The Keys to Beautiful Landscape Photography
- Plan Ahead for Beautiful Landscape Photography
- Excellent Composition = Beautiful Landscape Photography
- Expose For What Is Important
- Good Gear Can Make a Difference
- Beautiful Landscape Photography Depends On Post-Processing
- Rule of Thirds - Probably what many are thinking of when considering how excellent composition can result in beautiful landscape photography, but let’s have a short revisit of some of the other rules of composition we can use.
- S Curves - Naturally occurring such as a river or shoreline, beautiful landscape imagery can also include man-made elements such as trails, roads, and highways.
- Leading LinesLeading Lines - Many opportunities exist in nature for including leading lines in our pictures, these lines can be straight, curved, lead in, or lead out, it’s all available to our artistic vision.
- Golden Spiral / Fibonacci Sequence - Large scale, small scale, and anywhere in between, the Golden Spiral is at the same time one of the most misunderstood and most potentially important composition tools. Once you are familiar with it, you’ll see it everywhere and it can really add to the impact of beautiful landscape photography.
- Negative Space, Symmetry, Asymmetry, Centering, Off Center, Patterns - All of the rules we’ve learned can be added to our artistic tool kit for landscape photos. Also, learn to mix and match two or more rules for added versatility in compositions.
- ND Filter Kit
- Travel Tripod
- Canon EOS R5
- Acratech GP-SS Ball Head
- Haida M10 Pro Filter Kit with Drop-In Circular Polarizer
- Haida M10 ND Filter Kit
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2
- Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM
- Simple Landscape Photography Tips For Beginners
- 7 Easy Tips That Will Improve Your Landscape Photography
photo by zodebala via iStock
Most beautiful landscape photography images are carefully crafted using trained skill, acquired techniques, and good quality equipment. Beautiful scenery is everywhere, waiting to be captured as landscape photos.
Some keys to help us get from beautiful scenery to beautiful landscapes are:
Plan Ahead for Beautiful Landscape Photography
photo by mapodile via iStock
As with so much serious artistic photography, beautiful landscape photography starts with planning ahead. What do we include in our planning?
In order to capture beautiful landscape photography, we need to know where we’re likely to find some beautiful scenery. We can think back in our minds or go over old notes to come up with places to revisit for some workable ideas.
Another very useful tool is the internet, doing web searches. You could even type in the phrase “beautiful landscape photography” and your area, state, or city to see some images and posts others may have put online that can yield a lot of possibilities.
Once we narrow down to an area to visit for our next beautiful landscape photography trek, now we can really jump in and do some local research. More than simply other people’s pictures, this is where we also look for roads and weather conditions, ordinances, dangers and concerns, and maybe campgrounds or hotels.
photo by tomwachs via iStock
Other thoughts on planning ahead for capturing beautiful landscape photography is to thoroughly check out all of our gear including our cameras and lenses. This is the step where we do our routine vehicle inspections, pack some safety and emergency supplies for on the road or hiking, and try on our hiking shoes and outdoor clothing and accessories.
In regards to our photographic equipment, clean lenses and filters, inspect and possibly clean camera sensors, remove the clutter our bags seem to pick up after a few photo treks or jobs, and try out batteries or anything that may wear out.
Don’t forget to inspect, clean, and adjust tripods, monopods, alternative supports, sling pack bags, specialty straps, and all of our special use filters, remotes, and other miscellaneous accessories.
Excellent Composition = Beautiful Landscape Photography
photo by valio84sl via iStock
Beautiful landscape photography is an art form, every bit as much as a master painter creating an impressive canvas with oils. One of the major differences from painting a lovely scene to capturing a beautiful landscape photography image is that the painter has the ability to add or subtract and move around the subject elements as they see fit.
With photography, we aren’t changing the scene as much as we are varying how our camera equipment captures it. So, even though we can’t decide to place that mountain on this side of the river as a painter could, we can still use the tools of composition rules and guidelines to enhance our images.
Expose For What is Important
photo by MJFelt via iStock
Every bit as important as composition and choice of scenery for creating beautiful landscape photography is to expose for what we want the image to say to viewers.
We can emphasize or de-emphasize subject elements by judicious use of exposing for highlights, shadows, or midtones. We could also vary the contrast for high key or low key effects.
An understanding of the Exposure Triangle and dynamic range will help out greatly for our making beautiful landscape photography of the beautiful scenery we see. Exposure tools also allow us to blur water or cloud motion and create deep or shallow depth of field.
Sometimes, the most beautiful landscape photography image we see in our creative mind’s eye requires us to balance out exposure to tame dynamic range issues by means of bracket and merge HDR photography. High Dynamic Range (HDR) can be a landscape photographer’s best friend when used well.
Good Gear Can Make a Difference
photo by bjdlzx via iStock
Can our current camera equipment handle the demands of some of these other keys to beautiful landscape photography? Most likely we can probably answer yes, but if there are certain features or capabilities we’re desiring, an upgrade or two may be in order.
Entry-level cameras and lenses are excellent photography tools with excellent lens sharpness and super high resolution, but they may not always have the features or ruggedness for stepping up to the next level of our artistic vision.
An example of a camera may be that we want more weather sealing, increased robustness for difficult conditions, or better controls for bracketing or exposure calculations and focus adjustments.
For lenses, a faster maximum aperture, closer focusing, or increased focal length ranges might be desired. Many pro or prosumer level lenses may also have weather sealing for demanding weather conditions.
Remember, the ability to capture beautiful landscape photography images is probably already in your possession. Sometimes we can unlock our personal next level by taking a closer look at our current gear. If we really do want something else, take a look at some of our equipment reviews including used equipment options.
Some Helpful Landscape Photography Gear to Add to Your Kit:
Beautiful Landscape Photography Depends on Post-Processing
photo by Stephen Harker via iStock
A vital step in creating beautiful landscape photography is using a good post-processing program and learning the basic and advanced techniques that particular program may make available.
We can actually start to make good use of our post-processing program by pre-visualizing our final image before we expose our first image. This is a process that has been used by beautiful landscape photography masters since the earliest days of photography.
The Zone System developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer in the 1940s for black and white film photography is easily adapted to the world of digital cameras for B&W or color images. Take a little time to review our tutorials on the Zone System to see how it can be used along with post processing programs for beautiful landscape photography.
Put all of these tips together and practice them. Now you have several important keys to creating beautiful landscape photography images of your own.