It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned photographer or a beginner, most photographers want to learn how to make great landscape images. Once you have shot a few hundred sunset shots and a few sunrise shots, you may think you know how it’s done. Then you get out into the wild on a crisp early morning, before sunrise, and try and get some dramatic mountain scene or amazing seascape. Suddenly it’s not that easy. Landscape photography requires more than simply setting up and waiting for the shot. Sometimes you have to go back to a scene four or five times to get the shot you want.
Landscape images can be seductive. When done properly, those viewing the image are transported to that place, they can feel the crisp mountain air or the warmth of the desert. So, you might be asking “How do I get those kinds of shots?” or “I think landscape photography is too difficult, am I good enough?” This article will answer these questions and a few more hopefully. The truth is, landscape photography is not difficult, but it does require dedication and passion. It will often require being up before sunrise, staying out late into the evening, or even early hours of the morning. It also requires good knowledge of your gear. Let’s take a look at how you can start getting better landscape images.
1. How to find good landscape photography locations?
Depending on where you live, you may have to drive somewhere to get some great landscape scenes. That may not be far, or you may need to get out of your city or suburb. What I often do before I visit a new place is google the area for dramatic landscapes. I will do a search like landscape scene canadian rockies and see what comes up. Sometimes you will see a vista that you didn’t know was in the area and you can start getting some ideas of what you will able to shoot.You can do the same on 500px or even Flickr; do a quick search for the name of the place you are visiting and see what comes up. From there you can narrow down what type of scene you want to shoot. Maybe you want to shoot from the mountain tops overlooking the city, a seascape, or even a forest scene.
Once you have some idea of what you want to shoot you then need to figure out the lighting. My go to tool is The Photographer’s Ephemeris. What I love about it is that I can simply drop a pin on a map and immediately see where sunrise and sunset will be, as well as moonrise. It gives me the direction of the sun and what time sunrise and sunset will happen. You can decide what time of day will work best for the shot you are planning.