Have you ever admired beautiful pictures of landscapes and wondered
how to get those same great results? In this post, I’ve given a few
tips that I’ve found helpful when shooting landscapes. Whenever I get
the opportunity, I love to find beautiful landscapes to photograph
around Virginia. While landscapes may seem simple and easy to shoot,
focusing on your lighting and composition can really make a difference
and create stunning results.
When shooting a landscape, use the golden hours in the morning or
evening to enhance your scene. Planning ahead for the best lighting
and weather conditions can be an effective way to improve your scene.
While shooting during the day isn’t terrible, it will create a lot of
harsh light and shadows. The golden hours, however, are softer and
have a warmer, more interesting color that can’t be replicated during
the day. Also, if you get up in the morning during the golden hours,
you will often find morning dew and mist that adds a stunning feel to
Use a small aperture to keep all the areas of the image in focus when
shooting landscapes. This is the normal approach to landscapes and
helps create a sense of depth in your scene. While using larger
apertures can be an interesting and creative approach, I typically
like the smaller apertures and sharp, in-focus scenes. Diagonals and
leading lines are really good ways of creating depth as it draws your
attention into a scene.
Type of Lens
While you can shoot a landscape using other lenses, a wide lens will
be your best friend for those expansive sweeping landscape scenes. 21
or 24mm lenses are ideal for capturing wider angles. Remember to try
different angles, even with a wide angle lens. Don’t just assume a
wider angle lens will do the work for you. Always be creative and try
to find the angle that best captures the landscape scene.
Composing your scene properly is so important when shooting landscape.
It’s easy to just point a camera at a scene at random, but instead
really consider how you are building your image. The rule of thirds
is a traditional and solid way to compose your scene to make it
visually appealing, but also consider other ways to improve your
composition. Look for leading lines or “S” curves to pull your
attention into a scene. Symmetry can also be an interesting way to
compose a landscape. One of my favorite ways to compose landscapes
and add interest to a scene is through focal points. Use subjects
around you like trees, flowers, or water to focus on. By finding a
interesting subject in the foreground, it can also really help create
a depth of field in a landscape image. Another favorite of mine is
using water as a mirror. You can capture amazing pictures using the
effects of reflections in water. This is especially effective during
the golden hours.
Landscapes are a beautiful subject to capture and are very popular
among photographers. Waiting for the right lighting and weather to
effectively photograph a scene can be time consuming, but if you are
patient, the results are well worth the effort.