Landscape photography is one of the oldest and most beloved types of photography. Photography trends come and go, and new technologies replace the old. But capturing landscapes on camera has remained a constant throughout the history of photography.
Everybody loves a landscape. From rocky mountain vistas to lush green pastures, there’s a landscape to please anyone’s eye. And the natural world has so much to offer a keen landscape photographer.
Landscape photography is an excellent entry point into the art of photography. It’s easy to understand, amazing to look at, and you’ll see some of the most beautiful places in the world.
This is the place if you want to get started with landscape photography. We’ve got everything you need to know about landscape photography. You’ll find out what equipment you need. And we’ll give you expert tips for shooting and editing landscape photography.
[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
What is Landscape Photography?
Landscape photography is the art of capturing natural locations with a camera. Landscape photos feature natural landmarks, stunning vistas, and interesting locations.
This photographic discipline displays Mother Nature’s glory in its finest form. The image should transport the viewer to that location. Good landscape photography can teleport you to anywhere in the world.
A landscape can include water features like rivers, lakes, or oceans. You can also include unnatural features like buildings and roads. Objects like these can serve as points of interest to make your landscape more engaging.
Landscape photos can include people. But they are not the focus. Portrait photography focuses on people, while landscape only includes people as part of a wider scene. Humans and animals can bring life to a landscape. And they help the viewer understand the scale.
Landscape photography celebrates the majesty of the world we see before us. We use the camera to enhance our view so we can share glorious visions with others. It isn’t always easy, but landscape photography is always worth the effort.
If you’re looking for inspiration for landscape photography, you need to check out our list of the most influential landscape photographers. These professionals are the best landscape photographers working today. And they work in all different types of landscapes, employing fresh techniques.
You can also learn from the master by reading the 10 photography lessons from Ansel Adams.
Landscape Photography Equipment
Before you set out on your next landscape photography mission, you need to be equipped. You need the right gear to capture stunning landscape images.
We’ll help you find the right camera for landscape photography. And we’ll also give you top tips for using the best equipment for landscape photography.
We’ll also take you through accessories like tripods, lenses, and filters. You can look through our lists of the best products so you can make an educated purchase.
Taking a picture has never been easier. You take your phone out of your pocket and snap a great image. But good landscape photos require more than a smartphone camera. Landscape photography has specific requirements. And you need a camera that’s up to the job.
You need a camera with a high image resolution. A sensor with a healthy megapixel count gives you image quality and detail that bring the landscape to life.
A wide dynamic range is another specification you’ll want. The dynamic range brings out the details in darker and lighter areas. It’ll ensure quality when you’re working with inconsistent lighting. And ISO is another setting you need to think about.
You also need to think about the practical nature of landscape photography. You’ll be shooting outdoors, so you’ll need a camera that can cope with all weather conditions.
Click the link above for our full list of the best cameras for landscape photography.
Many photographers believe the camera is only as good as the lens you have attached. And that’s no different for landscape photographers. As we’ve seen with cameras, you need a lens suited to the demands of landscape photography.
Wide-angle lenses are popular with landscape photographers. They allow you to capture more of the shot, giving you more freedom with composition. The wide angle expands the edges of your shot and shows more of the scene in front of you.
Photographers can use zoom and prime lenses for landscape photographs. A zoom lens gives you more flexibility and composition options. But some photographers prefer the assured quality of a prime lens.
Tripods are an essential piece of equipment for landscape photographers. They give you stability, so you have more freedom with exposure settings.
A tripod allows you to keep your ISO low for better image quality. And you can use a slow shutter speed without fear of camera shake. The slower shutter speeds are necessary because you want a narrow aperture for a wider depth of field.
We’ll go into more details relating to camera settings later. But you should know a tripod gives you far more options when it comes to settings.
There are many different types of tripods. And different photographers will look for different qualities in their tripods. Landscape photographers and studio photographers are unlikely to purchase the same tripod model.
For the complete guide on choosing the best tripod for photography, follow the link above.
There’s more to landscape photography than just taking pictures. You need to get to your location with all your gear. That might involve a long walk or a mountain hike. And you need to keep your equipment safe on the journey.
