How to improve your landscape photography

How to improve your landscape photography

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Although great landscape images can be taken during the middle of the day, the soft, golden light of early morning and early evening before sunset is often a favorite time for many landscape photographers. Landscape photography masters like Ansel Adams utilized light and shadow to draw the viewer into the scene. This is a piece of advice that you see A LOT, both on this website and on other photography websites. At the heart of a digital camera is the sensor, which records light information from millions of tiny pixels. To produce an image, this information needs to be processed — when shooting JPEG, the camera uses presets to adjust numerous image settings like sharpness, contrast, saturation, and noise reduction on the spot, compressing the resulting file into a JPEG image that you can use for printing or web uploading right away without ever needing to make use of image editing software. RAW, on the other hand, preserves much more of the image information, requiring the photographer to adjust things like exposure, contrast, white balance, etc.

  • Take your best ever landscape photos on your phone: Top tips and tricks for better shots
  • 10 Tips For The Beginning Landscape Photographer (Improve Your Photography)
  • How to Improve Your Landscape Photography Compositions
  • 5 ways to improve your landscape photography
  • 10 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography
  • 5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography
  • Improving your Landscape Photography
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: 5 Great TIPS to improve YOUR landscape photography

Take your best ever landscape photos on your phone: Top tips and tricks for better shots

Then check out these expert tips from Nikon School Training Manager Neil Freeman and transform your landscapes from quick snaps you want to consign to the big cloud in the sky into accomplished images you want to hang on your wall.

Want to start shooting landscapes or improve the ones you're already taking? Before you can get started with landscape photography, you'll need to make sure you have suitable kit in order to get the best results. Have a look at our ideas below to work out what you'll need to get started Any of our DX range of DSLRs are great for landscapes, but I particularly love the D as it's so lightweight, making it easy to carry around when you're exploring the great outdoors, and the image quality is superb.

I used it recently in Norway to capture the grandeur of the fjords and the stunning locations along the coastline. A great 'go-to' lens when you want to travel light is the mid-range mm telephoto , giving you lots of flexibility — use it at the mm end to compress perspective, isolate subjects and bring far details forward, while the 18mm end is ideal for panoramic shots. If you're in the full-frame market, the new brand flagship D packsTheIf you really want to get into fine control of depth of field — determining how sharp the image is from front to back — then take a look at the new 19mm PC-E lens , which gets rid of converging verticals before you even press the shutter, giving you infinite depth of field from where you're standing to the horizon.

You need time to set it up, but that's a good thing, as it means you'll take a more considered shot. It also rotates and shifts, while our other PC-E lenses in the series are shift-only, so using it is as close as you get to replicating the movements of a large-format camera, but without the heft and hassle. Another great option for landscapes is the 24mm PC-E. Yes, I'm sacrificing some sharpness compared to the mm, but with this set-up I've got a relatively lightweight kit that can do everything I could want it to — even shooting sharp shots handheld at the telephoto end, thanks to the VR feature.

For any landscape work it's a good idea to shoot with the camera mounted on a tripod to keep your camera and lens steady and reduce the risk of camera shake, particularly at slower shutter speeds; it also gives you time to really think about your composition. When you're choosing a tripod, remember to look at the weight loading on the head as well as on the legs, and make sure it's capable of taking both your camera and your heaviest lens.

It's always going to be a trade-off between weight and versatility — lightweight models are easier to carry but won't be as stable in high winds or in flowing water, and might struggle to take the head you want, while heavier tripods are more stable in wind and water but more awkward to carry around. Carbon fibre gives the best of both worlds — sturdy, with a high load rating, and lightweight too, although you will pay more for this convenience.

If your budget doesn't allow for carbon fibre, use aluminium — but never plastic. Manfrotto and Gitzo are good, sturdy brands we are happy to recommend at Nikon School. An L bracket is also a good idea with a tripod. The usual mount position for the camera is horizontally on the tripod head, but if you want a vertical shot and flick the head into a vertical position, its screw mount may not be strong enough to take the weight of your DSLR and lens.

An L bracket fits underneath the camera and is fixed directly to the tripod plate, so that when you go from horizontal to vertical the weight is still going through the tripod. With tripod shooting you'll also need some kind of remote release to minimise the risk of camera shake. Go for the ML-L3 infrared remote controller, or the WR-T10 wireless system if your camera has a pin socket, or a plug-in remote like the MC or the MCA , which is ideal for more complex timing needs.

