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Landscape Photography – 5 Tips from the Pros

Author: Libby

As summer slips away from the calendar, we start to think about fall and all of its marvelous colors. It’s the perfect time to brush up on landscape photography. Those scenic and sweeping views of fall trees are serious photographer goals. So, how do the pros get such amazing shots? Well, we asked some of our favorite shuttebugs. Here are their tips on capturing epic landscape photography.

1. Underexpose –  @adventuresofbeard

As an ex editorial photojournalist, I never took that many landscape shots, as it was mostly people being the subject of my frames.
Within the last few years I have delved into the landscape world, especially out here in my new home of Colorado. One of my first tips for nailing a solid landscape shot is to expose for the highlights or underexpose by a half stop to a stop. This, coupled with photographing in RAW, makes it easier to get all the details of an image to pop. It has helped me develop a “darker style” that adds more contrast and blacks to my final image. Exposing for the highlights of your image is done by photographing in a spot metering mode and allowing you light meter to read the brightest part of the frame. These tips can be very helpful once you start seeing how light is effecting your environment; reading what the light is doing is key in exposing for it. This will yield a great image straight out of camera.

2. Lead the Way – @starvingphotographer

When possible, use leading lines or S-shaped curves to draw the viewer into the photograph. Examples include railway lines, flowing water, and ridge-lines.

3. Scout Location – @cmahoney_photo

When scouting for a new location for landscape photography, leave your camera behind. This allows you to take your time and look for the perfect vantage point without feeling rushed to take a picture. Use your phone to take a few snapshots of the scenes you like and record their location. When you are done scouting, review the phone images and plan your trip with your camera when the season,  weather and light is what you want. This will help make sure your final shot is perfect.

4. Fill the Frame – @jsnow_photo

Filling your frame with interesting elements gives the viewer lots to look at, but too much can be distracting, and too little can be boring. Landscape photography is about capturing the landscape, but if we forget to include foreground, mid ground and background interest then those images can feel flat and uninteresting. Once you’ve found your scene that includes all of those things try capturing the scene at different heights and focal length. Photos that can make the viewer feel like they’re standing there themselves are oftentimes much more impactful, so try using a fairly wide lens, and good depth of field!

5. Light the Way @cassyarchphotography

Lighting is one of the most important elements in shooting landscapes. Morning and evening light are considered magic hours or Golden hours because the light from the sun’s rays are horizontal and warm during sunrise and sunset, so shooting landscapes an hour after sunrise and an hour before the sunset is prime light for low contrast and warm golden tones.  Objects lit by this light will seem to glow and be highlighted such as trees, plants and mountain tops.
 
metal cluster above couch manufactured by printique
Of course, you’ll need to print your landscape. The whole purpose of landscape photography is to print it large – make it a show stopper, a conversation piece. Metal Clusters are the best and most epic way to showcase all your hard work. They come in three different patterns (rectangle, square and grid). Pro tip: If it’s a color landscape print – make sure to print it on the WHITE metal to retain all of the detail and hi-lights. Ready to start your metal cluster? Click HERE to start your printing journey.