Ready to try your hand at landscape photography or improve what you already do? Here are 7 tips to enhance landscape photography shots.
Close your Aperture - If you can see a landscape for miles with the naked eye, you should be able to match that depth in your photography. Keep as much of your landscape in focus as possible by choosing the smallest aperture (or the largest number) for your session. A small aperture creates a greater depth of field, which means more of your photo will be in focus. You’ll need to compensate for less light hitting your image sensor by increasing your ISO or extending your shutter speed.
Foreground, Background & Everything Between – Take time to compose your landscape image to include a foreground, middle ground and background. These three planes will help your image convey a sense of depth. Many times, your foreground plane will become the most dominant part of your image because of the scale, so think carefully about what you’d like viewers to be drawn to first.
Add Lines – Another great way to add depth to an image is to add lines and patterns into your composition. Lines, like roads or horizons, lead viewers’ eyes into the images and ad an element of scale. The patterns that lines form can make them more visually interesting. Straight lines aren’t found in nature, so using man-made lines, like buildings or roads, can juxtapose nicely with a nature shot, telling a story with your photo.
Use a Tripod – Tripods are a necessity when shooting landscape photography, mainly because of inconsistent lighting, small aperture and longer flash. Although they can be bulky and cumbersome, tripods can open up a new world of photography to you by allowing you to push your settings to get the best image. Consider using an extremely long shutter speed to catch the soft movement of a waterfall or a landscape at twilight. Additionally, even if you have ideal light conditions and are able to use a fast shutter speed, super-enlarged photos can show evidence of shakiness that can ruin a photo.
Shoot in RAW – If you’re a casual photographer who wants to snap a quick (but lovely) landscape image, shooting in JPG mode will be fine, but if you’re planning on any kind of post-processing in Photoshop, switch to RAW format. When you set your digital camera to convert to JPG, it automatically applies elements such as sharpening, saturation and other adjustments based on a conventional set of processing routines. RAW keeps the photo in its original form, which allows you to adjust all the elements in post-processing, giving you full control of colors and tones.
Shoot during “Golden Hours” – Many new photographers think a noon on a bright, sunny day with blue skies above is the perfect time to shoot, but if you want to catch really stunning images, use the Golden Hours as your guide. Dawn and dusk are known as Golden Hours because of the golden light it shines on landscapes in just the right amount. Dusk and dawn can create new textures and patterns for your image, and can also let you play with negative and positive space with shadow and light. Plus, you’ll be able to stay away from the harshness of the late morning or afternoon sun.
Look for a New Point of View – The world can look completely different from a different point of view, so use this to your advantage when you’re shooting landscapes. Crouch on the ground or stand on a ladder or stump to get a different angle for your shot. Go wide or shoot in a small area to catch details. Use shallow depth of field or Give your viewers a different view of the landscape.
Article by Thomas
About the Author- Thomas, a Chicago landscaping expert, has been designing outdoor spaces for 10+ years. When he’s not working, he enjoys yoga and organic gardening.