This is Part 2 of the "Top Tips for shooting landscapes", I you haven't read Part 1 of the series, make sure to follow this link.
What is landscape photography and what is it about?
Nowadays landscape photography is often confused with adventure photography. In my opinion these are fundamentally different, even though adventure photography heavily features landscapes. Adventure photography is basically showcasing the great time you had including things like the hike you did or the boat you paddled in. One thing all adventure photographs have in common is that it will feature people or anthropogenically created features such as campfires in the image, often making the person the point of interest and only putting the landscape as a second. Here comes the difference. Landscape photography is about telling stories with the landscape itself. It is about creating interest using topographic features such as rivers, mountains, trees etc. and telling a story with it. That is where the first challenge comes in. Finding a composition and giving the photograph a meaning. Learning this will help you to stand out from the million of snapshots being uploaded to Instagram featuring different landscapes.
For tips 1-5, read HERE
Tip 6: Lighting
Lighting is definitely something you need to consider. Most landscape photographers rarely shoot during midday, because the light is boring and very harsch. It often lacks saturation and colours. I will usually be out shooting during dawn and the early hours of the morning and then again during the late afternoon, sunset and into blue hour. But all that being said, a good photographer tries to adapt to the situation he is in. Especially with the use of filters you can also take great shots during a stormy midday.
Tip 7: Pack with Care
Packing with care is actually really important. Reading this you are probably thinking why I included this, but packing your stuff carefully can really prevent major frustration. I for example didn't always pack with care and so it came that I went on a 20km biking trip to a mountain to photograph a sunset to only realise on location that I forgot all my SD-cards. The only reason I rode there was to take photos. Coming back with just a crappy phone shot is incredibly dissatisfying. So keep this in mind.
Tip 8: Depth of Field
Depth of field is essential in your landscape photography. When you look at landscape photographs and compare them with portraits, you'll quickly notice one key difference. In landscape photography we usually want to maximise sharpness by creating a deeper depth of field. You rarely see images with a shallow depth of field these days, but if done right it can create a really cool and powerful effect, as well. To the right you can see a capture by me using a shallow depth of field (looks weird, right). Using this technique you can really stand out, as in most photographers eyes you are breaking the rules by taking that action. The shallow depth of field only works in some cases though and usually your aperture should be set to around f/8 to f/16 when shooting landscapes.
Tip 9: Individuality
Be individual. I know its easier said than done. By saying be more individual I mean not to copy other photographers work. Search for new composition and stand out with these. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing extremely talented landscape photographers moving from sight to sight and taking exactly the same photograph as everyone else has before. And like I said I am being caught up in the misery myself where ever I go, especially when you are on a trip visiting something, that you are only photographing because you were inspired by seeing a certain picture in the first place. I aways try to shoot a composition that is slightly different to the one we have been seeing all along.
Tip 10: Change up the orientation
The last tip is to change it up. I see a lot of landscape photographers strictly shooting in landscape orientation. My tip is to get creative and use portrait orientation in your landscape photography as well. Using portrait orientation you will have to get a whole lot more thoughtful about your composition, as you will more than likely feature a lot more of your foreground. Back in the days I only used to shoot my images horizontally, but I personally believe that changing it up from time to time has helped me greatly to improve my photography.
Was this helpful to you? Are you still confused? Leave me a comment down below!