Most people think all it takes to take a memorable landscape photo is find a scenic spot and place an expensive camera in front of it. However, there is a lot more to taking a great photo than just finding a nice subject and buying a camera.
From picking a lens, to choosing the right moment to shoot, here are a few tips for taking good landscape photos. Anybody can follow these tips, even someone who has never held a camera.
Step 1. Choose the right lens.
If you have a camera with an interchangeable lens or if you have a zoom lens, think about the kind of picture you are after.
Going wide with a wide angle is great for capturing sweeping scenes, while getting tighter with a telephoto lens will bring elements in your scene together.
Choose your tools accordingly. If you have a zoom, it will be easier because you can try different options on the spot, depending on the subject and on your desired effect.
If your choice is limited to one lens — for example if you have a point-and-shoot camera or a camera phone — make the most of it by choosing a style that will be right for your equipment.
Step 2. Look for the right light.
Not all light is good for taking stunning landscape images. Harsh light will make your shot look dull.
The best hours to take amazing landscape photos are just after dawn and before sunset. Most landscape photographers shoot at these times of the day because the light has a beautiful hue, the colors are pleasing and the shadows are soft.
Step 3. Look for new angles.
Most of the time, just shooting from your eye level won’t do. Shooting from a lower angle or finding a higher vantage point will make for a more compelling image.
Also, try to look at the scene you are about to photograph from all sides. If you just stand in the same spot the whole time, the photo will only be good for showing your Facebook friends.
Step 4. Carry a tripod.
Real landscape photographers always carry a tripod with them. Yes, that cumbersome tool with extendable legs to attach your camera to.
You know why? Because tripods can make your pictures better. They will prevent camera shake and when light is not great, they will force you to slow down and frame more accurately than you would if you were going for the hit-and-run approach.
Not all tripods are all that heavy either. If you have a smaller camera, you can buy a cheap lightweight tripod for as low as $20.
Step 5. Place the horizon up or down.
People with little experience taking pictures will place the horizon in the center of the frame. Balance is good sometimes, but it can make for a boring photo.
If the sky is your main subject, move the horizon down in the frame. If you want to draw attention on the lower area or if the sky is dull, move it upward.
You'll be a pro in no time.
Don’t feel bad if your landscape photos don’t look like a professional photo in those in travel magazines, even if you have a great camera. The more you shoot, the better you will get. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and try out these tips!