Whether you’re a professional photographer, or new to photography, photographing natural landscapes is an extremely rewarding experience, and is one of the best ways to showcase your skills as a photographer.
Not only does photographing natural landscapes help to build and develop your skills as a photographer, but it’s also a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors all around us.
If you’ve never had the chance to photograph natural landscapes before, and you’re looking for some ideas to inspire your photos, then this guide is for you, as we’ll talk you through 10 of the best natural landscape photography ideas!
So, whether you’re adventuring out into a nature reserve, or even just walking through the local park, these ideas will help to make your photos stand out from the crowd.
1. Use The Weather
One of the easiest ways to add drama, texture, and depth to a natural landscape shot is by incorporating the weather into your photographs.
If you’re looking to create a moodier and more dramatic atmosphere in your shots, then heavy downpours, dark clouds, and fog are all great at helping to do so.
Meanwhile, snow (see also “How To Photograph Snowflakes“) and ice are a great way to help make your landscape shots feel peaceful and serene, due to the gentle nature of the snow itself.
Sunny skies are great for providing shots full of light, and the golden hour of sunset is perfect for adding some warmth to your photos.
Another way of ensuring that your photos are captivating is to incorporate reflections into your shots. It’s a well-used technique, so you probably will have seen someone utilize it before, but when it’s down properly, it looks amazing.
Whether you use puddles, lakes, ponds, or the ocean, it’s a great way to create symmetry and balance throughout your shots, and rippling the water is a great way to include some distortion too.
Learning how to use reflections is also a great way to diversify your photography portfolio, and will help to demonstrate the universality of nature in your photos.
3. Night Skies
Arguably one of the best natural sights, if you live in an area that is relatively free of light pollution, then photographing the night sky is always going to provide you with some great photos.
You might need to adjust the settings on your camera, such as opting for long exposure shots, and low light settings, but using the darkness of the night sky to contrast with the natural landscape in the photos is a great way to create a photo that is filled with drama and mystery.
Night sky shots can also be tranquil and peaceful too, especially if you can capture the radiance of the moonlight!
To create a really special and unique-looking landscape shot, then definitely consider taking a panorama of the area you’re shooting.
Made by stitching together multiple shots, this wide-angle look will help to showcase as much of the natural beauty around you as possible, and will help to provide a better sense of the scale of the landscape than you would typically be able to achieve with a traditional shot.
Whether you use it for mountain ranges, deserts, coastlines, or clifftops, the depth provided by a panorama is unbeatable, and they always look especially beautiful when taken during sunset or sunrise too.
5. Shooting Through Flowers
While incorporating any sort of subject matter into the foreground is a great way to elevate landscape shots, for those who are shooting in nature, nothing is better than shooting a landscape through flowers.
Not only will the flowers help to bring a pop of color to the photos, but they will also challenge you to use different perspectives and viewpoints, helping to create intriguing and interesting-looking photos.
Shooting through flowers is also a great way of framing the landscape you’re shooting, which will help to draw the attention of the viewer to what you’re aiming to showcase.
6. Different Times Of Day
To create a range of different natural landscape shots that shot off the best of the natural environment around you, taking photographs at different points of the day is an excellent way to showcase how just one spot can differ so much depending on the time of day.
A place that basks in the sunlight throughout the day might take on a whole different vibe come the night time, while a darkened spot might be illuminated during golden hour, and become much warmer.
Playing around with the time of day is good for diversifying the color palette in your portfolio, and will be sure to lead to some especially captivating photographs.
7. Alter Perspective
Many people think that natural landscape photography (see also: 10 Best Portrait Photography In Nature Ideas) is all about climbing to some high viewpoint, like a mountain top, or a cliff, and taking photos from up there but altering the perspective of your shots is a brilliant way to show that this isn’t always the case.
Try shooting mountains or cliffs from the bottom, which will help to display their grandeur, and give the viewer a sense of their enormity.
Meanwhile, getting up close and personal with plants and flora is good for providing a view of these natural elements that people might not necessarily ever have seen before.
It’s very easy for you to fall into the habit of photographing landscapes all from the same perspective, so being mindful to diversify your positioning when taking photographs will help to make you a better photographer.
8. Incorporate Wildlife
Natural landscapes aren’t complete without their wildlife, which means that incorporating them into your photographs is a creative way to showcase the diverse and intricate nature of the natural world.
Whether it’s cows and goats grazing on a hillside, birds flying over the ocean, or a fox dashing through the bushes, wildlife always adds a sense of unpredictability and authenticity to landscape photography that is just so special.
9. Use The Sun
While we’ve mentioned weather already, the sun deserves its section entirely, especially since it is such a versatile tool that can become especially useful in creating memorable and unique shots.
Being able to warm up otherwise moody landscapes, while also helping to emphasize the contours and shaping of the landscape you’re photographing, try to use the sun as a backlight for your photos as much as possible!
10. Capture Movement
If you want to make your photographs feel dynamic and lively, then try to incorporate some movements into your photographs. While it can be something of a difficult technique to master at first, the results will certainly pay off in the long run.
Waves, waterfalls, and other forms of moving water will always aid in teleporting people right to where the photo was taken is also a great place to start.
Using a slower shutter speed for your shots will allow you to capture peaceful shots with moving clouds or swaying trees, and is also a popular way of incorporating movement into your shots.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this guide to the best natural landscape photography (see also: Movement In Photography: The Ultimate Guide) ideas. Hopefully, you’ll be able to employ some of these techniques in your photography sometime soon!