Technology can help with a lot of photography, but when it comes to landscapes, you need skill and technique more than gear. Sure, DSLR tripods and a nice wide angle lens make a big differen but first you need to learn the lessons encapsulated in the first nine of these ten landscape photography tips and tricks.
Beautiful landscape photos use a number of composition tricks and techniques t create the contrast and shape that gives a still bunch of trees and sky the dynamism you crave.
1. The Rule of Thirds – Imagine the image you see on the viewfinder cut into three equally sized rows and columns, thirds. The four intersections made by the lines splitting those thirds are magic spots to put subjects. They give your photo a sense of balances that is naturally pleasing to the human eye. If you can line up natural divisions in the photo with those thirds, your photos look better.
2. The Golden Rule – The bottom right intersection is the best place to situate essential objects if your shot has one subject, like a statue. It creates the right amount of space on the frame.
3. 80/20 – Identify the important part of the photo that looks the best. That should fill 80% of the frame. This is just an adjustment of the rule of thirds (two-thirds is actually 67%, but they’re pretty close when you’re estimating anyway) that helps you prioritize and avoid cutting your shots in half.
4. Foreground & Background – Learn to identify these two planes in the photo and balance them using angles and composition to give your photo depth.
5. Lines and Shapes – This covers a number of strategies including the importance of finding three connected objects or lines and using them to focus your shot on that triangle, finding objects that help frame the subject you want to shoot, like two full trees in front of a mountain range, and using horizon lines that lead to a point.
Photo By Moshe Zeira
Light and its characteristics in photography could fill a book. Learn to understand, adapt to, and play with light to infuse your landscapes with vibrancy.
6. Magic Hour – The hour right before dusk has the most beautiful light for the vast majority of photography because it is warm and diffuse. Learn to use it.
7. Contrast and Color –
use a lens filter like a polarizer to brighten skies, or just develop an eye for the colors that make landscapes look best, you have to make choices about how to use color in your photos. Don’t ignore the way colors change depending on the light and the time of day.
8. Aperture and Shutter Speed – These settings control how much light gets into your camera. The aperture also changes depth of field. The challenge is that you want a high aperture setting to deepen how much you can get in focus, while also letting in enough light without getting a blurry photo.
9. White Balance and ISO – White balance keeps your colors correct. If you want real control over your natural colors, pay attention to your white balance settings. Most cameras can handle an ISO of up to 800 with no loss in quality. However, lowering your ISO to 200, especially when shooting in full sunlight, can do wonders for your exposure and colors.
10. DSLR Tripods – And now to the gear. You may have noticed that the best settings for landscape photography make keeping your image crisp and avoiding blur difficult. Along with making it easier to use slower exposure settings for perfect light. Tripods help you take a step back to really choose the best composition. Get a light, sturdy tripod if you’re serious about landscapes.
There’s a lot to taking a good landscape photo. But it all starts with understanding your camera and the art of composing a photo. Once you’ve got a DSLR tripod, it’s up to you to use these tips in pursuit of composing a better photograph.