7 Beginner Tips for Shooting Better Landscape Photos

When I was growing up, I spent several summers living with my father on the Isle of Skye in northern Scotland. As a teenager, I didn’t have an appreciation for the landscape, but as I grew up, I started noticing just how beautiful it really was. That is why I began photographing nature, and it’s really this love for the outdoors that drives me today.

Here are 7 simple beginner tips for shooting better landscape photos.

Learn from the icons

The most iconic landscape shots – the ones you likely have in mind – are those that appeared in magazines like LIFE or National Geographic. Something they don’t tell you is that many of the yellow and purple colors in their photos aren’t there in reality, this is what I like to call “the postcard effect.” If you’re striving for those kinds of pictures, you will have to emulate their tricks and add some colors after taking the picture. Often this is a process referred to as split toning.

Play with the colors

A common problem of landscape photography is that the colors come out too flat. That’s because you’re shooting across a distance and there’s a lot of visual information for the camera to capture. With filters and post production you can enhance the colors after the shoot. You’re probably familiar with the work of Ansel Adams, who used contrast to deliver the punch of his images. You can do something similar by upping the contrast of your shots, or even touching the color curve to bring out some shades that didn’t pop out initially.

Just be careful not to overdo your editing: too much processing and your landscapes look like fairy tales. When you’re in doubt, take another look at your photo a few minutes after editing it. Does it look realistic?

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