The Complete Guide to Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is one of the most popular niches of photography.

Whatever you find in front of you and your camera is a landscape – be it a stormy sea, a frosty forest or a sky-piercing tower, doused in sunlight.

Camera Equipment

There are many things that can help you achieve that brilliant landscape shot. Camera, lenses, tripods, filters and other accessories are particularly important. Here we will show you the best equipment to assist your landscape photography adventures.

How to Choose the Perfect Camera for Landscape Photography

Landscape photography requires different things from your camera than street or sports photography.

Your camera needs to capture as much detail as possible and perform at a high resolution. At the same time, you need to be able to use the dynamic range and know how to take advantage of your DSLR’s sensor. All these play a part in getting the best from your landscape photos.

The Best Lenses for Landscape Shooting

The cost of lenses can range from $200 to $2000 and you might think that the higher the cost, the better the lens. This is true most of the time. There are also other factors you need to take into account.

All types of lenses follow different requirements. Some focus on light, others on chromatic aberrations and other unwanted effects. For landscape photography, we’re usually looking for a lens with a wide angle and maximum sharpness.

Most expensive does not always mean best. Sometimes the cheapest lens can, in fact, be amazing. The article above will give you the tools you need to choose the best one for yourself.
Lens selection is critical for landscape photography. Example of Canon lenses

A Complete Guide to Tripods

Nothing screams landscape photographer more than a tripod. It is a very necessary piece of equipment for capturing those highly detailed shots. The three keywords you should keep in mind when choosing the right tripod are sturdy, solid and lightweight.

Sturdy because it will need to deal with elements such as dirt and rain while being knocked around. Solid so that it really keeps your camera still while capturing that shot. And lightweight because you don’t want any extra weight holding you down.

For me, a tripod needs to be as versatile as the camera. It should allow me to either change the head or at least be able to shoot both portrait and landscape. It should also be easy to set up and use so that you do not miss any quick changes in the surrounding areas.

Tripods for Landscape Photography: Comparison of full-size and compact/travel tripod, open

Important Accessories for Landscape Photography

Stunning landscape photography isn’t just about focusing on your photographic kit. It’s also about getting to the best place to take the photographs.

Your apparel choice is very important to help you work in harsh environments. You shouldn’t forget to grab some gloves and thermal shirts to keep you warm, and hiking boots and a rain jacket to keep you dry.

There are even more helpful things you could bring along such as a good, ergonomic bag (your back will thank you) or a head torch. The article above will go through all of them for you.

Landscape photography can be demanding. Appropriate clothing is vital for extended shoots.

Filters: Uv, Polarized, Graduated, Nd and More

Lens filters are extremely beneficial for landscape photography when used correctly. And the best part is that there’s a filter for everything!

  • The UV (ultraviolet) filter is the most known, whose purpose has changed over the years from a necessity to useless
  • The ND (neutral-density) filter is used to decrease shutter speeds for those long exposure shots
  • The GND (graduated neutral-density) filter helps average out the huge difference between the sky and landscape
  • And Polarised filters help to cut out glare and reflections

Lens filters can drastically affect landscape photography. Lighthouse against azure blue ocean.

Francesco Gola – francescogola.net

How to Use a Graduated ND Filter for Landscape Photography

A neutral density filter pulls the light out of the scene you want to capture. This helps you correctly expose long exposures.

A graduated neutral density filter is a piece of glass that is an ND filter on one side, going from transparent to filter in a gradient. These are specifically for darkening one area of your scene.

The sky is the most basic reasons why you would want to use one of these filters. You will find that the sky is much lighter than the landscape or cityscape that you want to photograph.

A graduated ND filter will pull out the light, adding detail to that brighter area. This creates a more correctly exposed scene overall, instead of having an area one or two stops lighter than the others.

Read our article here on how to use them.

A graduated ND filter is only a filter on one side. There are perfect in creating an overall perfect exposure for landscape photography

Camera Settings for Landscape Photography

JPEG Versus Raw

Shooting in JPEG and raw uses the same number of pixels but the file size of the raw is about 5 times bigger than JPEG.

That extra file size comes from the image data that the raw file keeps and JPEG discards. This extra data allows you to get so much more range from exposure, colour and white balance in post-production.

Shooting in raw isn’t as fast as JPEG, and you need special software to make the most of the raw images, but the end result is definitely worth it.
Train in desert demonstrating how raw landscape photography can be enhanced more than JPG

Peter Treadway

Understanding How Your Histogram Works

Histograms are a step closer to becoming more professional in your workflow. They’re a mathematic review of how even your exposure is.

Using the LCD screen to determine how your highlights and shadows look can be misleading depending on ambient light. The histogram, however, is a clear indicator of under or overexposure.

Histograms aid understanding exposure levels in landscape photography

Shooting Modes

You’ve seen it on almost every camera made in the last 50 years. A small icon of a person in a frame indicates a portrait and an icon of a mountain for landscape.

Fortunately, we have moved forward into a more refined age. These modes have turned into something useful, such as Av/A (Aperture Priority) and Tv/S (Shutter Priority).

Your Landscape photography can be immensely helped by Av/A mode. It lets you concentrate on exposure time and depth of field while keeping a correct exposure value.

Shooting modes give you fine control to capture stunning landscape photography

Creating the Perfect Exposure

Now that you have all of the equipment to get around in the great outdoors, you can move on to capturing the image.

Your aperture, shutter, and ISO all work together to give you that perfect exposure. This means not overexposing the highlights and underexposing the shadowy areas.

The in-camera metering modes are there to help you get as close as possible to the correct overall exposure. The shooting and focus modes help you highlight what the most important part of the image is and keep it in the best possible light.
Perfect exposures in landscape photography are vibrant and powerful. Example in the Alaskan Mountains

David Shaw

How to Capture Breathtaking Panoramas

Panoramas are a great way to show one spectacular view from a very wide angle. These are perfect from high altitudes, where you want to show everything from the same perspective. Especially if you can’t make up your mind over which angle to shoot from!

You can capture a panorama shot from any lens and a tripod. With a little help from post-processing, you can then create an iconic, memorable image and this article will show you how.

Panoramas of interesting subjects, such as the Aurora Borealis, can help to create interesting landscape photography images

How to Shoot Stunning Landscapes

So you are out in the great outdoors, trying to replicate those beautiful landscape photographs you’ve seen before.

Maybe it isn’t going as well as you’d hoped or maybe you just need a little boost.

Here are 12 tips to help you get the best from your photography when you have the landscape in front of you and want to capture it in the best possible light.
Dreamy harbour scene with many boats on the horizon as the sun sets, parts of a tree and foliage in the foreground. Landscape photography.

David Eldon

Sunrise Photography

There is nothing better than being outdoors when you see the sun is setting. The sky lights up with colours you never even thought existed.

You grab your camera, aim, and shoot but it doesn’t quite come out how you envisioned it.

Here there are some great tips on why it is really worth getting up early. This article will help to make sure you’re never unprepared for sunrise photography.
Sunrises are a great way to show landscape photography

Anton Gorlin – antongorlin.com

Sunset Photography

The sunset provides the golden hour but at the end of the day, rather than the beginning. This is great as you don’t need to get up early, and you can see when the sun will fall much easier.

Our article has 5 great tips on how to photograph the sunset perfectly. Like most landscape images, planning is paramount. This can be done with smartphone apps or scouting the area beforehand.

Be patient, practise as much as you can and you will soon find that all of the ideas fit together to help you create something stunning.
Using water will help show the beautiful colours in landscape photography

David Eldon

Coastline and Seascape Photography

Photographs along the coastline and seascapes are landscapes, but they have their own specific techniques.

You’ll more than likely be including the water in these shots. Here are some very handy ways to make your coastline photography captivating, dramatic and unique!
Coastlines and Seascapes offer unique landscape photography opportunities.

David Shaw

15 Tips on Better Seascape Photography

Any area of photography can be improved upon by using research. The research you should look at concerning the sea is about the tide and swell of the water.

The weather forecast is essential in this field. It will let you know when the tide is in or out. Some landscape areas will only work when the tide is out, revealing more of the landscape. This could turn a good image into a great one.
Knowledge of the weather and the tide coming in and out will make better landscape photography

Anton Gorlin

Forest Photography

You will always find that no matter where you are, there are general landscape photography rules that apply. Things such as composition, perspective, and framing are all key.

Photographing in a forest, however, has its own extra set of challenges. You have to deal with the topographic element the forest offers, the less available light, and a possibly changing landscape.

With patience, practice, and our tips, you’ll be able to quickly improve your forest photography.

Forest landscape photography can offer haunting nightscapes or lively daytime shoots.

Black and White Landscape Photography

Creating black and white landscapes is a beautiful way to show the scenery. We look at black and white images very differently than those in colour.

The monochromatic style lets us focus on the texture, shape and contrast of a scene.

Colour can distract from the scene, where the strong greens and blues can take away importance from the overall image.

An image where the colours are not pleasing can be converted into black and white to create a more interesting landscape.