Landscape photography is fieldwork. And if you want the best shot, you need to reach the best location. You’ll have to cope with the conditions and be prepared for when you need to shoot.
The top accessories for landscape photography include bags, tripods, and remote shutters. If you want to learn more about the accessories you need as a landscape photographer, check out our full article above.
Filters are an excellent tool for landscape photography. When you first start shooting landscapes, you might not think you need them. But once you’ve experimented with filters, they become a must-have for landscape photographers.
You have ultraviolet (UV) filters. And there are neutral density (ND) and graduated neutral density (GND) filters for leveling out lighting across your frame. And you have polarized filters for eliminating glare and aberrations.
Click the link for our ultimate guide to landscape photography filters. We’ve got all the information you need on using filters to boost your landscape images.
If you want to use a graduated ND filter for your landscape photos, we can help. Using photography filters can be confusing, especially if you haven’t used them before.
You can use a graduated neutral density filter to even out the exposure in different areas of your shot. Perhaps you have a bright sky, but the land in the foreground is very dark. You can place the darker part of the filter over the sky to even things out. It reduces the brightness to even the exposure.
Check out the article above for the full guide to using graduated ND filters in your landscape photography. It has everything you need to get started.
Landscape photography can take you to the most beautiful locations on the planet. But accessing them isn’t always easy. It can involve long walks, mountain hikes, or boat trips down rivers.
You need to be prepared when shooting in remote locations. And it’s not just about the photography equipment for landscape and nature photography. Being prepared is about personal safety too.
The article above tells you what you need for a successful nature photography mission. It has every accessory you’ll need as an intrepid landscape photographer.
Camera Settings for Landscape Photography
Now we’ll take you through the specifics of taking landscape photographs. We’ve got all the landscape photography tips to set you up for fantastic landscape photos.
We have tutorials and guides for getting the perfect landscape settings on your camera. We’ll help you with which file types to shoot in. And we’ll help you understand your shooting modes.
Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO make up the exposure triangle. They’re the basic camera settings for any type of photography. Getting the perfect exposure is about balancing those three settings so the camera gets the right amount of light.
Landscape photography is no different. You’re looking for the perfect exposure for your landscape images. But the discipline has specific requirements that call for certain aperture settings.
You want to keep your aperture as narrow as possible. A narrow aperture gives you a wider depth of field, keeping more of your photo in focus.
You also want to keep the ISO as low as possible to maximize image quality. But a low ISO needs more light for a proper exposure. And it won’t get much light from the aperture.
You need to balance the narrow aperture and the low ISO with a slower shutter speed. A slow shutter speed means the shutter is open for longer, letting more light into the sensor.
These are only the basics for landscape photography camera settings. If you want to know more, click the link above for the full article.
Most modern digital cameras allow you to shoot in JPEG or RAW. Even though they have the same pixel count, RAW files are 5x bigger than JPEGs.
JPEGs are compressed files, so they discard any information they don’t need. RAW files hold on to that data, which takes up more space.
The information held in a RAW file gives you more options in post-production. The data from the camera allows you to make changes and adjustments when editing your photos.
Software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop is perfect for RAW photo editing. And now there’s Luminar Neo for more editing options.
You can shoot in JPEG or RAW for landscape photography. It depends on what you need and what you want to do. If you’re unsure, read the full article in the link above.
Histograms are a mathematical breakdown of how even your exposures are. It gives you a reading of your highlights and shadows. It might look complicated at first, but it can show you areas of under and overexposure.
Learning to understand your histograms will make you a better photographer. And it will help you improve your landscape photography so you can shoot a masterpiece every time.
Wrapping your head around aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can give you a headache. When you’re starting out as a photographer, you need to understand a lot of information just to take a picture.
Thankfully, you’re not alone. Your camera can help you out and share the exposure burden with you. There’s auto, shutter priority, and aperture priority.
I’m sure many beginners will be familiar with auto mode. This mode does everything for you, so all you need to do is point and shoot. But at some point, the training wheels have to come off. And that’s where the other modes can help.
