The Best Landscape Photography Tips And Techniques For
Shooting Better Scenic Photos With Your Camera To WOW Your Friends
Professional landscape photography tips,
tutorials and techniques will help you improve your scenic photography
and allow you to shoot stunning panoramic pictures, with any digital
camera, that are full of realism.
Learn composition techniques for framing and capturing better
landscapes using the rule of thirds. Why it's important to have an
interesting foreground and background. How to keep eveything in focus
using a large depth of field.
Also learn about outdoor lighting tips and tricks when shooting
scenery. What to do if the sky is too
bright. When is the golden hour and why it's the best time to shoot a
landscape photo. Adjusting your camera settings and spot metering to
find the correct
shutter speed for best overall exposure.
Are YOU Fed Up With Your
Disappointing Landscape Photos?
You don't need a fancy DSLR camera to capture stunning
landscape shots. Scenic photography is all about composition and
lighting and Amy Renfrey shares her landscape photography
tips in this easy
to understand eBook for beginner
Here To Find Out More*
Getting beautiful, colorful and well composed shots of your favorite
seascape, vista or panorama is not an easy task. There are some basic
camera skills that you need to master along with these
landscape photography tips if you want to capture impressive views.
To get really professional and creative looking landscape pictures, you
know how to take full control of your camera by following this
easy-to-understand photography guide for help and advice. You'll also
need to know what other pieces of camera kit you need such as lenses,
filters, image editing equipment, etc and when and how
to use them.
There are many simple factors that can hinder your plans for creating a
perfect or great landscape shot. For instance, your aperture could be
too wide producing the incorrect, shallow depth of field, making
your photo blurred in the distance.
Also, the horizon in your shot could be slanted because your camera is
slightly off level. The sky might end up too bright and over-exposed
compared to the rest of your scenery. Using a graduated filter can fix
But, don't worry... Use these landscape photography tips and techniques
and you'll achieve the professional and impressive scenery shots that
you desire. If you have any goods tricks you use yourself, drop us a
line and tell us about them.
This seascape picture was taken around February 2008 at the
Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He used a Canon 5D MkII with a L series
17-40mm lens. It was taken with a focal length of 24mm, ISO 50, F22 and
1/10 second exposure. He also used a Lee soft ND (Natural Density) grad
0.9 filter with a Cokin z-pro holder and shot in RAW. This is not HDR.
Landscape Photography Tips
What Camera Kit Do You Need?
Some of the basic photography equipment that you'll need for shooting
landscape photographs with a DSLR camera is:
A Sturdy Tripod
ND Grad Filters (Natural Density Graduated)
A Hotshoe Spirit Level
Cable Release or Wireless Shutter Release
Obviously you may not need all this gear, but a good landscape photography tip is to always be
prepared for every situation. Here are some helpful hints and tips on choosing what
If your tripod has a built-in spirit level, you won't need the
hotshoe spirit level. The more expensive tripods also have a ball at
the top which makes it easier to get your camera lined up and the shot
If you don't have a cable release or wireless shutter release, you can
use the camera's self-timer instead. I find it works just as well.
The filter's (polarising and graduated) are useful for making sure you
have the right exposure for
your shots. There are many to choose from depending on the landscape
picture or scene you are shooting.
There are UV filters, Polarizing filters, Natural Density Graduated
filters and even colored ones for making the sky look more blue or
getting a beautiful orange glow during a sunrise or sunset.
Photo by Patrick Smith
This picture was taken on a stretch of coastline on Isla
Mujeres, Mexico (Near Cancun). He used a Canon 5D MkII with a L series
17-40mm lens. It was taken with a focal length of 18mm, ISO 50, F11 and
1/4 second exposure. He also used the Lee soft ND grad 0.9 + 0.6
filters with Cokin z-pro holder and shot in RAW. This is not HDR.
Landscape Photography Tips
Setting Up Your Camera
Set your camera to Aperture Priority (Av)
mode. This allows you to choose the aperture settings for your shot and
camera chooses the shutter speed which best suits the lighting to gain
the correct exposure.
You may have to tweak it slightly using the exposure
compensation control if the scene is over-exposed (too
light) or under-exposed (too dark) in areas. If in doubt, it is always
better to go slightly under exposed than over exposed. Alternatively,
if you are comfortable with the camera settings, use manual mode.
For good landscape shots that are focused from the foreground through
to the background, you need to maximise
the depth of field. Choose a narrow
aperture to make sure that the whole scene is in focus
throughout the picture. Around f/16 to f/22 is a good place to
start if there is a large distance between the foreground and
background of your scene.
The size of the aperture for this depth of field will depend
on the sensor size of your camera. If you are using a full framed
sensor digital SLR camera such as the Canon 5d, you would go for f/22.
using a camera with a smaller sensor such as the Canon 400d, then use
If the distance isn't that great, then you may be able to use a bigger
aperture and still maintain focus throughout the scene. The sweet spot
in most lenses is usually around f/8.
