Tips For Capturing Stunning Landscape Photos

With so much natural beauty at your fingertips, taking great landscape photos can seem like a pretty easy task. However, the reality can actually be quite different.

There are many elements to consider if you want to take a great landscape photo, and once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll need to employ a few more advanced tips and tricks to help you get the best shots.

Tips for Capturing Stunning Landscape Photos

If you want to take display-worthy, landscape photographs, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s () tips and tricks you can use to help you capture the most beautiful landscape photos (see also: Tips For Taking Stunning iPhone Photos Of Flowers)ever.

1. Choose The Right Focal Point

An essential part of taking great landscape photos is focusing sharply enough on the main subject. No matter what your subject is, you’ll need to make it super sharp and leave the rest of the frame to gently blur away.

To achieve this look, it’s best to keep the diaphragm of your lens open with an aperture of at least f/2.8. Instead of focusing on a smaller part of the frame, you should focus on either the foreground or the background as a whole, to give you a much more appealing final result.

Once you’ve established your subject, don’t forget to select it with your viewfinder. We’d also recommend experimenting with the f-stop settings on your camera – just remember that a wider aperture will give a more shallow field, and a narrow aperture will give you more depth.

Just ensure your subject is in sharp focus, and then the foreground or background are yours to play with!

2. Experiment With Depth

If you’re new to landscape photography, it’s pretty easy to look at a bunch of shots and see nothing but wide images with a broad perspective.

In some cases, there can be so much going on in one photo that it’s hard to tell if there’s even a main subject. Although this works for many landscape photographers, you shouldn’t be afraid to break the mould.

You can also take some incredible landscape photographs by using telephoto lenses and long focal lengths. Don’t be afraid to play with the depth of field, and see how it changes your final pictures!

Adding more depth to your landscape images can help you show off the intrigue of your subject, especially if it has multiple layers and textures. Setting up your camera correctly is essential if you want to experiment with depth.

We’d recommend shooting your images at a higher f-value to give you more depth; this will also give you a much smaller aperture diameter to help define certain elements. Somewhere between f/7.1 and f/16 is ideal, if the light allows!

3. Use Different Landscape Composition Techniques

To get the best landscape shots, you’ll need to get your composition right. The arrangement of the multiple elements in your image can completely change the mood of your photographs, and although it can be changed after you’ve taken your pictures, it’s always best to try and get it right when you’re setting up your camera.

Just a few simple techniques can completely change the outcome of your photographs, including symmetry, the rule of thirds, and leading lines.

If you’re new to landscape photography, take some time to familiarize yourself with these techniques before you get started, and don’t be too disheartened if you don’t get the best results when you first try them out.

Experiment with these techniques in real-time, and with practice, you’ll develop a sharper eye and become better at knowing when and how to use them for the best shots.

Tips for Capturing Stunning Landscape Photos

4. Use The Histogram

The histogram is a graphical depiction of the different tonal values in your image. The left side of the graph will show the darker tones, and the right side will show the brighter tones.

In some cases, you’ll be able to take a look at the histogram after you’ve pressed the shutter button, and sometimes, even before!

So, just before (or after) you’ve taken a shot, take a look at your histogram, and you’ll be able to determine whether your shots are too light or too dark and know how to correct them.

If most of your histogram graph is positioned on one side of the photo, it’s either over or underexposed. While this won’t necessarily ruin your image, you may end up losing some detail and texture in your images.

If you’ve looked at the histogram and you’re not happy with the result, simply adjust your camera settings and reshoot. This will help you get the clearest and most detailed landscape shots.

5. Show Some Scale

Sure, many landscape photos are beautiful on their own, but you can add a whole other layer of excitement by showing some scale. Scale can add a far more dramatic element to your image, especially if you’re using human subjects – so don’t neglect them!

Using scale may sound pretty simple, but it takes time to get it right. Like most other photography techniques, using scale correctly involves a lot of trial and error, and you’ll need an incredibly sharp eye to make it a success.

If you’re not careful, your subjects can easily get lost in other elements of the landscape, and you’ll lose the effect. You’ll need to keep your subjects carefully framed and highlighted by something like the sky, the light, or a dominant land feature.

When you’ve got your subject positioned, take some try to play around with your technique. Try shooting your images with wide landscapes against your subject, and use long lenses to add even more dimension to your shots.

Using a long lens to compress your landscape can give you some intensely detailed shots that you won’t want to miss!

6. Try Aerial Perspectives

Landscape photography rarely gets boring, but sometimes, you need to shake it up a bit. If you’re always using the same equipment and techniques to get your shots, it may be time for a change. Why not capture some aerial shots of your surroundings with a drone?

Drones can completely change the outcome of your photos. There are some perspectives you just can’t capture on the land, and if the sky is looking particularly moody that day, a drone can be a great way to highlight more of the atmosphere in your images.

Depending on the drone you’re using, you may get anywhere between 20-45 minutes of light time. If you need more time to explore your surroundings, you can bring some spare batteries with you so you can get a little more range and some greater shots.

If you’re thinking of using a drone for your landscape photography, just remember to check the latest drone flying laws in your country, and be mindful of people and wildlife in the area.

7. Shoot in the Best Light

This might seem like a no-brainer, but please, shoot your photographs in the best lighting! Lighting can make or break your images, and that goes for any kind of photography – but especially landscape.

If the lighting is doing your natural scene any justice, you could ruin the whole image. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your landscape is, or how good of a photographer you are, your images could fall flat – and no one wants that.

The right lighting will vary depending on your location, the weather, your surroundings, and your goals. However, for most shots, you’ll usually find the best lighting in the early morning or during golden hour (just before sunset).

Just remember to choose the right location – even if you have great lighting, certain objects in the foreground or background can cause obstructions and ruin your images.

As a landscape photographer, you’ll need to adapt to different lighting conditions and find new ways to work with what’s happening in the moment.

Ultimately, you’ll need to find a way to make the lighting work for you – even in less-than-ideal conditions, you’re sure to find a location that does your subject justice, and if not, you’ll need to wait for that moment when the lighting hits your subject just right. Be prepared for anything!

The Bottom Line

If there’s one thing all landscape photographers can agree on, it’s that no day is ever the same. Landscape photography is notoriously challenging, but that’s also what makes it so exciting.

If you’re just starting out, it’s easy to be intimidated by the complexity and unpredictability of it all. However, once you start shooting, you’ll soon fall in love with the process, and learn to become a versatile photographer that’s quick to adapt to their surroundings.

It can take time to get the right shots, and you’ll need to be consistent. However, with the help of these seven tips and tricks, you can face landscape photography with new-found confidence, and a wealth of knowledge to help you capture the beauty of the moment.

Laura McNeill
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