Have you ever found yourself in a beautiful scenery and the only thing you can think of is to capture the grandeur of the beautiful views for future memories? But when you get home and look at the pictures, yes you can see the elements that attracted you at the time but the feeling is not there. The pictures look flat and boring.
That’s what happens when you don’t have the right skills to capture awesome landscape photographs. You see, while your brains and eyes have the ability to capture the most alluring details and ignore everything else, your lenses and sensors can’t do the same without help.
Landscape photography is one of the most rewarding forms of travel photography. In fact, this is the ultimate goal for most travellers who are into outdoor adventure. Capturing some snaps with your phone is no longer fun. Although a few selfies would be great, for a more serious outcome, you need to venture into landscape photography whereby you capture the scenery as exactly as it is.
What is landscape photography?
Landscape photography is among the most fancied niches of travel photography and it’s all about capturing fascinating images that incorporate the essence of nature. When a landscape photograph is captured correctly, in addition to the views seeing something beautiful, it gives them the sense of being there.
The main goal of landscape photography is to capture the beauty of our surroundings and at the same time, bring the viewer into the image. If you’re able to do that, whether you are capturing a stormy sea, majestic snow-capped mountain peaks, a meandering road, an orderly structure of an island beach or a metropolis skyline, you are guaranteed of taking stunning landscape photographs.
Just like travelling the world, landscape photography is a never-ending learning photography process. But with time, you’ll perfect your skills and take incredible images even without much struggle. Who knows, you can even do it professionally and earn a living from it.
Tips for awesome landscape photography
Every travel enthusiast will love to capture a beautiful location. If you want to up your game during your next photo expedition as well as help the viewer connect with the emotions you felt when capturing that image, consider these landscape photography tips.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Choose the best camera
When going to buy a camera, make sure you choose the most suitable for landscape photography. It should have a full-frame sensor and a wide-angle lens. The camera should also have the ability to capture details in both background and foreground. You need to have everything in focus for the best shots. Digital SLR cameras are ideal for landscape photography and can help you produce the best landscape images. That’s because they come with many choices of lenses and manual settings.
Choosing the right location is the most important part when it comes to landscape photography. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a spot you’ve been to countless times or it’s a new location, if you choose your location wisely, you can be sure you’ll take the best shots ever. Alternatively, prioritize on the most popular attractions and sites; they hardly disappoint.
If you’re not familiar with the place you are travelling to, consider using an online map to help you plan your route and identify vantage points that seem to make the best shots. Knowing the exact location you are going to will save you time and disappointment.
Plan the best time to go
Once you decide on the place you want to go, consider when you want to go there depending on what you want to capture. For instance, if you want to capture the sunrise above the mountain, then you have to be at the location in the morning before sunrise. Remember you’ll need ample time to prepare, set up your gear, plan for the best light and generally scout the place in person. You can’t do all these in hurry. Thus, as you plan your expeditions, do so bearing the seasons in mind.
Use a tripod
Although you can still take some incredible photos without a tripod, you’ll need to be extra careful. You need a tripod to stabilize your camera and keep your photo track sharp. In addition, a tripod helps you to slow down and strategize your composition keenly even if you are able to shoot at a shutter speed.
Get a focal point
Just like other forms of photography, you’ll need some sort of focal point to avoid your photos looking rather empty or leave the viewer’s eyes wandering through the photo without a particular place to rest. The good thing about landscape photography is that the focal point can take many forms. It can be a building, a tree, a rock or anything else you find worth being a focal point.
What about the sky?
The sky has a lot to do when it comes to landscape photography. Landscape images require either a dominant foreground or a dominant sky. So, during the actual shooting day, observe the sky. If the clouds pattern looks interesting, then, by all means, let it shine. If it’s dull and lifeless, let the foreground take precedence. However, only do so if the foreground is eye-catching. If not, you may have to wait for the sky to favour your photography session.
Consider the weather
A bright sunny day creates a good time for photographs. But this is not the only time you can take incredible landscape images. Surprisingly, even a day that is threatening to rain heavy can still present a good opportunity to create an image with a real mood. So, don’t stay at home waiting for a sunny day with blue skies to travel the world and take landscape photos while you have a golden chance to take unique photos even during storms and dark skies with dramatic clouds.
It doesn’t have to be every day, but at least once in a while, include people. Landscape photography is not strictly for nature, people too can complement a beautiful landscape. Over the same, be sure to remember the rule of thirds; to create interest in the person, place him in an off-centre position. If you want to capture the movement, a slower shutter speed will be good and if you want to freeze the action, choose a fast shutter speed.
Getting good landscape images is an important investment. They are the reminders of the incredible places you’ve ever visited. So, take your time to perfect your skills such that when you go on those road trips and hiking outings, the landscape pictures you take will capture the images as exactly as you see them. Of course, it will require some practice to perfect the skill, but it’s certainly doable. Again, it’s more fulfilling to know that beyond the chance to breathe the fresh air and connect to nature, you’ll go back home with magnificent landscape photographs.