Often, landscape photography tips are meant for people who are just starting out and trying to get the hang of things. That’s great in many ways, but it does carry a problem – it says to advanced photographers that there is nothing new to discover. But landscape photography is incredibly complex, and there are still techniques for everyone to learn. This article goes through some of the most important ones with regards to creativity.
Just a quick note to start: Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple nature of some of these tips. This article doesn’t cover technical topics like hyperfocal distance, ISO invariance, or exposing to the right. Instead, it focuses more on the creative side of photography, since that is what has the greatest power to improve your photos. So, even if you have heard some of these tips before, the best thing you can do is internalize the concepts that resonate most with you and use them to improve your photos in the field.
1) Make Deliberate Time for Scouting
One of the most popular ways to find good landscape photography locations is the tried-and-true art of scouting. No doubt you’ve heard of it before. But the importance of scouting cannot be overstated – most photographers don’t give it the credit it deserves.
Until recently, I was the same way – I didn’t scout for locations at all. Instead, I just showed up at a location for sunset, usually after seeing some good pictures of it online. My photos turned out well, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Even today, this is the process I use when I don’t have much time at a location, or I’m going on a hike that doesn’t offer me time for scouting. But if you make as much time as possible to scout for locations, your photos are likely to have a more personal and deliberate feel.
So, what does scouting entail? In landscape photography, it’s all about visiting a location and thinking ahead to your final photo before you even pull out the camera. It’s how you form your game plan to make the most of a scene. Sometimes, you might go so far as to capture the exact composition you’re hoping to use later, giving yourself time to evaluate how successful it really is.