Getting That “Powerful” Effect In Landscape Photography

landscape photography tips, landscape photography tutorial, landscape photography technique

Marysville Landscape- Copyright by Amy Renfrey

If you want some expert landscape photography tips, then a great place to begin your  landscape photography experience is a place that inspires you. A place that you absolutely love will make it easier for you to connect with the scene and make the scene look as good as possible. If you don’t live near the Swiss Alps or a Tropical Island and live in the city like me, with no special scenery around, then you’re in for a drive. As you are driving to your special location don’t hurry, just take a relaxed pace, and when you get there completely relax and reflect creatively on the surroundings. Then think about what you would like to see in a photograph. Really look at the scene and examine it in this way.

Getting into this relaxed and reflective frame of mind will help you relax and take better landscape photos because your mind will be able to concentrate on getting a good picture. Then you will tend to take shots where they enhance the scene, rather than just take ‘snaps’. Your special scene is a chance to create a magnificent piece of art with your digital camera.

The landscape photography images I’ve seen that don’t work visually are those with too much in the photograph. A nice beach can be ruined by several ships, houses on the bay, hard light, people displaced in the photo and so forth. Such a crowded picture can be quite distracting. So if you want ‘wow’ shots, then use less distraction in the shot, and go for a composition that focuses on simple shapes, lines and forms. If you are doing colour landscape pictures, then look for the colour that stands out the most and ask yourself how you can enhance it with the tools you have available.

Look for a foreground that’s going to have impact on your eye. A good landscape shot has a foreground that is commanding, as if you are magnetized by it and just have to look.  Keep the attention on the majesty of the scene rather than things in the background that take the attention away, (leaving you unsure of where to look at the image). When looking at the scene to be photographed for the first time, you want to take notice of the subject in the foreground then see that the area around it (one after the other). The main subject should be the thing with the most presence in the shot.

Remember simplicity is the key, so the context of the scene should not detract from your subject; (make sure the “ski lodge” at the side of the landscape scene doesn’t detract from looking at the mountain range). It must work in with the mountain range, not against it. It must compliment the mountain range. Your subject doesn’t have to be one item like a rock or tree; it can be a sweeping coastline or a huge body of water, a mountain range or a desert scene like the one taken below above by Neil Gould.

Keep taking as many as you can to get as much practice as you can, whilst applying these simple tips.

If you want to take stunning landscape photos photos with bold colour, super sharp focus and detail, clarity and depth take a look at our Landscape Photography website. This e-book package includes excellent step-by-step instructions on how to take pictures of beautiful landscapes, sunsets, beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls all in every kind of light you can imagine. It explains, in simple English, how depth of field works to get a more expansive
feel in your landscapes, opening up your pictures to give them a feeling as if you were really there. Learn how to shoot professional landscape photos – just like those you see in glossy nature magazines.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (32)

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  1. digital slr cameras are the best type of digital cameras because they have better low light capabilities compared to point and shoot digital cameras

  2. Karl says:

    How To Create A Professional Landscape Photograph

    Landscape photography is widely popular. I am sure if you look around your home you will see at least two landscape prints that spoke to you. Photography is an art that has a message. As a photographer you have to find the message you want to portray. If you specialize in landscape photography you might think your task is easy to complete. As with any photography you have to pay attention to the details, the lighting, shadows, subject, and the equipment.

    Black and white landscape photography is the hardest section to attain true artistry because you are not relying on the colors as much as the lights and shadows the image will create. Composition is very important. Composition in photography means to look for sharp edges, tones and textures. The basis of black and white photography is getting the camera to see what your eye sees in color; to bring the highlights and shadows forward with the angle of the picture. Typical subjects for black and white photography are buildings and water. Water gives the surrounding trees and rocks a contrast while drawing the eye. Landscape can encompass buildings or bridges among other subjects. Buildings lend to the angles and contrast you seek when trying for definition and emotion.

    When landscape photography is your subject in color you will need to have contrast between the colors. If the sky is blue and you have blue water below chances are the picture is not going to have the contrast you are hoping for. Like black and white photography you need to have definition or composition in the shot. You will need to take a few minutes to set up the shot and perhaps take several frames before being satisfied. Color photography takes less skill than black and white photography so if you have master the last you will succeed at the first.

    Lighting for landscape photography is natural rather artificial. This is important when setting up your shot. You will need to have filters for the sunlight if it is a bright day, perhaps a tripod to set up the shot and a professional grade camera to create professional prints. Studying your subject from all angles is also important. You want to make sure you are picking the best angle for the shot. Remember the message is brought forth by the skill of the photographer.

