Photographing landscapes is a hugely enjoyable pursuit that you can undertake all throughout the year. Landscapes are all around us, and being among them and capturing their beauty is a great way to immerse yourself in nature. Landscape photography can also be a fun way to practice your photography outdoors and learn about your camera in the fresh air. Here are six things to consider when photographing landscapes to elevate your images.
1. Dramatic light
One of the best times to be outdoors with the camera photographing landscapes is when the light is adding ambiance to the land.
Dramatic light can appear in all weathers.
You might expect dramatic light only to appear when the sun is shining. This is simply not the case. A predominantly overcast sky can yield impressive light for landscape photography. When the clouds disperse, the sun can unveil magical light as it paints and radiates the landscape.
It is often these fleeting moments of light that make the scenery more outstanding.
Another great moment for dramatic light is after a storm or rain shower when the bad weather clears and breathtaking light replaces it, or the final rays of light following a sunset.
2. Changes in the season
You can enjoy the beauty of the landscape throughout the year. Have you ever thought about how a local panorama changes with the seasons throughout the summer, autumn, winter, and spring? The changes each season brings can be brilliant for photographing landscapes.
Next time you visit and capture your favorite local scenic view, re-visit during a different time of the year and see how the landscape transforms in an alternative season.
The beautiful vibrant greens of summer are usually followed by the crisp and golden leaves and foliage of autumn when a palette of colors unfolds from shades of red and orange to hues of yellow.
In spring and summer, photographing landscapes can be a superb time to capture flowers in bloom or more minimalist looking images when the trees are bare and striking in winter.
Also, consider using a wide-angle lens to capture a greater perspective.
3. Changes in the landscape
Our dynamic landscapes continue to change due to human activity and natural processes, shaping our diverse and wonderful landscapes.
Farming has a big influence on our land and can be great for photography. Arable farming (the growing of crops and cereals) and pastoral farming (the rearing and production of animals such as pigs, sheep, beef and dairy cattle) can make great subjects for photography.
As fields get plowed, seeds also get planted. When different crops grow every year, including wheat and barley in the UK, for example, these changing landscapes provide wonderful photo opportunities.
You can also photograph grazing animals in the landscape.
4. Varying weathers
Changes in the weather can be unpredictable and can occur at a moment’s notice. One minute it can be sunny, and the next minute it can be raining. Although you cannot control the weather, you can alter what you shoot. So get creative when photographing landscapes in varying weathers and make the most of anything it throws at you.
Bad weather can provide exciting chances to improve your photos. For example, snow can transform a landscape into a striking minimalist scene.
If the skies are overcast or it is raining, either head to a river for your photography or venture into woodlands where there is more cover for taking pictures.
The weather can influence a landscape with its changing patterns of light. As the sun and clouds come and go, shoot the diversity of the scene as it develops.
5. Atmospheric conditions
Atmospheric conditions can really help to lift your landscape images. A hint of mist can make an uninteresting scene look moody and interesting. Mist swirling around a group of trees or encircling a building can look spectacular, especially in the right light.
You can use fog to create mystical-looking images too.
6. Interesting elements
The final suggestion to shoot quality landscapes is to add an extra element of interest in your shots. You can go for a tree, water, people, or even parts of the landscape, such as a fence or gate.
Experiment with different compositions and come up with a view you like. The extra element will help give scale to your pictures and bring out another interesting side to the scenery.
In summary, changes in the weather can be both subtle and extreme, creating incredible moments to capture the landscape. Consider things such as showers, sun, cloud cover or clear skies when photographing landscapes.
Also, look for the seasonal changes in crops and take advantage of dramatic light as it casts its rays over a magical view.
Mist and fog can be the icing on the cake for landscape photography as they add an element of drama and can lift your images from great to spectacular. Also, include a person or building in your landscape shots for interest and scale.
Do you have any other tips for photographing landscapes? Perhaps you’d like to share some of you landscape shots with us? If so, please do so in the comments!