10 Landscape Photography Tips

10 Landscape Photography Tips

Written 13 years ago by Mark Evans

Landscape photography has always been a favourite of mine, and if you know me, then I don’t do anything fast, so in this respect Landscape photography suits me perfectly! But not only do I like to take my time with it, I like to get things spot on. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years that have helped my photography; hopefully they’ll also help you to shoot some stunning landscapes.

1. Use a Tripod

Having the right gear for the job is paramount so this may seem a little obvious but, use a tripod. Having a really steady base for your camera is pretty important. In landscape photography, exposures can be anywhere from 1/250s to a minute, so to avoid camera shake, the use of a good tripod is essential. If you’re in a position where a tripod can’t be used then try to rest your camera on anything that will provide support like a fence post or a car roof.

2. Try Using a Shutter Release

Another almost essential part of your landscape photography kit is a Shutter Release Cable. Try to use one of these so you don’t wobble your camera when taking a picture, or when timing is critical. If you can’t afford a cable, or just don’t want/need one, then try using the 10sec timer of your camera instead.

3. Get a Hotshoe Bubble Level

Now, you can probably not use one and then have to faff about with your pictures later on getting them straightened up in Photoshop, but I prefer to get my horizons level when I take the picture, saving me the time and hassle later on. They’re pretty cheap, really easy to use, and will save you time in the long run.

4. Learn from Others

It’s easy to get stuck taking the same sort of photos day in day out. Try to vary your technique, or approach scenes in a different way to get photos that are just a little different from the rest. Get inspiration by looking at other peoples photographs; this is not to copy them but to get different ideas that you can use when you’re in a similar situation. I find this is a great way to find new ideas for composition.

5. Foreground Interest

Try including an object in the foreground to add more appeal to your images. Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the main subject and forget about what’s in the foreground, but including an object like a rock or bush adds another point in the story of your photograph, and helps lead the viewers eyes through the frame. Foreground Interest also helps to achieve a more balanced composition by empathizing with the main subject.

6. Lead in Lines

Coupled with Foreground Interest, Lead in Lines are great for capturing the way a viewer looks at your photograph. Try to compose your scene so that features like roads, railings, railway lines, streams, shorelines etc, run from or near your foreground interest towards your main focal point. This way it gives your image a sense of direction; the viewers eyes are directed where you want them, so the story of your scene can be conveyed more clearly.

7. Know the Story

They say a picture paints a thousand words, and yours should too (well maybe not quite 1000!) so before you take a meaningless photo, think about what you are trying to convey and why. It gives your picture more meaning if it has a story behind it and the viewer will (hopefully) be more interested and take more from it.

8. The Rule of Thirds

Use the rule of thirds, so that your foreground interest and main subject fall on the intersections of the imaginary thirds lines. This helps achieve a balanced composition and makes your scene easier on the eye. See the Starting Out article for more information on The Rule Of Thirds.

9. Stick to the Rules

Unless you’re supremely confident in your photography, then stick to the rules and guidelines. Breaking the rules can give some of the best results, but don’t just ignore them without knowing why you are doing so. Once you know the ropes and can understand why you would break a particular rule then the world is your oyster.

10. Get Feedback

An essential part of the learning process is hearing what others think about your pictures. Criticism, either positive or negative is great for gauging how your photography is progressing, so upload what you think are your best shots to photo sites for some feedback; you may be surprised to find that what you think is a good photograph may in fact need some improvements. Also, there’s no point taking great photos if they are eventually abandoned in a corner of your hard drive. If you’ve got some nice shots, show them to your family and friends or even get them printed and put them on your wall for all to see.

I find an important part of my photography is to never stop learning things, that way it keeps me interested and gives me the enthusiasm to go out and seek cool landscapes to shoot. Getting helpful tips and advice from other photographers is just one way of doing that, along with reading books and magazines – I find these great for inspiration. So if you have any great tips that have helped you along your way in Landscape photography and think they might help others, please post them in the comments section below.

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Light Stalking  13 years ago

Nice list. I would probably put the rule of thirds closer to the top for landscapes.

Barry  13 years ago

Good set of tips! It’s worth mentioning that some tripods now come with spirit levels so this saves the need to carry round a separate one. Also a torch comes in very handy for those night shots!

JotPix  13 years ago

Good list!

Another tip that I usually use is “add water”.

Include some water in the Landscape photo whenever possible.

Candy Camarena-Dexter  13 years ago

I am just learning and can use all the tips i can get. These are great, thank you for sharing your experience.

Terry Day  13 years ago

Nice article..Landscapes are also a favorite of mine.

Masden  13 years ago

Hey guys you forgot, “use GND filters !!” very very important<.

christina  13 years ago

I’m an ‘auto’ photographer. I havent learned how to use fstops and all that. I need to. I have a nikon d90.

SSB GERA  13 years ago

Though almost all the tips you have mentioned are known to me, the 10th one is worth reading.

Tiberman Sajiwan Ramyead  12 years ago

I try taking shots – particularly landscapes under good gorgeous lighting conditions – which not require photoshopping. Could somebody comment on that, please?

fragranceum  12 years ago

wonderful photos. but how to download my photos into this section?. Please guide me

mac antonio  12 years ago

cool!!! very informative!


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