In the era of social media, landscape photographers across the planet have been challenged to create beautiful and unique perspectives that captivate the audience in an interesting new way.
A great landscape photographer has the ability to transport the viewer and gives them the sense of being in the moment and feeling what they felt when they froze that particular moment in time. If you follow the 5 tips to create unforgettable landscape images below, you’ll get a leg up on your competition and when you do take that perfect image, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Timing is everything
When it comes to landscape photography, getting up at sunrise or finding that perfect sunset spot will give you the chance to capture that amazing golden hour effect that makes everything look so magical. Make sure to do your research and find out sunrise and sunset time. The best app tool I’ve found for finding the lighting angles of the location you’re wanting to photograph is Photo Ephemeris. Also, remember to arrive about an hour before sunrise and and stay an hour after the sun has set to capture those gorgeous colours if they happen to show up.
Patience makes for perfection
Landscape is a genre of photography that cannot be held to a deadline. Rather, if you want to yield the greatest results you have to be willing to put in the hours and wait for that perfect moment to arrive. This style of photography requires patience; just in case those clouds open up long enough, allowing the sun to break through for the perfect shot. Allow yourself enough time at a location so that you can wait if you need to.
Choose your lens wisely
Wide angle lenses are usually the go-to lens in any landscape photographers kit and these range between 16mm for ultra wide angle, to 35mm for standard wide-angle on full frame cameras. However, there can be times when you will want to focus on small details, like the moon framed perfectly by trees. For these examples a telephoto lens will be useful and can help you find more creative compositions.
Tripods can make or break your shot
It’s true that tripods are not the most fun tool to carry around; especially if you’re hiking into a remote location, but they are invaluable in many situations. You will almost always be better off using a tripod If you want to create depth by using a smaller aperture like f/9 to f/13 or you want to capture motion using slower shutter speeds. Choose a tripod strong enough to support your heaviest gear, but also portable enough to not be a burden.
Polarize to “make it pop”
Using a circular polarizing filter is one of the best ways to make your landscape images “pop”. This magical piece of glass makes all the difference between the professional artist and the happy snapper. In fact, there are few situations where the polarizer won’t make your photos shine. In daytime scenes, the polarizer allows you to manipulate the light in the sky, making blues and greens pop and clouds dramatic and more defined. With water and glass surfaces, the polarizer will enable you to control, limit, or even eliminate reflections. You can see fish swimming through rivers or reflect light from buildings in cityscapes. Other filters to consider in landscape photography are neutral density, and graduated filters. They can help to create the image you desire in-camera rather than spending hours editing programs later on.
So there you have it – five of the many ideas you can try the next time you travel to a picturesque location. Just remember to be creative and enjoy the journey!