Mastering Landscape Photography - How to Take Great Pictures

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If you're like most camera owners and have a digital compact, this is your camera's time to shine. For most photographers, an SLR or DSLR is the obvious camera of choice, but when it comes to landscapes, compact camera work wonders because they have a much better depth of field. All you need to do to get some great landscape photos is to set your compact to landscape mode and follow these tips.

Remember one of the most important keys to taking good pictures is the quality of light.

  • For lighting that is soft, even and has a touch of warmth, take your landscape photos during the Golden Hours: the first hour after dawn and the last hour before sunset (unless you're taking sunset pictures).
  • For intensified colors and subdued highlights, shoot under an overcast sky.
    * If you want dramatic shadows, take pictures under a cloudy sky.
  • Enhance the qualify of your image and add drama by photographing a landscape scene with contrast; for example, red and gold autumn leafed trees against a strong blue sky.
  • To get an ultra soft effect, almost ethereal effect, shoot on a foggy day.


The next most important element of any good picture is composition. Here are some tips for composing perfect landscape pictures.

  • Compose your landscape picture so that the horizon appears straight. When taking a horizon, don't get creative and try different angles as they need to be straight or your picture won't look right.
  • Fill two thirds of your viewfinder with the landscape you want to be the subject of your photo.
  • Look for lines. These could be anything from the obvious road or river to a shadow running along sand dunes. If your image has lines, try framing your shot so that the major lines lead the eye toward the main point of interest, for example, a road winding its way to the mountains that are the subject of your photograph.
  • Frame the composition with a point of interest in the foreground. This focal point could be a road or other line as mentioned above, a tree, person, animal, house, etc. The focal point won't be the main subject (the landscape is),but it adds depth, draws the viewer into the image and gives the eyes a place to rest, thus engaging the viewer longer with your photograph. In short, a focal point makes your landscape photo more interesting and more enjoyable to view.
  • Watch out for clutter. In a landscape photo, clutter could be a power line or a branch in the way or garbage on the ground. If you can't get the picture you want without the clutter, you can always use photo editing software like Photoshop to remove it.

There's always more to learn with photography, but just by following the tips above you can start taking great pictures of your favorite landscapes.

Autumn Lockwood is a write for Your Picture Frames and is passionate about photography. Shop online and see our entire selection of picture frames in a wide variety of sizes like our 4 x 6 picture frames and 5 x 7 frames. Visit our online picture frame shop or call us at 1-800-780-0699.

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