12 Tips for Taking Amazing Landscape Photos

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Take advantage of unusual weather

Ominous storm clouds, fog, rainbows, freshly fallen snow and lightning are pure gold for landscape photography, but you won’t find them if you don’t venture out in bad weather. When things start to look interesting outside, we recommend grabbing your gear and hopping in the car to search for that perfect shot (while keeping your camera dry, of course).

Fog presents one of the best opportunities for landscape photography because of its versatility. Depending on the light, it can create dramatic sunbeams, add depth to your photo or help obscure distracting objects from view. Fog usually occurs late at night and early in the morning, so plan on losing sleep if you want to catch it.

Make long exposures

If you want to take your landscape photography to the next level, start shooting long exposures. This technique works best in scenes with moving water because it transforms the water’s texture in different ways, depending on how long you keep the shutter open. The resulting misty or glassy effect is almost always more attractive than freezing the water with a normal shutter speed.

Night cityscapes are also prime opportunities for long-exposure photography because of the streaks that appear from the lights of passing cars. You can even erase people from your shots entirely (as long as they’re moving) if you leave the shutter open long enough. This is a perfect technique to use when shooting landmarks that are consistently overrun with tourists.

When making a long exposure on a bright day, there may be too much light to leave your shutter open for an extended period without overexposing your shot (meaning your photos will be blown out). To correct for this, landscape photographers use neutral density filters, which are essentially sunglasses that screw onto the front of the lens and block out some of the light.

Of course, it’s impossible to create a sharp long exposure when handholding the camera, so be sure to bring a sturdy tripod.

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