If you’re like me, there are plenty of opportunities to take breathtaking landscape photos. Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t always work out. The scene before you might look amazing, but it doesn’t always translate well into an image.
Improving your landscape photography results doesn’t have to be a long, difficult process. In fact, there are four quick and easy tips you can use that will have an immediate impact on how your images look. Let’s investigate each one!
Create Structure With Lines
Lines are a great addition to just about any landscape because they immediately draw the viewer’s attention. Roads and fences are prime subjects, but don’t be afraid to incorporate something a little unexpected as well. Not only do the lines of the bridge in the image above draw the viewer’s eye from one side of the image to the other and give structure to the shot, but the lines also create added visual interest which helps hold the viewer’s attention for a longer period of time.
Part of the problem many of us have when photographing landscapes is trying to incorporate absolutely everything we see into a single shot. When there’s so much beauty in the landscape, it’s hard to resist!
However, there is something to be said about finding an eye-catching subject and isolating it in the frame. Doing so increases the visual power of the subject, and helps the viewer gain a better understanding of its relationship with the surrounding environment. You don’t necessarily have to go minimalist - although that’s an option. Simply work on framing your shot such that you highlight a strong subject without overwhelming the viewer’s eye with too much detail.
Keep Going Back
Part of the beauty of landscapes is that they change from one part of the day to the next. In fact, they can change in a matter of minutes! As a result, it’s important to keep going back to the spots you enjoy at different times of day. The field of lavender you see on your way to work each morning might look great, but it might look incredible at sunset. Additionally, think about how a landscape will look in a different season, and try to go back in the winter, spring, summer, and fall to document those changes. The more you go back, the more opportunity you have to capture the area’s most beautiful moments.
Change Your Perspective
It’s easy to get into a photographic rut and take the same type of pictures of the same types of landscapes over and over again. Sure, you can get pretty pictures that way, but there are many missed opportunities in doing so.
Instead, strive to change your perspective, both in terms of the vantage point from which you shoot and the types of landscapes you shoot as well. Get up high to see what a landscape looks like from a hilltop; lay down on the ground to create an image from a worm’s-eye view; compose a shot looking up and try one looking down, and so on.
Furthermore, seek to challenge yourself to find new perspectives on the landscapes around you. Look for ways to frame your shots with natural elements, as was done in the image above. If you spend most of your time photographing mountains, get out of that comfort zone and photograph a prairie or a coastline. The point is that by changing your perspective, you open your eyes to seeing new landscapes and develop a wider skill set regarding how to best capture those landscapes in your images. This kind of self-challenge can lead to a better understanding of your subjects and improved compositions with which viewers have a deeper connection.