Shutter priority puts the shutter in your control. The camera will take care of the aperture settings. And aperture priority is when the camera leaves the aperture in your control while tending to the shutter speed.
You can try all these modes with landscape photography. And if you want all the landscape photography tips for shooting modes, you read the full article in the link above.
In reality, the “perfect exposure” doesn’t exist. You can take two seasoned landscape photographers to the same location at the same time, and they’ll both produce a unique image. The perfect exposure for one photographer will be different than the other.
Finding the perfect exposure is about creating the image you’ve envisioned. It’s about using the exposure settings to tell the story you want to tell. And different photographers use different settings to evoke different emotions in their landscape shots.
Metering modes are an excellent tool in landscape photography. And there are three main metering modes used by the big manufacturers. You have evaluative metering, center-weighted average metering, and spot metering.
All three can be used to your advantage to take stunning landscape photography. Read the full article in the link above for all the information you need.
Types of Landscape Photography
Landscape photography is a large genre with many different sub-genres. These types of landscape photography include sunrise and sunset photography, forest photography, and abstract landscape photography.
They’re just a few of the types of photography you can try. Here is a section to help you decide which landscape niche you want to try.
Landscape photography is a broad field. And while you might not enjoy one type of landscape, there could be another that’s right up your photography alley.
The article above will guide you through the different landscape options. It has sound advice and some new landscape ventures to try. You’ll definitely find the right type of landscape photography for you.
Sunrise photography means early mornings or very late nights. But if you can get yourself out of bed on time, the stunning images will be worth it.
Sunrise is one of the most special times of the day. The sun rises above the horizon, and the world awakens in a shower of the sun’s fresh light. The dew twinkles and the mist rises, creating a magical atmosphere.
If you want to capture the special atmosphere of sunrise, check out our beginner’s guide. It has all the info you’ll need to start shooting sunrise photography.
Everybody loves a sunset. They’re spectacular, awe-inspiring, and romantic. But sunset photos can be disappointing. They often don’t capture the true magic of the event. And once it’s gone, you can’t try again.
You need to be ready before the sun heads towards the horizon. You need to have the right equipment with the right camera settings.
If your sunset photography is flat and lifeless, our landscape photography tips for sunsets if just what you need. With our advice, you’ll be able to create stunning sunset images.
Coastal areas are excellent for landscape photography. Many people picture inland plains or mountains when you mention landscapes. But the seaside offers amazing visuals for stunning landscape photography.
The water gives you an exciting visual element. And it works really well at different times of the day. The sunlight dances off the surface of the water at sunrise and sunset. And you have a rich blanket of blue during the day.
Coastal landscapes are diverse and offer many different options for a photographer. You have sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and vast expanses of water.
Check out our guide to coastal landscape photography to shoot amazing seaside shots every time.
Forests are full of mystery and magic. They’re full of life, yet tranquil and calm. A forest is a fabulous location for a shoot. But getting good landscape images in wooded areas isn’t always easy.
Our full article has excellent tips for mastering forest photography. If you’re a fan of a woodland walk with your camera, it’s a must-read post.
Some might assume that color is an essential element in landscape photography. But black and white is also a fantastic medium for shooting landscapes. And it’s a tradition dating back to the masters like Ansel Adams.
The sharp contrast and rich textures of black and white make stunning landscape photos. And it trains the photographer’s eye in a different way. Black and white photography forces you to look for different elements in your composition. You can’t rely on vibrant colors.
Black and white landscape photography is something you should try. And the best way to get started is with our guide on black and white landscape photography.
Long exposure photography is a great way to add another dimension to your landscape. It adds energy and movement. And it can symbolize the passing of time. It’s a fantastic effect, but not always easy to get right.
Check out our guide on long exposure landscapes by following the link above.
The photography fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. You can continue shooting landscapes at night for a brand new experience with wonderful results.
Nighttime landscape photography requires different skills and knowledge than daytime shooting. You need the right gear, and you’ll be using different settings on your camera. But don’t let that put you off.
There’s no reason you can’t snap some amazing night landscape photographs. And the best way to start is with our ultimate guide to night landscape photography.
