Landscape photography — The ultimate guide for beginners

How to get started creating stunning landscape images

Landscape photography captures the atmosphere of the outdoors in a single image. Landscape photography is done for a variety of reasons, but whether it’s a personal passion or a commercial venture, it is often a labour of love for the photographer who enjoys connecting with the outside world.

There are also many different types of landscape photography, with photographers specialising in mountain landscapes, seascapes, forests, the aurora borealis, and even cityscapes and urban landscapes. Although there are so many possibilities when it comes to inspiration for the subject, there are some specific techniques that will vastly improve your landscape photography.

In this landscape photography guide we will cover:

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Focus
  • Shooting in RAW
  • Landscape photography equipment

Lighting

The three tenets of exposure are shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

  • Shutter speed is the speed at which the shutter closes after clicking it. Faster speeds mean the photo is taken with less time allowed for light to enter the lens.
  • Aperture is the f-number or f-stops on your camera which determines how much light enters the camera by adjusting the size of the shutter opening, and affects the depth of field. Most landscape photography examples generally use wider apertures.
  • The ISO measures the camera’s light sensitivity and is adjusted by the photographer according to the light conditions. However, using a higher ISO can result in more noise or grain on your image, so this is something to keep in mind if you find yourself dialling up the ISO.

Once you understand the principles of exposure, it’s easier to understand the manipulation of light conditions. Using a DSLR makes it easy to adjust the exposure accordingly, but you still want to shoot using optimal natural lighting for the best photos. When photographing landscapes, a softer, more diffuse light is desirable as it improves colour and tonal accuracy on camera. Landscape photographers often head out at sunrise as the light has an aesthetically pleasing soft quality that is easy to manipulate, and this is recommended for those starting out with landscape photography.

As with all things photographic, the best way to learn is through trial and error, and this is especially true of exposure.

Composition

Landscape photographers choose an area of focus in their photos — the foreground or the background — to create a distinctive look and feel to the photograph. They can also emphasize the use of negative space in their photos for a markedly more minimalistic feel.

Focus

Shoot in RAW

Landscape photography equipment

DSLR Camera

  • Pentax K-1 Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5DS R
  • Nikon D850

Wide-angle lens

However, some landscape photographers avoid focal lengths less than 24mm as it can cause distortions, but this is a matter of preference, so again, it is time to experiment and see which look you prefer.

Tripod

Filters

Remote shutter release

If you have professional landscape photography needs, or even just want to talk to someone further about the subject, then head over to the Splento website. If required, Splento can provide reliable, on-demand photographer at a fixed, affordable rate. Be sure to contact a member of the Splento team if you have any questions.

Marketing Project Manager at www.splento.com