Most magazine-standard shots aren't achievable without filters, and of the many types on the market, neutral density ND and neutral density graduated ND grad filters are the landscape photographer's best friends. An ND grad evens out exposure when the sky is brighter than the landscape — so it's especially useful for sunrises and sunsets.

Dark at the top and clear at the bottom, it darkens down the sky while retaining detail and preserving highlights, which brings out any cloud, too. You can get ND grads in different strengths e. A soft-edge grad tapers from dark to clear, but the tapering means it won't do anything to clouds on the horizon, whereas a hard-edge ND grad works on everything right down to the horizon, and for that reason I prefer to use a hard ND grad.

A neutral density filter helps you slow down your shooting speed which is vital if you want to create a milky effect with running water or smooth choppy waves, especially on a bright day. They come in a range of strengths, with Lee Filters' Big Stopper cutting 10 stops of light from the image to enable a far longer shutter speed than otherwise possible. A polariser is another useful filter — great for cutting reflections from the water's surface so you can see through it, or for enhancing the colour of foliage, especially after it's been raining and it's covered in water droplets.

You can also use a polariser to deepen the colour of the sky and add contrast, but once you're using a focal length under 28mm you'll start to get uneven polarisation in the sky, which looks odd, so a polariser is best avoided with very wideangle lenses.

Ultraviolet UV and daylight filters are used by some photographers to protect the lens's front element, which can be useful when you are shooting on a beach, for example, to avoid sand scratches, but I tend not to bother as I am worried they will degrade the quality of the image. Instead I usually use a lens hood for protection, and to cut down on the risk of glare in bright conditions. Now you've got your camera equipment sorted, it's time top get our into the great outdoors and start shooting!

Take a look at the basic techniques below to help you get started. Beyond that, you'd get diffraction and the image would get softer, so it's a pay-off.

You can add an ND filter to enable a slower shutter speed if necessary, or fine-tune the exposure using exposure compensation to get the results you want to achieve. If you need a much longer exposure — around 30 seconds or more — you need to be in manual shooting mode and select bulb within that, and time your exposures using the timer on your phone or a stop watch.

With such longer exposures, turning off the Auto ISO function and make sure the long exposure noise reduction feature is switched on.

With the camera tripod-mounted, you can now choose a low ISO setting to maximise your image quality. Depending on your camera, either ISO 64 or will produce a very high quality image. By using a low ISO, the camera sensor is not as sensitive to light, so this will enable you to have longer i. I generally start with auto white balance as it's very, very good. If that doesn't give me what I want, I'll put it into custom Kelvin mode, where the lower you go e.

Compositional 'rules' are a great place to start if you have no idea how to frame, but do bear in mind that these rules can be broken when you've developed your eye for an image.

Try these for starters:. If the sky is good, position the horizon two-thirds of the way down your frame, or one-third from the top if you've got an interesting foreground and the sky is dull.

I would recommend matrix metering as the standard setting for landscapes, as it averages the exposure across the scene, and will be very accurate in most locations. If you have extremes of contrast, i. While autofocus is a good way of focusing your camera, for critical sharpness in landscapes, try switching the lens and camera to manual focus and switch on Live View focusing.

Move the focus square to a point on a subject that you want to be in sharp focus ideally around a third of the way into your frame , then use the touch screen or navigation buttons to zoom in tight on it on the screen. Now use the lens's manual focus ring to get critically sharp focus on the subject.

Next, press the minus button on the back of the camera to zoom back out, switch into mirror lock-up mode, trigger the camera via remote release to lift the mirror, wait a couple of seconds for any micro vibrations in the shutter chamber to dissipate, then press the shutter release again with the remote to take the picture and drop the mirror back down.

You can use the histogram on the LCD screen to check for good tonal range from shadows to highlights. Ideally you would want to see a good tonal range from edge to edge on the histogram. If it is roughly a 'bell shape' then great, but this is not always possible as it depends on the ranges of colours and tones in the scene you're photographing. Don't get too hung up on it in-camera, though, just use it as a quick guide — it's a much more useful and accurate tool when editing your images in post-production.