Don't forget that as the aperture gets smaller, the amount of light
entering the camera's image sensor is less also. You may need to adjust
your ISO (moving it higher) or lengthen the shutter speed to compensate
Landscape Photography Tips For Adding Color Quality
Change the picture style in the menu, if
your camera has this facility, to landscape.
This is great for boosting color saturation, particularly the greens
and blues and produces vivid picture quality. It also sharpens the
image slightly making it look crisper.
Mirror Lockup and Tripod
To reduce camera shake and retain sharp focus, it's best to use mirror
lockup and a cable release, wireless shutter release or
This allows the mirror to move up and out of the way earlier than
normal so that any vibration it causes has stopped before the shutter
opens. Every little helps when trying the keep the camera as still as
possible. This landscape photography tip is only useful if used with the tripod.
As you’re using the tripod, there is no need for increasing the ISO.
Use your camera’s lowest ISO setting,
usually 100, to get the best quality images.
You also need to check the white balance
setting. I usually leave it on auto as most of the time it works OK.
You might want to change it depending on the shooting conditions,
setting it to cloudy or sunny.
Shoot in RAW. This is one of the most
useful landscape photography tips as it allows you to change and
perfect your landscape images post-capture by keeping your editing
Don't Loose Focus
The last thing you need to do is set your auto-focus
point according to your scene.
I usually set mine to focus about one third of the way into the shot,
especially if I have a foreground interest that I want to keep sharp
while drawing the eye into the picture. As the background is farther
away, it is less likely to be noticed if the focus isn't 100%.
Photo by Patrick Smith
This picture was taken of the pier in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
at dawn. He used a Canon 5D MkII with a L series 17-40mm lens. It was
taken with a focal length of 30mm, ISO 50, F20 and 25 second exposure.
He also used the Lee soft ND grad 0.9 + 0.6 filters with Cokin z-pro
holder and shot in RAW. This is not HDR.
7 Top Landscape
Photography Tips, Techniques
And Quick Lessons To Learn
Get up early - The best lighting for
landscape photography is early in the morning (dawn) or late in the
afternoon (dusk). These are known as the 'Golden' hours. The scenery
looks really colorful and alive filled with interesting textures,
patterns and dimensions.
Strong overhead sunshine during the day makes scenery look flat and not
very attractive. When the sun is lower in the sky, you get greater
lighting impact and useful longer shadows.
You can see that the picture below was taken late in the day as the sun
was setting. It has created a beautiful warm effect on the Sky, while
the Sea looks icy blue. The old pier draws the eye perfectly into the
center of the picture.
Look for interesting sky - Plain blue sky
can be a bit boring and uniform in your landscape shots. Add some drama
and mix it up a little with fat, fluffy white clouds or dark gray storm
A good landscape photography tip is to look for some detail in the sky
and using the rule of thirds bring the
horizon done towards the center of your scene. Alternatively, if the
sky is dull looking, keep it in the top third of your shot and look for
an interesting foreground object to make the landscape look more
Also landscape photography tip is to consider using the Polarizing
filter to enhance and add contrast
and color to bland skies.
Add some color - Vivid colors look great
in your scenery shots. Greens and Blues are really accentuated and
clear. After you take your shot, lightly boost the saturation in the
RAW editor and add a little extra sharpness to produce a nice crisp
Check white balance - Some large amounts
of color, particularly green or blue, in a scene can be mis-interpreted
by the camera's auto white balance setting. Change your camera's white
balance to manual and choose a setting that most closely matches the
weather conditions that day. E.g. Sunny, Cloudy.
Use the filters - A graduated filter or
polalizer filter will allow you to get better exposure from your shots
with the sky in them. In the early morning or late in the evening, the
sky will be brighter than the scenery and could end up over-exposed.
A polarising filter will make your skies have a deeper blue and the
clouds more accented. It will also help you to reduce reflections from
areas of water such as lakes or ponds.
Composition - Use the rule of thirds. The
most useful landscape photography tip is to break your scene up into
thirds, both vertically and horizontally. Where these imaginary lines
intersect, place your most interesting parts of your shot.
Look at how the horizon is positioned in the picture below. Right on
the line between the top and middle thirds of the image.
Some foreground interest - Large open
landscapes always look a little bare in places. Try to add a little
foreground interest when your shooting to draw the viewer's eye into
the scene and also to give it a sense of perspective and scale.
Something like a rock or park bench is good or even an old pier like
Photo by Patrick Smith
This is another seascape photograph from the Isla
Mujeres, Mexico (Near
Cancun). He used a Canon 5D MkII with a L series 17-40mm lens to
capture the shot. It was
taken with an ISO 50, F22 and a 30 second exposure. He also used a Lee
soft ND grad 0.9 filter with a Cokin z-pro holder and shot in RAW.
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