Landscapes don’t have to be sunny days and sunsets. You can take your landscapes in a different direction to create something dark and moody. Darker landscapes have a mysterious quality like they’re scenes from films or literature.
Our landscape photography tips for dark and moody images will help you get started. It’s ideal for creating haunting images with mysterious overtones.
The title “landscape photography” leads one to believe that the land is the most important element. But the sky plays a vital role in making landscape photos stunning.
Skies add color, texture, and movement to landscape images. And they can set the mood. An open sky fills the viewer will hope and happiness. And a dark sky gives us a sense of danger and gloom.
Dramatic skies can take your landscape photography to a new level. Check out our how-to guide on capturing dramatic skies so you can harness the power of the sky above.
Volcanoes are forces of nature. And they’re magnificent landmarks that tower over their surroundings. They’re powerful symbols of destruction and power. And they make excellent subjects for landscape photography.
You need to read our guide on volcano photography before your next volcanic expedition. It has all the information you need so you’re prepared for some stunning volcano action.
Mountains are spectacular landmarks. Whether you’re looking at one or standing at the top looking out, they’re a landscape photographer’s dream. They offer dramatic scenes with never-ending views and strong visual features.
We have 12 tips for stunning mountain photography. It’s the best preparation before packing your bag and hiking up the mountainside.
The desert is a beautiful place. And a photographer can capture some stunning images out in the baron wilderness. But it’s not an easy place to navigate. Despite its beauty, the desert is one of the most hostile places on earth.
Preparation is vital. You need all your gear packed and ready. And you need to know how to take pictures in such an intense environment.
Expert Photography is here to help you prepare for a photography expedition in the desert. Our full article has the best techniques for perfecting your desert photography.
Minimalist landscape photography follows the theory that less is more. Minimalist photographers use a simple landscape to create an image that’s bold and powerful.
You can try something new with minimalist landscape photography. Our 10 tips for minimalist landscape photography will help you adopt a minimalistic mindset.
Fine art landscape photography is about using your natural environment to create images that are beautiful within themselves. They don’t need to show the landscape in its natural glory. The photographer uses composition to construct an image that catches the eye.
If you’re interested in creating visually interesting images, read our post with the 10 tips for fine art landscape photography.
The abstract photographer looks at patterns and shapes in their environment. They use the visual elements they find to create bold images. But their subject isn’t the landscape itself. Their subjects are the patterns and shapes they find.
If you need help training your abstract photography eye, take a look at our tips for abstract landscape photography.
Landscape Photography Tips and Techniques
Now we’ll provide you with our best landscape photography tips and techniques, looking at specific areas of landscape photography.
We’ll help you prepare for a shoot and scout locations. And we’ll take you through the seasons so you can capture fabulous landscape and nature photography all year round.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. That phrase has become a tired cliche. But it still holds weight when you’re planning a photography expedition. Poor planning can lead to bad results. Or it could put you in physical danger.
Our tips for planning a landscape photoshoot are the first step of your preparation. Read the full article so you can prepare for a successful mission with your camera.
Some locations have become landscape photography cliches. While a good photographer can breathe new life into an overused location, it’s still better to see something brand new.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the world’s more underappreciated photography spots. Head to these locations and you’ll get stunning landscape photos. They’ll look amazing and unique.
We also have a location guide to New Zealand if you’re heading that way.
Landscape photography is an all-year-round activity. You can capture amazing landscape photos in the height of summer and the depths of winter. And spring and autumn have their own delights as well.
You can read our seasonal landscape photography tips in the article above. And we have links to our shooting guides for spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Tips and Techniques for Water in Landscape Photography
Water is often featured in landscape photography. It adds a point of interest, draws the eye, and provides a different texture to the image. And people are always drawn to water in real life.
There are many different types of water sources in photos. You can shoot seas and oceans, rivers and streams, or ponds and lakes. They all have different attributes. But using them in your photography can take your work to the next level.
We have tips and guides for shooting oceans, seascapes, and beach scenes. And we’ll show you how to create an amazing misty water effect in your photos.
