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Landscape Photography Guide

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Everything you need to know about landscape photography, start to finish


NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S @ 18.5mm, ISO 64, 20 seconds, f/5.0

Landscape photography is a popular genre among many photographers for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to get into due to the fact that even the most basic cameras and lenses can capture stunning landscapes. It works greatly as a hobby for those who like getting out and immersing themselves into nature. And lastly, landscape photography is simply a lot of fun because there is always something new to learn.


My landscape photography journey has been a big learning curve and I have been enhancing my skills so much during the last few years, that I realized I could spend the rest of my life learning. In this article, I decided to share everything I know today about landscape photography, with plenty of tips, tricks and techniques to get you started.


Preface

It is amazing to see how quickly the world is changing around us. What seemed to be intact and perfect just a few years ago is getting destroyed by us humans.


One of the reasons why I fell in love with photographing nature is because it is my way of showing people that the beauty around us is very fragile and volatile. And if we don’t take any action now, all this beauty will someday cease to exist, not giving a chance for our future generations to enjoy it the same way we can today.


Hundreds of movies have been filmed, thousands and thousands of great pictures taken and yet the world is not listening. What can we do and is there hope? It is very unfortunate that we only act when a disaster of a great scale hits us and the unbalanced force of nature enrages upon us.


But we as photographers must continue to show the world the real picture out there – the deforestation of our rich lands, the pollution that is poisoning our fresh waters and causing widespread diseases, the melting of glaciers, the extinction of species and many other large-scale problems that are affecting the lives of billions around the world. Therefore, it is our responsibility as photographers to show the real picture.

Dead Horse Point Sunrise SONY SLT-A77V + DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM @ 20mm, ISO 100, 1 sec, f/8.0

What is Landscape Photography?

Landscape photography is a form of landscape art. While landscape art was popularized by Western paintings and Chinese art more than a thousand years ago, the word “landscape” apparently entered the English dictionary only in the 19th century, purely as a term for works of art (according to Wikipedia).


Landscape photography conveys the appreciation of the world through beautiful imagery of the nature that can be comprised of mountains, deserts, rivers, oceans, waterfalls, plants, animals and other scenery or life.


While most landscape photographers strive to show the pureness of nature without any human influence, given how much of the world has been changed by humans, depicting the nature together with man-made objects can also be considered a form of landscape photography. For example, the famous Mormon Row at the Grand Teton National Park has been a popular spot for photographing the beautiful Tetons in the background, with the old barns serving as foreground elements.


Photographing landscapes involves three key elements: photo equipment, skill/technique, and light. Let’s look at all three elements one by one.


Photo Equipment

Good and reliable photo equipment is extremely important to achieve the best results for landscape photography. If your camera can take exceptional photographs, but cannot withstand extremely cold or hot temperatures, it will certainly limit you in what you can do. Therefore, it is best to have a camera that can both take good pictures and withstand tough weather conditions.

Why is the latter important? Because some of the best landscape photographs are taken in very challenging weather – during a storm, after a heavy snowfall, early in the morning at below freezing temperatures, etc. Take a look at the following picture of sand dunes I captured a while ago: