In landscape photography, nature is your model! As such, there are many different styles that can be categorized as landscape photography. Each style has their own level of complexity and takes time to learn properly. However, once you do learn them, they all contribute beautifully to creating more interesting pictures of beautiful places.
There are several reasons why having a basic understanding of some types of landscapes is important. First, most genres of artistic photograph require adequate preparation before shooting. Second, knowing at least the basics will help you choose the right settings for taking photos and developing images in post-production.
This article will go over three main landform types: panoramic, wide angle, and long exposure, along with some terms related to each. But first, what is meant by a genre of art?
What Is Art?
Art is not defined solely by what medium it uses nor is it always represented through static objects. Some pieces use music or shapes to convey their message instead of just still photographs or paintings.
Landscapes fit into this category because they often include both still and moving elements like water, plants, people, or cars. They also usually contain rich colors and textures which add to the beauty of the image.
Why Are There So Many Different Types Of Landscape Photos?
Landscape photographers have lots of ways to take creative shots.
History of landscape photography
Before there was street level or close up photography, landscapes were mostly still life pictures. Plants, fruits, and food would be posed in front of a background that extended beyond the frame. Only recently have we begun to see photographs where the natural surroundings extend outside of the picture! This is called panoramic or wide-angle photography.
Landscapes are some of the most popular types of photographic media. A well done landscape photograph will probably win you many awards and compliments. It can take hours to create a good one though, which is why professional artists offer paid classes on it.
Landscape photographers often use long exposure times to add texture to their images. As light fades away, plants and foliage may look blurry but as it comes back, they solidify into something more interesting. Long exposures also allow for faster moving subjects such as flowing water or passing clouds.
Another classic style is sunsets. Sunset photos get better as the day ends because the sky gets darker and more contrasty. Even having someone else do part of the work makes an excellent sunset photo! (A great starting place is taking stock photos and editing them yourself.)
There are many ways to learn how to take beautiful landscape photographs.
What makes a great landscape photographer
Being able to create beautiful, natural looking landscapes is one of the main things that make an artist look like they have their own style.
Landscapes can be very artistic! There are limitless ways to take creative pictures of nature. The trick comes down to being familiar with the subject matter and having some basic equipment.
You don’t need expensive gear to produce stunning photographs. Many people start out by taking more affordable routes before investing in better quality gadgets.
By starting off with simpler equipment, you will learn how to use it properly before moving onto bigger and better ones. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed when buying new pieces later on.
There are many different types of photographers out there, so what makes someone consider themselves as a professional photographer really depends on who you ask them.
It isn’t always about having flashy tools or lots of cool lenses, being a good photographer means just that- shooting good photos. It can be difficult at times because not everyone has access to nice photography facilities, but if you are willing to put in the effort then you will get there eventually.
Finding the right location
When it comes to landscape photography, finding the perfect setting is just as important as knowing how to use your camera!
Landscapes are some of the most beautiful natural settings in our planet, so why not capture those pictures?
Finding that perfect beach or park space can be quite difficult at times because there’s always something going on around that area. People are constantly changing the scenery, creating lots of distractions.
That’s totally okay though! While this may get annoying for you as a photographer, it’s actually very helpful for others who wish to take scenic photographs as well.
By being aware of what was happening during the time of your photo shoot, other people will able to contribute their own unique artistic touches to complement yours.
Some examples of such additions include:
- Beautiful nature scenes
- People walking by with creative silhouettes
- Flowers blooming
It’s all about timing!
Your best chance of capturing great landscapes happens when the sun is shining, the weather is calm, and there are no heavy winds. All these must match up during the exact time frame of your photo session!
Make sure to check out the area ahead of time to see if any events are planned nearby, and give yourself enough time to prepare for your trip.
The right equipment
A good starting point for anyone wanting to start landscape photography is by investing in your own camera. There are many different brands that offer very nice quality cameras at affordable prices.
The most important thing when buying a new DSLR or other body is having a picture source to capture beautiful landscapes. Almost anywhere has natural light, so looking into getting some neutral background lighting can be started soon!
Having adequate space to place the camera also makes a difference in how professional the images look. Some people put their camera on a tripod, which is totally fine, but not everyone has one of those. Investing in a quick shutter release system will have you taking more interesting pictures quickly!
Landscape photographers usually use a wide-angle lens as this allows them to create wider panoramic photos with the help of apps like Photoshop or similar software.
Understanding your camera settings
A good first step in taking landscape pictures is to understand how your camera works. There are several features of the camera that have direct impacts on the quality of your photos, as well as the types of images you can take.
The three main components of any digital photo come down to exposure, color balance, and composition.
Exposure is the amount of light allowed to reach the sensor to create the image. Too much light will result in a blurry picture due to overexposure; too little light will produce an overly dark scene with only silhouettes shown.
Color balance refers to what colors get exposed when the shutter opens up. If there are very strong colors in the frame, some of them may become completely white or totally black. This was done intentionally to make the painting style look more prominent, but should be modified depending on the intended use of the photograph.
A landscape photographer has an artistic eye. They are aware of all the different elements in nature and how to use them to create pictures. These artists look at nature with wonder, they study it, learn from it and incorporate what they find into their work.
Landscape photographers spend time outside exploring beautiful scenery. They invest in good equipment so that they can capture as much information about the landscapes as possible!
As you begin trying to take your own natural photos, do not worry about being perfect or having “good” photos. Take many photographs! The more you expose yourself to, the better your photography will get.
When taking outdoor photographic adventures, be prepared for anything! Make sure you have enough food and water to survive if something unexpected happens.
As we see here, landscape photography is not just about capturing beautiful natural scenery. It is also about creating interesting environments with your own set-up and composition.
Landscapes can be very still or active, so your settings can include anything from dramatic cliffs to flowing rivers. Plants are another integral part of landscapes, so keep gathering materials and staying in shape!
Many consider using off-the-grid locations as an important part of landscape photography. These types of pictures emphasize the beauty you find where no one else does – perhaps looking into the horizon for inspiration? Or maybe finding solitude by sitting in silence and stillness.
Some people even prefer doing nature photography during non-peak seasons or times of day when there is less competition for attention.
Learning to read the landscape
A defining feature of landscape photography is reading the landscape you are photographing. You have to know your subject well before you can take good pictures of it.
Landscapes tend to be pretty, but they also change very quickly. A common rule in art is that the more interesting or dramatic the setting, the shorter the exposure needed to capture this intensity.
A long exposure creates a smooth, steady image, which removes some of the effect wanted in landscapes. This makes most landscapes unusable as photographic subjects because there is just not enough time for an interesting picture!
Landscapes usually contain lots of shapes and patterns, so using strong contrast and light and dark areas is another way to create engaging images.
When shooting nature, try to use a tripod and natural sunlight to reduce photoshopping later. Use neutral gels to add color into the scene to make things look less boring.