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How Landscape Photography Works

Landscape Photography Tips

Not all nature is the same. Different types of nature need to be examined in varying ways in order to capture them in photos.

Water can be an interesting focal point or a complicated feature. Flowing water behaves differently than still water. A rushing river may be difficult to freeze in a photo, but a slower shutter speed can produce a blurred effect to show the speed of the water. With still water, take the reflection into account and compose the picture accordingly.


Forests can easily look like a lump of trees in pictures. Scan the area for patterns or unusual features, such as stumps or fallen logs to use as focal points. Be aware of how sunlight falls through the trees and the levels of light in the woods.

Prairies and wide-open spaces can be difficult because they may not have many natural features to make them interesting. Be sure to look around for a focal point or interesting feature that can convey the spaciousness of the landscape to the viewer.

Desert photography can be rugged, rocky landscapes with lots of sun. Playing with light and heat can convey great feelings in pictures. Try shooting both with the sun as backlight and as focal point, but be careful that the bright sun in the foreground doesn't fade out the rest of the landscape. Look for angles that can capture shimmering heat. Nighttime desert skies can also be great places to capture the stars.

Coastlines can be varying in their styles, and it's important to spend a little time observing the shoreline and how water interacts with it before capturing the image. With rocky coasts, work on timing the crash of waves over the rocks. With tropical coasts, try getting greenery in the picture to convey the lushness of the landscape.

As with other elements of nature, mountains can be different in their styles. They can be rugged crags, rolling hills or snow-capped peaks. Observe how the light creates shadows on the peaks, and look for angles that can convey the majestic of the terrain. Shadows can also make or break photos of valleys and canyons. An interesting shadow on a canyon wall might look like a dark spot in an actual photo. Pay attention to where the light lands and doesn't land. This could involve trekking around to find the perfect angle or waiting for specific times of day.

Read on to the next page to find out even more information about photography tools, techniques and tips.

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