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Landscape photography sounds simple at first, but it is often not. Have you ever done that? You stand in front of a dreamlike backdrop and think: Boah, these are going to be really great photos.
When you look at your photos at home, they’re kind of not that special and you’re disappointed.
This is especially common in landscape photography!
That is what we want to prevent and that is why we are writing this article.
We’d like to give you six easy-to-implement tips to help you take better.
Tip #1: Note the Golden Cut
You’ve certainly heard of the Golden Cut before. Not only in painting, but also in photography, you can use this simple rule for your pictures.
You can direct the viewer’s gaze to specific points in your photo and give your photos that certain something by using the Golden Cut.
The Golden Cut is not magic. You simply share your image mentally into nine rectangles of the same size.
So you insert two horizontal and two vertical lines into your photos in front of your mental eye.
So what do you do with these lines? Quite simply, you place important elements of your photo on these lines and on the intersections of those lines.
Of course, the Golden Cut is not a panacea. Of course, there are also good photos that completely ignore the Golden Cut. But it is a very simple way to put a photo motif in the spotlight.
Tip #2: Find reflections and use them for your landscape photos
Our second tip for landscape photography is even simpler: go in search of reflections. Of course, you will find these mostly where there is water.
So if you’re shooting at a clear lake, take a look to see if there’s a great reflection somewhere that you can use for your photos.
For the photographing of water we always recommend the use of a pole filter, with which you can reduce reflections, but also strengthen them again.
Tip #3: Find exciting fore surfaces
Landscape photos often show great views of high mountains, deep valleys and endless landscapes. As great as such a view is in reality, it doesn’t always seem as exciting in photos as it is in reality.
If you feel that the landscape alone will not tear the viewer of the photo off the stool later, then we have the following tip for you: Pay attention to the foreground.
Often you will find something there that you can incorporate into your photo: stones, plants, people, objects – the possibilities are limitless.
Of course we have example photo for you:
Just imagine the photo without the foreground.
It wouldn’t be quite so exciting for our eyes and that, although Lake is really impressive.
But the image only gets real depth and something special through the composition of the foreground in the form of the stones.
Tip #4: Long exposures: The icing on the cake in landscape photography
Have you ever seen photos where the clouds blur or running water looks quite milky? These photos were created by long exposures.
When you take a photo for 10, 20, or 30 seconds, some elements of your subject move. Waterfalls are a very classic motif for long-term exposures in landscape photography and that’s why we have such an image as an example for you.
Due to the long exposure time, the water gets this characteristic appearance, while all immobile objects look quite normal.
If you’re wondering now how the hell you should expose in broad daylight for 10 seconds or more without your photos being completely overexposed, then of course that’s a legitimate question. You can’t do such long-term exposures in landscape photography without any aids.
You need a so-called grey filter or ND filter. The filters are available in different thicknesses. They are screwed onto the lens and reduce the invading light so you can expose for longer.
ND filters are available in all variants from very cheap to sinfully expensive. We have the DolDer X-Pro Series Slim Neutral grey filter ND 1000, which is available for all common lens sizes. The filter is one of the cheaper models, but is still good.
Of course, you also need a tripod, because you certainly want to make blur-free pictures.
We always have at least one tripod with us on the way. Either our very light travel tripod, the Rollei Compact Traveler No. 1 Carbon or the slightly heavier but also more stable Rollei Rock Solid Carbon Gamma with this tripod head: T-5S. We highly recommend both.
Tip #5: It’s all a matter of perspective
Do you always photograph your photos standing and always from eye level? Then you should try a few other perspectives. Go into the squat, climb a stone, lie down.
A small change of perspective can have a big impact, especially in landscape photography.
Due to the lower perspective, one has much more the feeling of being a part of the action and actually standing together with the bison on the meadow.
Tip #6: The right time is crucial
Finally, bad news: While you lie in bed and sleep, you may miss the landscape photo of your life.
We are also more of a long sleeper and are very, very reluctant to take a sunrise photo out of bed. But it’s really worth it!
In the blazing midday sun, it’s unlikely you’ll take an outstanding landscape photo. The lighting conditions are simply not ideal and you will see this in your photos.
Also Read :10 tips for photography beginners
The best time for landscape photos is around sunrise and – good news for late risers – around the sunset.
When the sun is low and the light is softer, landscapes often seem much more beautiful and often a truly magical mood of light sets in.
So use this time, which by the way is called the Golden Hour and The Blue Hour.
Maybe you even want to photograph a landscape once at night.
Especially when you are far away from larger cities, you have a very good chance of seeing a starry sky without any light pollution.
Maybe you can take such a great photo with a starry sky, like our last example picture.
More tips on landscape photography
We hope that with these easy-to-implement tips you will have a little more desire to try out landscape photography.
What are your tips for landscape photography?
Do you also have a tip about landscape photography or do you have questions that you would like to ask us? Then always come with it. We look forward to your comment.