Tips For Different Weather in Landscape Photography
You won’t always have sunny days when you’re shooting landscape and nature photography. You need to be able to cope with whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
We can help you master the weather so you can snap some incredible landscape photos no matter the conditions.
General Tips for Landscape Photography
The next few articles are full of general tips to improve your landscape photos. They are worth your time if you’re new to landscape and nature photography, or if you want to take your work to the next level.
- How to Use Natural Light For Landscapes
- Creative Landscape Photography Tips
- Common Landscape Photography Mistakes
Composition Techniques for Landscape Photography
Now we’re moving into the area of landscape composition. This section is packed with tips and techniques to help you compose striking and powerful landscape photographs.
Not all the articles will be on the subject of landscape photography. But all the tips are relevant for composition in photography. And all the advice can be applied to landscape and nature photography. These tips will make your good landscape photos great.
Post-Processing for Landscape Photography
Landscape photography doesn’t necessarily stop once you’ve clicked the shutter. You can make changes and adjustments by editing your landscape photos. If you master post-processing, you can take your landscapes in a whole new direction.
We’ll help you get started with landscape photography post-processing. We’ll give you some tips for post-processing practices. And we’ll help you with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Tips for Post-Processing Landscape Photography
These are excellent general tips to get you started with landscape photography post-processing. And the following links will help you solve some common landscape problems in the editing suite.
- How to Remove Lens Flare
- How to Use Orton Effect in Landscape Photography
- How to Remove Chromatic Aberration
Using Adobe Photoshop for Landscape Post-Processing
Adobe is the industry leader in photo manipulation software. But it can be tricky to get started with. If you’re new to post-processing in Photoshop, these tutorials are for you.
- How to Use Sky Replacement in Photoshop
- How to Create a Waterfall Effect in Photoshop
- How to Photoshop Landscapes for Better Results
- How to Make a Panorama in Photoshop
Using Adobe Lightroom for Landscape Post-Processing
Lightroom is another software suite from Adobe. It’s a photo editing software used to file, adjust, and modify your photos. Like Photoshop, it’s the best in the business. It’s the go-to photo editing software for millions of professional photographers.
The following articles will help you use Lightroom to get the most out of your landscape photography.
- How to Edit Landscape Photos in Lightroom
- 35 Best Free Lightroom Presets for Landscapes
- Tips for Using Lightroom’s Graduated Filter for Landscapes
- How to Use Lightroom HDR Merge
Other Software for Landscape Photo Editing
Photoshop and Lightroom aren’t the only post-processing solutions for landscape photography. It might seem like they’re the only names in the game, but you have other options.
The following posts give you the alternatives to Adobe products. Some are specific for things like making panoramas. And others offer broader post-production possibilities, like Luminar Neo.
- Luminar Neo Review
- Best Photo Stitching Software
- Best Free HDR Software
- Best Sky Replacement Software
Landscape Photography with a Smartphone
Photography has never been easier. Everyone has a camera in their pocket all the time. It only takes a second to snap the stunning landscape in front of you.
While a smartphone camera might not have the power and sophistication of a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can still capture amazing landscape photos. And the next set of articles will show you how to maximize your results.
- How to Shoot Landscape Photos With Your Smartphone
- How to Create iPhone Panoramas
- PhotoPills Review
- Best Apps for Landscape Photography
Landscape photography doesn’t have to be just a hobby. If you’re really passionate about taking stunning landscape photos, you can turn your hobby into your profession. There are thousands of professional landscape photographers all over the world. And you can become one of them.
Click the link above to find out how you can start making money with landscape photography.
Landscape Photography takes you on a journey. And that’s in more ways than one. There’s the journey to the stunning location you want to capture. But there’s also the journey of becoming a master landscape photographer.
You might start by taking pictures of local parks and picturesque areas. But if you stick at it, your landscape photo could make it to the cover of National Geographic.
Landscape photos can be colorful and vibrant. Or they can be black and white images with powerful features. You have to master your camera settings, and you might need some post-processing skills too. But always be inspired by looking at the work of other photographers.
Check out our Epic Landscape Editing course to elevate your landscape photography to the next level!