Lake 8522, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

12 Simple Landscape Photography Tips For Better Outdoor Photos

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   9 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Do you wonder how some people come back from national parks and other outdoor trips with fantastic photos? Would you like to take the kind of pictures that make people ooh and aah? It may not be as complicated as you think. The following tips on outdoor and landscape photography, which I’ve learned from studying photography and over three decades of shooting the finest scenery in America and the world, will help you take home better photos whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer.

Sure, equipment matters, and the more time you spend shooting and learning how to hone your skills, the better your photos will be.

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9 Responses to 12 Simple Landscape Photography Tips For Better Outdoor Photos

  1. Eduardo   |  April 29, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Awesome tips, I can’t wait to try these out when I visit the Grand Canyon.

    • michaellanza   |  April 29, 2016 at 5:56 am

      Thanks Eduardo, and enjoy the Big Ditch.

  2. JZ   |  March 20, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Great tips! We find the baby’s schedule creates challenges with timing and dramatic light.

    EZ and I recently thought an exercise to help with visualizing the photo. We force ourselves to describe the shot verbally to each other sans cameras, before shooting.

    Do you have any tips for the timing and dramatic light when you go someplace new?

    Cheers,
    JZ
    http://www.livingez.us

    • MichaelALanza   |  March 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Hi JZ, yes, having young kids can interfere with shooting photos; older kids, too. When I’m in a new place, I try to eyeball the terrain for photos depending on whether it’s cloudy or sunny and how the time of day is affecting shadows, i.e., eastern aspects have morning sun, etc. But really, circumstances often dictate, and I’m often on the move, so I just pull out my camera and start shooting when the light is good.

  3. gemmajaneadventures   |  August 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Great tips, I love hiking but am often disappointed with my photos, and many photography tips post don’t cover landscapes in much detail. The rule of thirds has made a big difference, but I will try out some of these tips too, (like creating a close up object and drama) Unfortunately, I often hike alone while I travel, so don’t have a handy friend to stand in the perfect spot! I only have a point and shoot too, which does create some artistic limitations, but I want to get better with that before deciding to invest in something more high tec!

    • michaellanza   |  August 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Gemma, these tips could help you a lot. You might also consider taking a basic photography course once you get a DSLR.

  4. NancyP   |  July 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Good common sense tips. Here is tip #13 and tip #14. #13: Know your camera well before you go on that trip. If you don’t know it backward and forward, download a manual onto your phone! #14: Zero-weight apps for planning the shot: Compass (phone or real). The Photographer’s Ephemeris or PhotoPills, take your pick, for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, direction. SkySafari, for planning astrolandscape shots with specific star fields in view (When will the Big Dipper be just above those two rocks…).

  5. michaellanza   |  June 16, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Thanks for the good feedback, Jeff. I also use manual priority, especially in situations with a big range of spot exposures within the image.

  6. Jeff Sinon   |  June 14, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Great tips Michael! I use each and every one of them whenever I go out. Though lately I’ve been using manual instead of aperture priority. And I much prefer using graduated neutral density filters in the field. I find the results are slightly better than when I use the GND filter in Lightroom.

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