I try not to get caught up in the trending photo thing.
I mean, I’ve seen a TON of amazing images that have very few like or views, so in my mind, just because something is trending doesn’t make it a good photo.
Then again, there’s something to be said for the power of the people!
A survey of the trending photos in our landscape gallery reveals some absolutely incredible images from our members.
I mean like National Geographic quality work!
Given that, I thought you might enjoy a little inspiration from fellow PhotographyTalk members.
Have a peek, and explore a few tips for better landscape photos while you’re at it.
Mysty Person - Dinko Denovski
Landscapes aren’t always about conveying the reality of the scenery. Sometimes, you can strive to create an image that transcends the environment and takes on an emotion or mood.
Dinko did just that with this shot. By incorporating the human figure in the background, the image takes on a bit of a mysterious quality, particularly with the mist rolling through the forest. There’s also a nice contrast between the darker foreground and the lighter background, making for an interesting story about moving from the darkness to the light.
Now that’s how to set the mood and tell a story!
Dreamcatcher - Artur Stanisz
Shooting landscapes in vertical aspect isn’t nearly as common as the more traditional horizontal aspect, but in some instances, going vertical helps create a much more compelling image. Here, Artur accentuates the height of the waterfall with the composition, giving us an idea of the sheer size and scale of the scene.
This is also a prime example of how landscape photography requires a ton of work - Artur spent the day in search for possible compositions, then slept there, waking up every hour to get the perfect shot. I’d say it paid off!
Landscape Reflection - Okan Metin via PT Discovery
One of the biggest obstacles to creating a pleasing landscape image is dealing with a dynamic range that can be too much for the camera to handle. Sure, you can use an ND filter or create an HDR shot to overcome the issue. But you can also use water in the foreground, as Okan did here.
Note how the reflection of the bright sky helps lighten the foreground. The result is an image that is better exposed, without impacting the silhouette of the twin trees. The use of the reflection also helps with another important aspect of landscape photography: visual balance.
Chartreuse Essence - Destin Sparks
As the saying goes, perspective is everything. This shot shows us how finding a high vantage point can help you portray the landscape on a greater scale. Not only do you get a feel for the lay of the land, but you also get a better understanding of the scale of the distant mountains.
With distinct foreground, midground, and background elements, this image also shows the value of layering. The forest in the foreground, the ocean in the midground, and the mountains in the background all work together to create a strong visual of the beauty of Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia.
That Same Other World, real rays - Lars van de Goor
I don’t need to tell you that lighting is a crucial aspect of the success of a landscape photo. And man, is this image a prime example of that concept!
The forest is gorgeous to begin with - especially the deep red color of the leaves on the trees. But add in those beautiful shafts of light, and you have the makings for an epic shot.
Note how Lars used a reflection to enhance the sun’s rays as well. Like the example above, that reflection helps add brightness to the foreground and gives the photo additional visual interest.
Ria de Aveiro, Sunrise - Paulo
This image demonstrates how the simplest of landscapes can be made more visually impactful by adding a few human elements to the shot.
The landscape is virtually nothing but sea and sky, and though they are gorgeous, the shot is made more successful by the addition of the dock and boat. With their textures, colors, and shapes, the photo has more power to retain one’s interest.
What’s more, the calmness and serenity of the landscape is accentuated by the near perfect reflection of the dock and boats in the still water.
A Study of the Dunes - Gary R. Hook
Speaking of simple landscapes, Gary shows us how light and texture can be powerful compositional tools when creating a minimalist landscape photo.
The framing of the shot to capitalize on the sidelighting that’s falling on the sand dune simplifies the image, but also draws our attention to the image’s most important element: the texture of the sand. By including that texture, Gary has created a photo with an incredible level of depth and detail that’s highly engaging.
Bear in mind that landscape photos don’t have to display the entirety of the landscape. Look for small vignettes as Gary did, and you could have a much more compelling image as a result.
Scorched - Dewald Kirsten
Like the previous image, this one demonstrates how a simple composition can result in a photo with tons of visual interest.
By using a 24mm lens, Dewald was able to incorporate a good portion of the frontmost tree in the frame. That gives us a prime view of the texture of the bark, as well as the interesting fingerlike pattern created by its roots.
Another tool used in this shot to create greater depth is repeating patterns. The grouping of tree trunks adds dimension to the shot, helping us better understand the scope of the landscape from foreground to background.
Golden Gate - Ari Hoffman
Landscapes and cityscapes make excellent bedfellows, as seen in this epic shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
When shooting landscapes at night, they benefit from elements that provide structure, like the towers of the bridge. They also benefit from the inclusion of light, again, as provided by the bridge and the distant buildings of the city. The 20-second-long shutter speed also helped!
I hope you enjoyed these trending landscape photos as much as I did. I also hope you find inspiration in the work of some of the best photographers on PhotographyTalk.
Take that inspiration and use it to create your own compelling landscapes. Get your images into our galleries and share your creativity with the rest of us!
Besides, I can’t find your photos and share them with the community if you don’t upload them! So, get to work, upload those shots, and you might just find you photo among those featured in articles just like this.