Although landscape photography can look easy at first, it takes more than a simple point-your-camera-and-photograph kind of action. The purpose of landscape photography is to convey a state of mind and to express something more than just the landscape in front of you.
Just like any other form of art, landscape photography has its own rules. Mastering light, composition, subject picking, and editing — it’s a time-consuming process and the final results depend from one person to another.
There are lots of videos with tips and ideas but the truth is that all that I’m about to tell you means nothing if you don’t go out and photograph as much as possible.
So here are 25 tips and ideas for your landscape photos that I hope you’ll find it useful (watch the video above for a closer look at each point):
1. Photograph the same subject at sunrise and sunset. Different light, different angles and the results are completely different.
2. When photographing from a low angle the perspective changes in extreme ways thus creating a much more interesting shot … an image that you are not used to seeing every day.
3. When you have fog in front of you during sunrise it’s a good thing to photograph into the light to have the fog light up by the light.
4. Silhouettes work better before sunrise, when the sky has no clouds on it. It’s a simple idea to create something interesting in a moment not that interesting. All you need is an interesting shape to frame.
5. Dark areas can offer great support for the lighter areas of the image.
6. Long exposures can tell you more about the weather conditions: wind, temperature, movement of the clouds.
7. Just because there are dark clouds in the sky, doesn’t mean that you should stay inside. A gap in the clouds can let light in and that moment is really beautiful and worth capturing.
8. A splash of color in a moody grey landscape can have such a powerful impact on the viewer.
9. Pay attention to the background when you want to separate subjects, especially when you are in the forest.
10. Foggy days during winter on the fields can be boring. Finding a lonely tree and framing it right in the center can emphasize the subject. Also, the negative space above conveys the idea of space and how small this tree really is.
11. Reflections are always beautiful. The ground is not always that interesting so reflections can help get rid of unwanted elements.
12. Move the camera while you trigger the shot. This works better when the subject has a strong separation from the background.
13. Contrast can separate the subject really well: a white small flower on some green leaves, with just a spot of light on it can be a simple, yet beautiful photo.
14. Panoramas are great to express the vast landscape inside a forest.
15. The sky covered with clouds during sunset can offer nothing… or an almost miracle moment if the clouds let light in just for a second.
16. Sometimes, clouds can look like a mirror of the landscape.
17. Foggy mornings are great, especially if the sun is breaking through the fog at some point. Position in such way so that subject is between you and the sun and also inside the fog.
18. When you’re hiking in forests, light at the end of a trail while everything else is in darkness can be such a beautiful photo.
19. The best moment to photograph waterfalls is at the beginning of spring when the snow is melting up in the mountains.
20. Trees that look different are great … usually old trees.
21. A mountain behind the houses while using a long focal length can add proportion to the photo. This way you can realize how big the landscape really is.
22. When you photograph in an urban environment search for complex dynamic lines. Also, think on multiple vertical planes to add dimension.
23. A singular point of light … if you isolate it with a long focal length you have a winner.
24. Think different perspective when you are photographing: it can give you a unique view of a simple subject.
25. Don’t forget to see details. Sometimes the big landscape can take your attention from smaller elements. Textures are great and can look almost like abstract forms of art.
Again, watch the 18-minute video at the top of this article for a closer look at each of these 25 tips and ideas.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and found them useful and until next time, keep on photographing because it’s the only way to get better!
About the author: Toma Bonciu is a landscape and travel photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Bonciu’s work on his website, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.