Photographing the Desert

The desert is a great place to start with landscape photography. This is a landscape that rarely changes, so you can keep the same settings for long periods. This is good for practising.

Here, you can concentrate on shapes and forms of the area. Textures and shapes are also great things to look for as us, the viewers will find them interesting. Filling the frame will help make the scene seem gargantuan as the viewers perspective is limited. Get out there already!
A cracked desert floor shows a great texture for landscape photography

Charlie Borland

Long Exposure Landscape Photography

There are a few reasons why you would want to use a long exposure. If you want to achieve the correct light exposure or remove unwanted clutter from images, for example.

It is also a great way to show movement when a still image is not enough.

Long exposure can be used day or night. You can capture the popular light trails of cars, experiment with light writing or capture lightning striking the Earth.
Long exposure photography of a coastal town and seascape in Italy. Long exposure landscapes

Alessandro Torri

Night Landscape Photography

Night photography means incorporating the starry skies alongside the scenery. And it comes with its own set of challenges.

Nighttime landscape photography means you have to keep moving objects like the stars still in relation to the scenery.

Light is the biggest challenge to overcome, so you should focus on dealing with low light conditions. Fast apertures, tripods, and trial-and-error are your best friends.

Our ultimate guide to nighttime photography will give you even more tips to get that perfect shot of nighttime scenery.
Landscape photography at night offers unique illumination from the moon and stars.

Andrea Minoia – inquadrato.net

How Dramatic Weather Will Transform your Landscape Photography

Any scene can be a landscape. The seaside, rolling hills – even photographing in the street can turn into a landscape photograph. It all depends on the focus.

Harsh weather conditions (think stormy clouds, not force 12 winds), can bring atmosphere and a sense of drama into an otherwise dull image.

The weather has the capacity of completely changing the mood of the landscape. It can provide a completely different experience for those viewing the final photograph.

Our article will show you how to transform your landscapes by taking advantage of dramatic weather conditions.
Landscape photography can be enhanced by dramatic shifts in weather. Moorland with godrays through thick cloud.

Adam Welch – aphotographist.com

Location Scouting

You’ve heard it in so many different places: location, location, location. There is a reason it is so ingrained in us photographers. It actually matters where you set yourself up to photograph.

Some photographers don’t share their list of locations when it comes to their landscapes, others share geotags through platforms like Flickr and Shot Hot Spot. Other locations can be found with a little research.

There are even apps that help you visualise what the location will look like at a particular time of day. Judging sunlight and moon positions, these can give you all the information you need to find that great scene.

Landscape photography is aided by scouting the terrain in advance. Apps often provide such useful information.

Seasonal Landscape Photography Tips

As a landscape photographer, you should go out before sunrise, before sunset, during nighttime and during all weather conditions.

The seasons are no different. That lake might be boring during the Summer, but during the Winter months, it turns into a frozen wonderland.

All those bare trees bloom during Spring and the sun becomes stronger.

Each season has different benefits for photography – here’s what you have to look forward to during each.
Landscape opportunities vary with the seasons. This forest is haunting with thick fog obscuring all but the nearest trees.

Leanne Cole – leannecole.com.au

Shooting During the Spring

Winter is over. Things are growing again, and the sun starts to strengthen. Exploiting this newfound sun gives you shadows and a fresh look at recovering vegetation. You can use these to focus your viewer’s attention on particular areas of your photo.

The weather conditions are also working in your favour. Fog and dew can help you to take better, more atmospherical images. Spring photography can even lead to some mystical, dreamy photos!

Shooting landscape photography during the spring gives you a soft range of colours

Shooting During the Summer

You would think that summertime photography is the easiest and most enjoyable. The sun is shining all the day, everything’s in bloom and there’s not a cloud in the sky. That might work for some pictures, but not all.

It becomes tricky if you want any definition and detail from clouds, or don’t want to stay out until 10 pm waiting for the sun to finally dim a little. Here you’ll find some tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of summer landscape photography and make great photos instead.
The beach can be an ideal setting for summer landscape photography.

Craig Roberts – craigrobertsphotography.co.uk

How to Take Your Fall Photography to a New Level

You’ve photographed everything green. And then photographed it again. But now it’s fall! The season of colour. You can take advantage of all the beautiful scenery to create some stunning pictures.

Isolating colours, using backlight on the foliage to make the colours pop, or low angles to extend scenes and shapes are just a few ways to experiment with this season.

Photographing in the autumn shows off a very different colour range for landscape photography

Shooting During the Winter

One of the trickiest things in photography is trying to get the correct light exposure. This is even worse in the winter. Snow acts like a big reflector and trying to photograph a white winter wonderland can quickly become nightmarish.

