Landscape photography is a very popular genre and many amateur photographers start their hobbies doing it. There is, however, a lot more to it than just going out somewhere beautiful, putting your camera up to your face, and clicking the shutter button.
Have you gone out and taken some landscape photos, then found that they didn’t look that good when you got home? Do you get lost when you go out, and don’t know what to photograph, or how? Here are 10 tips to help you get you do better landscape photography.
1 – Work the scene
One thing you see a lot of new photographers doing is walking up to a scene, taking one photo, and think they are done. However, a more experienced person will take a lot more photos, and spend time walking around and seeing what they can get from that scene.
Think about different angles, and different heights. With digital you can take so many photos, and it won’t cost you anything, other than a few minutes. So work the scene, and see what else you can get.
2 – Leading lines and patterns
This is something that we all learn from the beginning, find a leading line that will take your viewer into the image. Fences, roads, or anything that is like a line, that starts at the side of the frame, and takes people into your image. It is the invitation to look at the photo.
Patterns can be a great way attracting attention. If you notice a pattern somewhere, and take a photo of it, there is a good chance that your audience will also find it interesting. Patterns can be anywhere, in the ground, on the bark of trees, how they are planted. They can be fascinating.
3 – Time of day
This is something that we all learn at the beginning, time of day is important. It is also dependent on the time of the year. Here in Southern Australia you can shoot all day long in winter. The sun is never high in the sky, the shadows are soft, and it is a great time of the year to take photos. On the other hand, summer is terrible. It is hot, the light is harsh, the shadows are sharp, and often the colors in your images can look bleached.
Think about where you are, and what time of the day is best where you want to take photos. Some people prefer early morning, there aren’t many people around, and you can get what you want before the day starts. Others prefer later in the day, and don’t mind sharing their location.
Some areas that you want to photograph will be better for sunrise, as you may not be able to get a suns
4 – Look at your foreground
The foreground is often forgotten when taking landscape photos, but sometimes what is right in front of you is exactly what you need to make your image stronger.
Some images of landscapes can be a bit more interesting by adding a small plant or something that is in the front, close to the camera. It can also be a leading point to the scene at the back of the image.
et there. Or it could be the other way around. Many coastal areas on the east coast of Australia mean that is it almost impossible to get a sunset, so you need to get up early and aim for sunrise instead.
5 – Look at what other photographers do
Without a doubt, one of the best things you can do is to look at other photographers, and take note of what they do. Don’t underestimate how much you can learn by looking at the work of others. Not just good or professional people, but also amateurs, you can see the good and the bad.
Look work that you like and determine why you like it, exactly what it is that you think makes it work. Can you pinpoint what it is about that image that makes you jealous that you didn’t take it?
Take notes of images that you don’t think are very good. Analyze them and see what it is that you find isn’t working. Learn from them, and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.
6 – Think about the seasons
It’s very easy to go out one day and take photos of a particular place, then forget it exists, but what about thinking about other times of the year. Some places will look better in summer than they do in winter. Spring could be a time with lots of flowers, while autumn will give you colourful trees.
Photographing the same place throughout the year can give you a different feeling to your images every time you go there.
It is also a good idea to think about where you want to take photos, then consider what will be the best season to show it off. The mountains can look sparse and uninspiring in the summer, but in winter they are covered in snow; it adds a different dimension.