Landscape photography is the first love for many amateur photographers who later dream of becoming professionals or semi-professionals. There’s just something about venturing out into nature and attempting to capture its incredible beauty that, for some people, gets the creative juices flowing like nothing else.
Whether it’s the stillness and quietude that comes with waiting for the perfect moment to arrive or the combination of the mental and physical test of finding the perfect vantage point from which to shoot, landscape photography presents some challenges that can frustrate and inspire even the most experienced professionals.
If you’re already hopelessly hooked on finding that next memorable outdoor scene, or if you’d like to get started on learning whether or not landscape photography is inspiring to you, here are a few nature photo tips to help you on your path.
Go For Maximum Field of Depth
In some situations, and with a little more experience, you will want to experiment with a more narrow field of depth. However, when you’re first starting out, the default approach should be to keep as much of your subject or scene in focus as possible.
Choosing a smaller aperture setting will help give you that increased depth of field you’re looking for in your pictures. Of course, remember that a smaller aperture setting requires a lengthening of shutter speed or an increase in ISO (or both) to compensate for the lack of light hitting the image sensor.
Find a Point of Focus
Landscapes, like any shot, require a focal point. Nature photographs with no object or area of focus often end up looking and feeling “empty” to viewers.
Focal points come in many forms, including structures or buildings, silhouettes, rock or boulder formations, and eye-catching trees that stick out from their surroundings. Pick one that stands out in your scene and then, starting with the rule of thirds technique, place it in an optimal location within your shot.
The foreground is a space where you have the opportunity to create depth and draw viewers into your image. Always be on the lookout for points of interest that can help you maximize the effect of your foreground.
One question a landscape photographer should ask is ‘how am I leading the viewer’s eye?’ Using points of interest in the foreground will lead viewers into the image, and providing them with well delineated lines will pull them even deeper.
Lines create scale and depth and can be focal points in and of themselves simply by establishing strong patterns within the image. I base all of my compositional methods on the use of line and form, and advise other photographers to do the same.
Landscape Photography Workshops
These tips will get you started on the path to becoming a better landscape photographer. If you are ready to take an even bigger step in your nature photography, there’s no substitute for one-on-one instruction from a professional.
Steinberg Photography offers landscape photography workshops to help amateurs and semi-professionals hone their craft. Visit our homepage to check our workshop schedules and join one today or call to arrange your own private instructional sessions!