6 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography.jpg

When I started learning more about photography a few years ago, it was a little overwhelming learning about all of the different cameras, camera settings (depending on what type of photography you are interested in), lighting, etc. Through much practice and experimentation, I've learned that I love landscape photography and how to overcome some of the greatest challenges when taking these types of photographs. Are you a landscape photographer or just looking to improve your landscape photos? Here are 6 tips to improve your landscape photography. 

1. Switch to Manual Mode

Shooting in manual mode means that you can adjust your shutter speed and aperture to achieve the results that you are looking for, rather than letting the camera take the directive in how your photo will turn out. If you are just starting out, and not comfortable using manual mode just yet, you can set your camera to Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority mode. 

2. Upgrade Your Lens

When shooting landscapes, I learned that having a good selection of decent lenses is a must. In order to take sprawling, dramatic landscape images, it is best to have a decent wide angle lens. Or, if you want the flexibility to frame the details of a particular landscape shot, it is also great to have a good telephoto lens in your camera bag. 

For those of you who are Canon users, I like the following wide angle and telephoto lenses.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens

For those of you who use Nikon, Sony, etc. here is a great guide in helping you to choose your next wide angle lens lens.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/buying-guide/wide-and-extreme-wide-angle-lenses-guide

3. Use a Filter

A Neutral Density graduated filter (ND grad) is a must have for any landscape photographer. This is especially helpful when you want to capture a more balance photograph when the landscape foreground is darker than the bright skies (this is especially helpful when photographing during the prime time daytime hours).  Also, a filter is essential when photographing movements in waterfalls, cars, clouds, etc. Below are some ND filters that I suggest.

example of a photo taken with a slow shutter speed

example of a photo taken with a slow shutter speed

4. Invest in a Good Tripod

In order to shoot a landscape scene with low shutter speed, especially nighttime shots, it is essential to have a decent tripod to avoid camera shake and blurry exposures. Below are some tripods that I recommend. 

Vanguard Alta Pro Tripod

5. Photograph During the Golden Hour and/or Blue Hour

When trying to capture the perfect landscape photograph, it is all about making the most of light. Shooting during the morning hours shortly after sunrise or the evening hours shortly before sunset (also known as the golden hours) is best as the light during these times is softer compared to during the heart of the day when the sun is higher in the sky. Also, the blue hour ( the time after the sun goes below the horizon) is also a great time to capture beautiful nighttime photos (see photo below). 

Photograph of new york city skyline taken during the blue hour

Photograph of new york city skyline taken during the blue hour

6. Adjust White Balance

Adjusting the white balance from the automatic setting can be done to get the colors in your photo as accurate as possible. To "warm" up your photograph, try changing the white balance to cloudy or shade. 

What are your landscape photography tips? 

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