Landscape photography has something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic amateur. With so much natural beauty surrounding us, you’re bound to find enough inspiration to be your muse too. With that in mind, allow us to provide you with a few tips and tricks to help you master the art of landscape photography.
Use a Wide-Angle Lens
Before you jump into perfecting your camera settings, make sure that your lens is up to speed. A wide-angle lens is perfect for landscape photography as it will capture a broader view, and therefore, will include as much of the landscape as possible. A wide-angle lens also provides a greater depth of field and uses a faster shutter speed, which allows more light into your lens too.
What is Depth of Field?
Depth of field is the professional term that describes the area of the image that’s in focus. Landscapes usually benefit from a very deep depth of field as there is a lot of detail to capture in a vast environment. We recommend a high f stop value such as f/16 or f/20 so that everything from the foreground to the background is in sharp focus and captures greater detail. It is worth noting that this value depends on the camera, the lens and your personal preference, so don’t be afraid to experiment before you find your ideal setting.
Make the Most of Your Shutter Speed
As you’re shooting in a natural environment, you’ll be contending with the natural elements too. There’s no doubt that nature will continue as it pleases, from running water to moving boats, so your shutter speed will need to be poised and ready to capture the action in a static landscape.
Shutter speed is the length of time that your camera shutter is open and is measured in either seconds or fractions of seconds. A larger number, such as 1/1000 is a quicker shutter speed than 1/10 and will affect how much light reaches your sensor. Because of this, a longer shutter speed will capture more movement than a short shutter. Intentionally long shutter speeds are great for low light, night time images or artistic effects on water. In terms of landscape photography, we’d recommend using a tripod, as opposed to handheld, to make sure that your shutter speed doesn’t blur the image.
Remember the ‘Rule of Thirds’
As you’re setting up your shot, think about the composition. A general, yet effective, composition technique is the ‘Rule of Thirds’, which can instantly improve the quality of your photograph. If you’ve spotted something amongst the horizon that you’d like to make the focus of your shot, the ‘Rule of Thirds’ allows you to single it out among the landscape.
Imagine your landscape is divided by two horizontal and two vertical lines, creating a three by three grid. Place important elements within the picture close to one of these lines, or near to one of the four intersections of the grid. Positioning your subject off-centre looks more natural than placing it in the middle of the frame and will look great once printed too.
It’s also easy to edit your images into this format once you have finished shooting.
Utilise the Effects of Water
When photographing a landscape, pay attention to any signs of water. Although you may not have intended to capture a lake or a river, they often create great opportunities for beautiful photographs – so make sure you seize it! To get started, set up your tripod and experiment with different shutter speeds to achieve the correct setting. In short, long shutter speed will provide smooth water movements and calm reflections, while a fast shutter speed will freeze the water as it flows. Depending on your intention, water can be used to add drama and action to your landscape or create a serene, relaxing atmosphere.
Reflections and Compositions
Using water as a ‘mirror’ is a popular way to compose landscape photography. Reflections of the landscape into the water will draw your eye directly to the image and adds depth to the overall placement. If you time the weather just right, a ripple in the water will create a sense of texture and movement. If this is something you’d like to capture in your photography, we’d recommend taking advantage of the early morning mist – especially around sunrise. This also allows you to capture the landscape in the famous ‘Golden Hour’ – which you can read all about on our ‘What is golden hour photography?’ blog.
Landscape Photography in Your Home
After channeling your time, expertise (and most likely, patience!) into capturing the perfect shot, it deserves to be printed and hung in your home with pride.
Acrylic Prints are a fantastic option for landscape photography as the thick acrylic glass allows light to pass through the back and sides of the acrylic surface, making colour and detail look sharper than ever before. Acrylic Prints also add a natural brightness to your image, highlighting the details that made your photo so special.