Some photographers make the mistake of assuming that landscape photography is easy just because the subject isn’t moving around very much or you don’t have to talk to it. People with a serious interest in this type of photography know that is far from being true.
It’s one of the trickiest genres because you think you will get the hang of it in no time and by having this belief that it is simple, you will end up making mistakes that could hold you back for years. Here are some of them that you need to avoid or stop making.
Having an empty foreground
If you want your photos to look unattractive, use an empty foreground. The human eye will naturally look for the interesting parts of a frame, so having a dull foreground is kind of a mood killer if you will. The solution is quite simple: just put something in there to add balance to the frame.
(Success Tip:Take better photos with this simple deck of cards)
Translated: using bad composition in your landscape photographs. Essentially, a landscape is composed of various elements that are already there. All you have to do is put them together in a square or rectangle in a way that is pleasing to look at. Sounds easy but it is not. Study composition from the greats of the genre and don’t leave out classic painters either.
Shooting in dull light
This is one of the most common mistakes made by rookies. Most of them explain shooting in poor light arguing that they only have the weekend to shoot landscapes and it’s not always easy to get up at 5AM. Well, the good news is you don’t have to. You might as well stay in bed if you’re not up to it because going to the same place at 1PM is a total use of memory card space, if there is such a thing.
Lack of detail
Landscapes offer a lot to look at, but that means all the details have to be sharp. There are many ways to get this wrong, including front/back focus, forgetting your lens on manual focus or shooting long exposures hand held. Get those details; otherwise it’s pretty much wasted effort.
Stop trying to be original by tilting horizons. It’s not only tasteless, but it signals despair and lack of skill. Stick to the rules and master them, then go and so something crazy. You have to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Simply shifting your camera position in hope that it will look cool is an option for Sunday shooters only. Do you really want to be one?