Seven easy landscape photography tips for beginners

Combining photography with hiking in the great outdoors can be challenging, especially if you want to take dramatic landscape shots whilst on the move.
Here are seven simple steps to get you started and take your images to the next level:


1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Heading out into the field should be fun and exciting, so make sure your camera equipment is light and easy to use.
Along with your camera, bring a wide-angle lens for capturing dramatic landscape shots, spare batteries and a robust camera bag which can stand up to challenging weather.

2. OBSERVE THE LIGHT
It’s a common mistake for beginners to neglect the direction of the light because we like the look of a particular shot.
Shooting towards the sun will typically produce an overblown image. This means your photo will look hazy and lack in detail. Conversely, shooting away from the sun will yield even exposure and true colours.

3. USE A FOCAL POINT
When composing your images, it’s a great idea to include a main focal point.
In the example below, I have used a farmhouse in the distance to help anchor my image. This creates a sense of scale for the viewer and provides a more balanced composition.

4. LOOK FOR THE HORIZON
Here, the golden rule is to keep the horizon perfectly level in your shot, not slanting off to one side.
You then have two composition options. You could lower your horizon to include more dramatic sky, or raise it to capture more foreground. Try to avoid having your horizon in the middle, as this will cut your photo in half.

5. INCLUDE PLENTY OF FOREGROUND
The foreground is the introduction to the story you tell. Below is my example of the foreground setting the stage, giving both dimension and depth.
I used the hiking path as a method to keep the viewer connected to the landscape as though they’re standing there themselves.

6. INVEST IN A WIDE-ANGLE LENS
You may already own a kit lens (a starter lens which comes with your camera) but kits are generally a jack of all trades, master of none.
However, adding a wide-angle lens to your camera bag will allow you to fit more into the frame, making it perfect for capturing those vast lakes or mountain shots.

7. CONSIDER SHOOTING IN RAW
A RAW file is an uncompressed digital file that is stored on your camera’s memory card.
This may sound very technical, but a RAW will allow you to edit photos in post-production. Software such as ‘Lightroom’ or ‘Luminar’ will give your images a professional touch.

WHO’S WRITING

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Peter Elia is a freelance journalist and photographer who travels the globe searching for stories from the paths less travelled.

From the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America, he combines his adventures on foot with dramatic landscape images which have featured in The Guardian, Culture Trip, BBC Countryfile Magazine and elsewhere.

For more fantastic images from Peter, visit The man who hiked the world on Instagram and join over 80,000 followers or feel free to engage on Facebook.

About Peter Elia

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