equipment you’ll need to capture those exciting and often exotic places. If traveling with a tripod, for instance, is too much of a hassle, then renting one at your destination is a low-cost solution.
Succeeding at landscape photography often involves physical activity and, of course, being outdoors: hiking into the mountains or along a seashore looking for excellent compositions. Generally, the better landscape images are not found sitting in a car or standing on the side of the road. You must be willing to commit the time and effort to look for those images off the beaten path. Patience, therefore, is also a necessary quality of the successful landscape photographer. Even when you do hike, bike or boat to an outstanding location, you may have to spend a considerable amount of time scouting for the best angles and maybe even waiting for the light to be just right.
Digital camera technology has made significant advancements that many of the newer compact camera models provide enough features to help you to succeed as a beginner landscape photographer. Many of them have ultra-zoom lenses with the wide-angle view needed for exceptional landscape photography as well as the extreme telephoto focal lengths to frame distant scenes. New compacts from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and Fujifilm are also equipped with large, 3” LCD screens to help you compose great landscapes, GPS units to map your locations and greater battery life.
The camera manufacturers haven’t forgotten about the intermediate landscape photographers either, with new mirrorless and DSLR models that are affordably priced and include may pro-like features. When buying a separate camera and lens, however, remember the old adage that the lens is more important than the camera, given that they are compatible. The Tamron AF 18–270mm f/3.5–6.3 zoom lens is a very popular all-purpose lens that, again, has an excellent focal length range for landscape photography and much other subject matter.
To succeed as a landscape photographer, a tripod is the one piece of equipment that often makes a great deal of difference. You’ll want the creative freedom to shoot at slower shutter speeds than you can handheld and to position your camera close to the ground or above your head. If you’re very serious about landscape photographer, then a cable or wireless remote shutter release is also a good option.
As is the case with all forms of digital photography, you’re more apt to capture excellent landscapes if you understand your camera’s features and functions thoroughly. Composing with a wide-angle view is also critical to landscape photography. Check to see if your camera has a panorama feature or setting, which could allow you to take multiple images and then combine them into a single, spectacular image.
Another essential skill of landscape photography is learning how to shoot during dawn and dusk when the light is low. These are the “magic times” of the day and generally provide much better scenes and compositions than midday. Click on any of the links below to other PhotographyTalk articles to learn more of the skills to prepare you to succeed as a landscape photographer.
For the beginner or intermediate, there are many educational opportunities to learn what you must know to succeed as a landscape photographer. LoveThatShot.com, a PhotographyTalk vendor partner, offers subscription online workshops especially for beginners that teach many of the basic skills needed to capture great landscape images. For a more formal learning experience, but still online, MyPhotoSchool.com offers 4-week video tutorials, including one specifically on landscape photographer.
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Photograph by Photography Talk Member aank