We're spoilt for choice in the UK and Ireland. These are some of the Nikon School team's favourites:. If you'd like to find out more about improving your landscapes on location with the Nikon School experts, check out our latest workshops here. Want to read offline? How to edit images with NX Studio. Your guide to macro photography with renowned nature expert Ross Hoddinott.

Composition is without doubt the most important aspect of photographer. Magical light and perfect technique are nothing without a good composition. Who or what is the star of your show? This creeping vine was such an obvious subject that there was no question that I wanted to use it as a central character in my composition.

Learn how to see the compositions in your landscape photography with these 7 simple tips. Become a better photographer now just by reading.

10 Tips For The Beginning Landscape Photographer (Improve Your Photography)

While the world of landscape photography is a complex beast, here are 6 tips to improve your landscape photography that will help you get the most from your snaps. On the trip of a lifetime, driving through one stunning landscape after the other. So you pull the car over, stop and get out. You walk to the edge of the platform, bring the camera to your eyes and fire off a few frames. You get back in the car and drive off. When you get home, you download your photos onto your computer. Excitement builds and you click on open, only to find them dull and boring. Before we get to the good stuff, we have to start with the boring stuff. In my opinion, you will struggle to find something more boring than a tripod.

How to Improve Your Landscape Photography Compositions

Landscape photography is one of the most popular forms of photography; almost everyone with a camera or smartphone has taken a shot of a mountain, beach, or waterfall at some point. But while this genre seems simple to master, the reality is very different. When you begin as a landscape photographer, you'll often take a picture of what's in front of you without overthinking. After all, there are only so many ways to make a mountain look interesting, right?

Taking great landscape pictures can seem so easy compared to shooting action photography or taking pictures of children or animals. But any photographer that's carried heavy equipment up a mountain to take a spectacular shot with no success, will tell you it's a lot more than just showing up.

5 ways to improve your landscape photography

Just ask photographer Iurie Belegurschi , whose own jaw-dropping landscapes never fail to amaze us. In this px ISO exclusive, Iurie shares his personal tips that will help you improve your landscape photography from scouting locations to gear recommendations. Hi Iurie! Please introduce yourself to our readers. I moved permanently to Iceland in

10 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography

With the new year approaching people usually start thinking what they could do better or improve in within the new year. As a professional landscape photographer I thought it would be fun to give some tips to people starting out with landscape photography. Use Aperture priority mode and work from there. A post shared by Albert Dros albertdrosphotography. I cannot emphasise this enough. You will thank yourself when you learn basic photo editing that you can still use the RAW files of your old shots and have a go at them to make them look better. With RAW, you can change your white balance without quality loss. Also, the files have a lot more data in it for editing.

And although unknowingly, many of us clicked our first landscape photographs back then. But that was just a bit of amateur photography.

5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and enjoyable forms of photography. Whether your pastime is to capture majestic snow-capped mountain peaks, the orderly structure of a metropolis skyline, or calm waves lapping at a palm tree-lined island beach, these landscape photography tips will help you make the most of your next photo expedition. Landscape photography is the art of capturing images that embody the essence of nature and the outdoors.

Improving your Landscape Photography

For many photographers, landscapes and nature are among the favorite subjects to photograph. Many people get started with photographing landscapes as a result of traveling and wanting to capture photos of the places they are visiting. Understanding how to use your gear is much more important than simply having expensive equipment. Landscape photography will challenge you to know your gear and to be able to get the best out of it. Here are a few examples of how you can improve your photos by mastering your gear:.

Beyond the technical basics of exposure and focus, making stand-out landscape images requires finding unique perspectives, timing your shoot for dramatic light and framing the scene creatively. There are also post-processing options to consider, such as color adjustments or deciding to convert to black-and-white.

Add to that the increasing supply and decreasing cost of camera equipment, including the fact that everybody carries their smartphone around, and it results in millions of landscape photographs being shared every single day. But how can we stand out from the crowd of Instagrammers and Tweeters? Get up early — Stay out late. Light is the single most important thing in photography, which is quite obvious really considering that without light there is no photograph. The quality of that light plays one of the most important roles in landscape photography.

Capturing a scene is all about composition and knowing how to use your camera to produce what your mind envisions. When purchasing an SLR camera you will have the choice of a few starter lenses and can then invest in additional lenses depending on your photography intentions and expertise. For landscape photography nothing really beats a wide angle lens.