Landscape Photography: How to Excel at It

Photography is a wonderful hobby, which when honed well, can be tuned into a profession. There are different kinds of photography that you can immerse yourself in. One of the most popular kinds is landscape photography. As its name suggest, this type of photography pertains to capturing nature in all its glory, from gushing rivers to majestic snow-capped mountains. Very rarely does landscape photography include people; but when it does, it is simply to show how large or small the object of the photograph is.

Landscape Photography

Understanding landscape photography

Almost everyone has a camera today, whether it is a Smartphone, tablet, digital camera or a DSLR, with which they can capture images of nature. However, simply taking pictures of hills and valleys, beaches and forests is not enough to make you a landscape photographer. The art of capturing nature is more intricate. Landscape photography should tell a story, highlighting the essence of nature. For this purpose, weather, timing and lighting, are all extremely important.

Contrary to popular belief, landscape photography is not only limited to nature. Urban landscapes also make for great photography due to the angles, lines and shapes. This kind of photography can include skyscrapers, bridges and other manmade features that alter the appearance of landscapes.

Another area of this kind of photography is abstract landscape photography, which includes the use of different techniques like proximity and shape. It does not necessarily involve shooting an entire landscape, but certain aspects of nature. This results in images that have a play on shapes, patterns and close-ups.

Related: Top 5 Cameras in India for the Best Photography

Tips for landscape photography

Like almost everything else, there are certain tips for landscape photography that can help you achieve stunning results. Listed below are some important tips that can help improve your landscape images.

  • Light is one of the most influential attributes of successful landscape photography. Many photographers wait for the right lighting, which could be diffused, dramatic or moody, to capture the right photograph
  • Turning your camera’s flash off while shooting landscape is usually a good idea, as it can cause a flare in foggy, misty or dusty scenes by reflecting off moisture or dust particles. However, you can leave the flash on if you want to brighten an object in the foreground
  • In low light conditions, it is advisable to opt for a high ISO setting or fast film speed on your digital camera as it will ensure good depth of field and ensure proper exposure. It is also a good idea to use a tripod as it will offer better sharpness
  • Landscape photography is best when it has a centre of interest. This is generally an object that draw the viewer’s eye to the image
  • You can capture attractive landscape photographs even in dull weather conditions. For instance, shooting landscapes in the rain can add a sort-of peacefulness or softness to the image. However, if you are shooting on a cloudy day, ensure there is an area of color in scene to counteract it
  • Landscape photography is usually done horizontally rather than vertically. This helps you get a complete view of the scene that you are interested in
  • Finally, when shooting landscapes, look out for unnatural or unsightly elements like garbage cans, poles, hydrants and overhead wires. In such instances, re-position yourself so that these elements are removed from your frame.

Ideal equipment for landscape photography

You may have the best digital cameras or the best point and shoot cameras. However, this is not enough to get the best results from your landscape photography. There are certain camera accessories that are needed to get the best out of your landscape photography.

Tripod– One of the most important kinds of camera equipment for landscape photographers is the tripod. This can keep your camera steady, which in turn will prevent blurred images if you are using a low shutter speed or shooting in low light. While selecting a tripod, ensure that it is sturdy enough to support your camera and heavy lens attachment, while being light enough to lug about.

Lenses– The kind of lens you use with your camera can also affect the resulting photographs. There are different kinds of lenses available for landscape photography like long zoom, wide lenses or the basic lens. Your choice of lens will depend on the kind of scene you are shooting. For instance, wide-angle lenses are ideal for shooting wide vistas, while long zoom lenses are better suited for wildlife photography.

Filters– Another important type of equipment is filters, which are actually translucent sheets that can either sharpen or heighten colors. Whether you want to enhance the colors in your landscape or simply adjust the contrast of grey shades in the landscape, a filter can help you. This camera accessory can either come as a piece of material to attach to the camera or as an attachment for the device.