    You abilities should be honed and practiced. Digital photography makes landscape photography easier because you can assess the photo before you leave a site. Again the LCD screen isnt going to show you every aspect of the print so you will want to take a few shots of the same site to ensure a perfect picture.

    Even being an amateur photographer you can gain professional looking landscape photography. The best way to gain great photographs is to practice with a subject. Going back to the same site during different seasons can help you hone your skills and net you an even better print the next time around. All photographers start at the same level, some may have innate skills and an eye for the photo, but practice will lead to the best print. Landscape photography may not require the skills of wildlife photography with panning the subject or portraits where you have to enliven your subject; however, it does require skills and practice

  3. Bob Johnson says:

    A great piece – thank you so much for posting it. I would definitely recommend thet every one else should have a look at it.

  4. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  5. Samy Sosi says:

    I understand the point that you were trying to focus on. I’m just not sure if this is going to make a lot of sense or be even relevent for a lot of people. Maybe I am just getting focused in on a little detail that really doesn’t make a difference in the big picture. I’m hoping that I’m not overwhelming you at all, but does that make sense? Do you see where I am going with that. I feel like my brain is competing/fighting me to find the right words to try and get my point across. Oh well, good post, I liked it.

  6. student loan says:

    I think one of your advertisements caused my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

  7. Wanda says:

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  8. Nicola says:

    thank you for telling us newbies about this Amy. I think shooting landscape is difficult (I found it hard most of my life any way.) I have felt loads of frustration. Your information gave me inspiration to do landscape photography going miles from home.

  9. Ondine says:

    We have to be careful that we don’t loose heaps of really intricate detail when you apply the principles over your landscape photography, because everyone else is using the same basic composition

  10. I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and videos and they have taught me a lot about photography. As it’s just a serious hobby for me, you’ve helped me step up my photography from just using a camera, to using a camera, lighting and other equipment to really go to the next level.

    Thank you.

  11. Nannie says:

    I discovered your website only about 3 weeks ago and I visit it often and have watched all of your videos. Just to let you know, yes, the videos help – especially those of us who are very new to digital photography. I will follow you and I’m sure I will continue to gain knowledge from your experiences.

  12. Hey Amy you have great photography tips on this nice web site.

  13. Landscape photography is one of my favourite aspects of photography an this information is really helping a lot. Thanks Amy!

  14. John says:

    I really enjoyed reading all your info Amy, thanks for your contribution.

  15. Caroline says:

    landscape photography is truly challenging– it’s very simple to shoot a great photo , but hard to get something that really stands out and that you are proud to show off.

  16. Scott says:

    Interesting article, well written with great examples included. Thankfully not about “foreground” in landscapes, seemingly a popular subject. I think a lot of photographers try to do this, but it’s not so easy when we have “landscape” on our mind. In this photo I tried to capture the sheer power of a huge waterfall, and I’m still trying to learn to consistently look for the opportunities discussed in the article. Thanks.

  17. Sam says:

    This article is very easy to follow, you cleared it up a little bit for me somewhat better.

  18. Hillary says:

    Landscape photography is my favorite! Your photos are so beautiful.

  19. Malady says:

    Amy, does landscape always have to be shot with a wide angle lens? If not, why do all the pro photographers shoot with wide angle? Thanks for your tips! Love ‘em!

  20. Mick says:

    I love this type of photography, makes me very interested in other types as well.

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  23. Shelley says:

    This is truly an awesome bit of reading, not many blogs compare to the amount of clear info given away here for free!

  24. mutuelle says:

    Fantastic article! I’ll subscribe correct now wth my feedreader software package!…

  25. Vickie says:

    Amy, what lenses are best for landscape photography?

  26. Gavin says:

    I really enjoy landscape photography. Amy what camera do you think is best for landscapes or wide nature scenes, such as mountain ranges?

  27. Megan Taupe says:

    Great tips Amy. My wife and I love taking scenic pictures. Our most favorite ones are landscape pictures. Thanks for the tips – great to think about. Look forward to reading more of your tips.

  28. Gerek Allen says:

    Thanks for the info from this post. It really was well thought out, it flowed great and it was very enlightening. I was actually quite amazed at how relevant the information was to my needs and how I’ll be able to use this information to better my life. I really appreciate it and keep up the great work.

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