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26 Landscape Photography tips pros use

I enjoy landscape photography. I've even managed to capture a few shots I'm happy to hang on my wall and show off but I certainly do not consider myself a journeyman landscape photographer. I look on with awe and wonder at some of the work produced by others.

There is something deeply satisfying and tranquil about the practice of landscape photography and, judging by the volume of images posted on social media platforms, I am not alone in that. 

I'm always seeking ways to come back with more "landscape keepers" and, as such, came across a particularly useful article by J Meyer on Digital Camera World titled:

"26 Landscape photography tips every pro photographer still uses." It is definitely worth reading the full article but, in a nutshell the author offers the following tips: 

  1. Map out locations. Before you head out, get a Government Survey Map and study it to figure and plan out where the most scenic spots are, where the sun will be at particular times of the day and the best raods to get to those spots. Google Earth is also a useful resource.
  2. Get in position in the right place at the right time.
  3. Read the landscape. Determine focal points and that you are in the best position in relation to the sun.
  4. Don’t be lazy! Use your feet.
  5. Photograph during the golden hours. Set an alarm and be on location before the sun is up.
  6. Shoot in RAW
  7. Use a tripod
  8. Follow the light
  9. Use your camera's Mirror Lock-up function if it has one.
  10. Pre-visualise then take quick, hand-held test shots to see if the image matches your mental vision.
  11. Get perfect colour using white balance. For landscapes, Auto-WB is usually not good enough. (Read this article on how to manually set white balance.)
  12. Maximise the depth of field and use the hyperfocal distance.
  13. Get sharper shots by using the manual autofocus (AF) point selection. If you leave your camera on auto point selection, chances are it will only focus on the objects closest to you, which is not ideal when shooting landscapes. If in doubt, select the central AF point, then focus ‘one third up’ the scene to ensure your photos are sharp from front to back.
  14. Set your DSLR to Aperture Priority (A or Av) mode to take control of the aperture.
  15. Use Manual control. If you're not sure how - make a point to learn.
  16. Try using a wide-angle lens
  17. Keep your ISO low
  18. Use a wireless remote trigger.
  19. Get your composition and framing correct in the camera before you press the shutter.
  20. Enhance dreary and dull skies by using filters
  21. Use a polarising filter and learn to get the best out of it.
  22. Remember and use the golden rules of composition
  23. Go wide for impact. Shooting and stitching panoramic images has never been easier. For the ultimate wide-angle shot, shoot with a panoramic image in mind. 
  24. "See" the scene before you take the picture.
  25. Use the histogram. Don’t rely on the LCD screen alone to assess a shot’s exposure. Instead, call up your camera’s histogram.
  26. Review your shots. Checking the frame is especially important if your camera’s viewfinder doesn’t offer 100% coverage, because you might find a stray branch or figure has appeared at the edge of the frame. If so, you’ll have time to re-shoot.

landscape photography


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