Ever take a photo of a mind-blowing landscape only to be disappointed by the photographic results? We all have. Landscape photography isn’t as easy as it may seem, but the tips below will help you capture the land’s true beauty.
Maximize your depth of field
By adjusting the aperture on your camera, you can make sure the whole scene is in focus, from mid-ground to background. So how do you adjust your aperture? The aperture is that little number beside the shutter speed. It’s usually something like 2.8, 5.6, or 16. Use your aperture priority mode to bump it up to 16, 22, or even 32.
Use a tripod
Because you just maximized your depth of field, the shutter speed on your camera is going to be really slow. That means if you hand-hold your camera, it will be near impossible to get crisp, focused photos. A tripod will eliminate that. Use your in-camera timer to ensure there is no camera movement when you take your shot.
Follow the “rule of thirds”
The “rule of thirds” applies to composition. It states that you should imagine your image with two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines running through it. These lines will divide your image into nine equally sized rectangles or squares. Compositional elements should fall along these lines or at the intersections of these lines. This creates tension and is more visually pleasing than having things centered. In the case of a sunset image, a classic rule-of-third composition would place the horizon at one of the two horizontal lines and the sun at one of the spots where a vertical line intersects with a horizontal one.
Find a focal point
Having a focal point is incredibly important in landscape photography. Focal points can include buildings, rocks, trees, or waterfalls. Without one, viewers won’t know where to look and you’ll end up with a boring shot of an otherwise amazing landscape.
Look for lines
When composing your image, think about where the lines of the image are directing the eye. A good composition will effortlessly direct your eye to the focal point. The more time you spend thinking about your composition, the better your images will turn out.
Pay attention to the foreground
A good landscape image generally has foreground, mid-ground, and background components. The foreground is often the one that makes an image really stand out. Consider getting some grass, rocks, or even a tree in the foreground to strengthen your shot. Even if it’s out of focus, it will make your image that much more powerful.
Get good light
Photographers often talk about the golden hour—that magical duration of time when the sun is either going down or coming up and the light is rich with colour, casting amazing shadows on your landscape. Good light is your best friend when it comes to photographing landscapes.
Don’t dismiss overcast
Although a great sunset is tough to beat when it comes to landscape photography, don’t be afraid of overcast days. The clouds act like a giant light diffuser and will cast even light throughout the landscape. This eliminates spots that are too bright or too dark for your camera and evens everything out.