As the seasons change from winter to spring to summer, all of us are drawn to the great outdoors and the beautiful sights that mother nature so gracefully provides. Whilst these breathtaking views can fill us with wonder and awe, it is sometimes hard to translate the unerring beauty of the natural world to photographs. However, if you want to learn how to capture the magic of landscapes in your photos then you should read on for our 5 top landscape photography tips.
The Right Light
Even if you don’t know anything about photography, this is an easy tip to put into practice; make sure you know where your light is! The sun is the best source of lighting, but the intensity given off by it varies throughout the day – an effect which is even more pronounced through the bright long days of summer. For example, photos taken at noon can be characterized by a strong overhead light capable of creating very accentuated shadows in the objects in the photo.
On the other hand, photos taken around sunset or sunrise almost universally have a soft glow that gently caresses the elements of the photo. These two moments of the day are known as the “golden hours” and are considered by photography experts to be the best time to take breathtaking landscape photos. Choose the place you want to photograph in advance and then wait patiently for the sunset or sunrise for the perfect shot!
The Importance Of Composition
Have you ever noticed how the arrangement of the elements of a photo can draw your attention to one item or part? Once you understand the importance of composition, then you’ll be creating photos that highlight exactly what you want every time! An excellent rule of thumb is to mentally split your photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The location where these lines intersect on your photo (which should be 4 points around the center of the photo) are the points that naturally draw the eye. Experiment with different off-center focusses in order to figure out how to best compose your nature photographs.
Foreground and Background
In portrait photography it is the foreground that matters, so you very often tend to blur the background (this is known as the bokeh effect by those ‘in the biz’). In landscape photography, on the other hand, the background is just as important as the foreground. It is therefore important that both the foreground and the background elements are brought into focus, rather than blurring either part. Once you achieve this, you will notice how the foreground elements combine with an enhance the background splendour.
The Horizon Line
For millennia, humankind has been fascinated by the line of the horizon created by the intersection of the sea and the sky. Unfortunately for modern landscape photographers, the line of the horizon is always a little tilted in the photos of amateurs! It may seem trivial, but this is undoubtedly one of the most common mistakes. To avoid this error, simply turn on the grid on your smartphone’s camera and you can finally shoot perfect horizon lines! This applies to any photo with the sky in it – you want to make sure that your photo is parallel to the ground and horizon.
The Human Element
Contrary to popular opinion, landscape photos don’t need to be devoid of human life. Indeed, some of the most suggestive landscape photos are precisely those characterized by the presence of humanity. You can choose whether to focus on the human element in your scene by your decisions around composition. If you want to draw attention to the human subject, simply place it on one of the intersection points of those mental lines you create for each photo. Otherwise, you can decide to leave the leading role to the landscape, pushing the people to the side. Regardless of your decision, you’ll now be able to make an informed choice, and even play around to see what looks best!
We Hope You’ve Enjoyed These Landscape Photography Tips
We really hope that these 5 top landscape photography tips will be useful to you. Once you’ve gotten enough practice, compile your favourites into a beautiful photo book. You will be amazed by the quality of the images and the liveliness of the colors, and it can be a great way to show off your progress!