Best 15 Helpful Landscape Photography Tips for Beginners

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A strong foreground element could be anything from a small tree, a rock formation, a bush, or other plant.  It is generally placed prominently in the lower third of the image and is close to the camera.  Getting the camera low and as close as possible to the foreground can really help create a dynamic composition.

Tip #6: Get Everything in Focus

You will generally want to get everything in the scene in focus for a landscape image.  Remember that you control the depth of field (how much is in focus) using the aperture setting on your camera.  Setting the aperture to a larger number, such as f/13 or f/16, and then focusing roughly one third of the way into the scene will usually do the trick.  The camera that you use most likely is capable of displaying grid lines in the viewfinder and/or on the back LCD.  Focusing on something that is near the bottom third grid line will likely get the entire scene in focus.

The exception to this is if your foreground element is extremely close to the camera.  In that case, you may not be able to get the foreground object and everything else in focus in a single image.  If you focus on the foreground and the background looks a little soft, you could try taking 2 or 3 separate images, each focused on a different portion of the scene, then stacking them in Photoshop.  For starters, however, try adjusting the aperture and changing the focus point to get everything acceptably sharp in a single image.  Focus stacking is a more advanced technique that you can learn as you go.

Tip #7: Change Perspective

Most beginning photographers hold the camera or set up the tripod at eye level to take the shot.  That may work fine, depending on the subject, but many times a change in perspective will dramatically change the look and feel of a photo.  Get down low to the ground and see how that changes the image.  It could really accentuate a foreground object or eliminate a boring middle ground.  If you are using a tripod or monopod, try a shot from up high.  Mount the camera to the tripod, start the 10-second timer, then hold it above your head.  Of course, if you are using a drone, that would be an even simpler and more fun way to get that elevated shot, but that’s a subject for a different article.

Tip #8: Show Scale

There are times when shooting a landscape that it is difficult for the viewer to know the scale of the subjects or the scene in general.  Try placing something in the frame that will give some sense of the grandness of the landscape.  It will have to be something that is familiar and easy for the viewer’s eye to quickly determine the relative size compared to the surrounding area.  Placing a person in the scene works really well for this.  I know, it sounds crazy, and I have a hard time with doing this.  When I’m out shooting landscapes, or just about anything for that matter, I generally work hard to keep people out of my frame.  However, it really could help add some perspective and could even make a good stock image if you choose to give that a try.  It only has to be one or two images from a shoot, so don’t worry too much about it.

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