Using manual mode might give you a little more help than Av (Aperture Priority) or Tv (Shutter Priority). Filters can also give you a little more room in moving closer to that perfect light reading.

This article will teach you how to master the winter season’s extreme differences between highlights and the mid-tones, and how to make that blinding white snow work for you instead of against you.
Landscape photography in winter can be challenging with bright snow and ice making white balance tricky.

Hilary Gigonis


The Rule of Thirds

One of the most basic ideas of composition is the rule of thirds. It says that not everything interesting should be centrally located in the photograph.

If you drew imaginary lines one third and two thirds down and along the viewfinder, four intersections would be created. These areas are ideal for making the photograph and the subject more interesting.

Our article goes into more detail about how you can use the rule of thirds to improve your photography.

The rule of thirds is useful to balance your landscape photography composition.


Balancing an unbalanced scene or vice-versa can add tremendous compositional value to an image. You as a photographer can sort out the chaos or add atmosphere to an otherwise boring image.

Balancing images looks at two parts of the frame – be it top/bottom, left/right or foreground/background and the content of both. Maybe they work together to strengthen an idea, or they work against each other to create something exaggerated.

Balancing stage lights and fireworks can be challenging in city landscape images


Triangles have played a big part in the composition of photographs since the early years. We use them everywhere, whether with people or landscape photography.

They could be lines, paths or buildings where the bottom is wider than the top. The important part is that all the lines converge to a point at the top. Our eyes automatically find their way there, as the triangle shape guides our focus and attention.

Triangles help structure landscape photography layouts.


We see horizons all the time, so much so that they sometimes disappear from our attention. Nonetheless, horizons are part of a photo’s composition and should not be ignored.

There are rules to follow to make that image stand out more, especially when dealing with sea and sky, sky and land or even with sea and land. A simple yet effective idea.

Horizons are always present and vital to incorporate in landscape photography.


Depth in photography is an interesting concept. You take a 3D setting, you photograph it and it turns into something closer to 2D. It loses its depth in the process.

But there are ways to get it back and turn it into a more realistic image. Simple composition rules can help, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, frames, etc.

Even your choice of lens (wide angle vs. telephoto) has an effect on the relationship between the objects in your frame.

This post will show you how to create depth in your photos so your vision is what your camera captures.

A train station long-exposure adds depth to landscape photography.

Leading Lines

Leading lines are just that – lines that lead your eyes into the frame, and sometimes out again.

They can take your viewer to what you want them to focus on. They can guide them through the flow of a scene or setting. Or they can vanish into the distant horizon.

As the photographer, you have the choice.

Leading Lines in architecture can help structure landscape shoots

Post-Processing Landscape Photography

10 Post-Processing Landscape Tips

Photography doesn’t end with the click of the shutter. One of the most important parts of being a photographer is what you do after. With traditional film, we had dodging and burning. Now we have countless programs and apps that make post-processing seamless and incredibly useful. Here is how you can help change your landscape from a great shot into an amazing photograph.
Using the raw editor is the best way to start processing your landscape photography images

Anton Gorlin

How to Remove Lens Flare

You hiked for two hours, you climbed that mountain, and you’re finally setting up your shot. Everything is going swimmingly. Until you take a look at your photos and that dreaded lens flare is taking up more space than the landscape.

You forgot your lens hood – yes, the one you looked at when you took the lens out of the box and then forgot about. What do you do? Go home? Follow our trick here and you’ll never have to deal with that pesky flare again.

Lens flare in landscape photography can be artistic, or distracting

Graduated Filters in Lightroom

Sometimes you find yourself reading about graduated filters online AFTER you have already taken the photograph. You might need to fix the overexposure in the sky from that latest, impromptu beach shoot. Or maybe you want to get rid of atmospheric haze in your latest city landscape.

Whatever it is you’re after, Adobe Lightroom has you covered. Here’s how to use graduated filters to save all those spontaneous photos!
Applying graduated filters in Lightroom post processing of landscape photography on a beach scene

Jason Weddington

Lightroom Presets

Presets are the staple of any good Lightroom edit. Some are made by Adobe, others are created by enthusiasts. Here are a few presets to fit into your Adobe Lightroom.

These will help you make the best of your photos!
An image of a mountain showing a before-and-after presets


Chromatic Aberrations

Have you ever looked closely at your images and found parts of the subject to have a fringe of purple, red, blue, cyan, or green?

These are Chromatic Aberrations and they are not your fault. It is the action of light passing through your lens and leaving part of itself behind.

In this article, you will learn how to deal with these fringes in- camera during post-processing.

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