Landscapes are beautiful as they are. Simply pointing your camera at them doesn’t make you a landscape photographer. Professional landscape photographers work with landscapes in a different way. Jason Charles Hill and Gunnar Freyr share some amazing, non-typical tips to step up your landscape photography to the next level:
By adding a person in the frame, you can build a connection with the viewer. You can make them wonder what it would be like to actually be present in that location. It also gives a sense of scale and shows how grand and beautiful the landscape is.
Hill suggests that you build up your arsenal of lenses to cover as many focal lengths as possible. Typically, you’d start with a wide angle lens for landscapes. Additionally, you can get yourself some prime lens for depth of field and a 24–70mm to cover the rest of the range. For subjects that are far away, you can also get a telephoto like the 100–400mm. Such lenses also help you to compress the scene and create a unique perspective.
Apps like “Sun Seeker” or “Moon Seeker” allow you to know the precise location of the sun or the moon at a particular location at any time of the day. This will help you out by letting you visualize the lighting will be ahead of time.
Nature is unpredictable. No matter how prepared you may be, sometimes things can go against you. Poor visibility and bad lighting are common challenges that landscape photographers face. Don’t give up. Shoot whatever you can get. Try to make the most out of whatever you see.
Sometimes we get so obsessed with taking photographs that our vision is bound by the viewfinder. It’s a good idea to sometimes take a break from the camera. Instead of looking through the camera, use your eyes to see. Walk around the location, enjoy the view, and you might find something interesting.
“Sense the sounds, the smells, everything. It’s definitely going to set you apart and make you a better landscape and nature photographer.”
Shooting from eye level gives you a perspective that we are used to seeing all the time. Shoot from a higher or a low perspective at any opportunity that you get. A unique perspective will make the viewers think differently about your image, making it more engaging.
“Sometimes you bring a ladder along or sometimes you’re just going to lay down on the dirt to get the shot.”
Once you’ve planned to go somewhere, it can be a good idea to search for the location tag using a platform like Instagram and reach out to locals. Build a relationrelationshipem and ask them about specialties of that place, the best time to be there, things you shouldn’t miss, and so on. And when you actually get there, may be you can meet them in person.
Taking panoramas doesn’t just mean that you take a series of photos horizontally. You can take multiple overlapping shots in any direction you want and later stitch them up to get a high resolution image. This technique can be especially useful if you’re stuck with a longer lens.
Using the “All Terrain View” in Google Maps, look for interesting patterns in land structures, like mountains or creeks. Aerial views can assist you in finding the perfect location.
Most of the time we get so excited by what’s in front of us that we totally neglect what we might have behind us. Be sure to occasionally take a break from your camera and have a look at your surroundings. Who knows, your best photo opportunity might be behind the camera and not in front of it.
We’ve been programmed to choose a wide angle lens for landscape photography. How about taking some close-up portraits of nature? Using a portrait or a telephoto lens and capture up close details.
Give some of these tips a try when you’re out shooting landscapes and let us know how it goes!
Here are some more great photos of uncommon landscape photos: