Travel Photography Tricks: How To Capture The Magical Landscape

Silhouette and reflection of photographer in Bahariya salt lake

 There’s so much beauty in the world to preserve through stills. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, taking landscape photos is a great experience for photography enthusiasts. Natural landscapes have so much innate drama in them so it’s up to you, as the person behind the lens, to bring justice to their beauty. That way, when people look at your photos, it’s like they, too, can see the place in person.

Photography, however, is a skill that takes time and patience to master. You can’t expect to create professional photos overnight. With the right balance of practice and tips from the experts, you too can be on your way towards taking the most wonderful photos.

Here are some tips for you to apply to avoid taking bland photos of magical landscapes:

  1. Use a Wide-Angle Lens

You can have just one camera, but if you’re ready to invest more into this hobby, you can play around with different lenses. When taking landscape photos, a wide-angle lens is the best to use. This would give a broader view of photos and also widen the space in the landscape. It can help to make landscapes look airier and wider. When you use a wide-angle lens, you can also use faster shutter speeds, as it lets more light in.

There are plenty of online travel photography courses that can help you learn about the different types of lens and how to use them. If you’re a beginner, visit this website to learn more from the experts.

  1. Capture The Rain

When you’re on a nature trip to see some amazing views and it suddenly starts raining, don’t let the weather dampen your spirits. There’s so much beauty that you can create, even in seemingly unfavorable conditions. Shooting in the rain is one of the lesser-known means of taking photographs of landscapes. When most photographers would opt for bright, sunny days, a dramatic landscape shot with misty clouds, a receding coastline, or distant hills can be quite interesting.

A brilliant way to achieve this is by placing the landscape right at the bottom of your camera’s frame. In doing so, the details formed in the sky through the rain become the focal point of your photo.

  1. Create Depth In Your Photos

The beauty of photographing landscapes is that it’s very easy to portray depth and emotion. Consider all the different elements that make up the picture, then give focus to each of them.

Generally, the way to go about with it is to use a small aperture in your camera settings, from f/16 to f/22. This will keep objects in both your background and foreground sharp. You also have to be very cautious not to shake your camera, since this can eliminate light.

You can also apply the following tips to create more depth with your landscape photos:

  • Include foreground interest in your photos. Doing this will prevent the photo from looking too flat, particularly when the subject is at a medium to far distance.
  • Use leading lines. This needs the help of using a wide-angle lens with lines that can move from the bottom of the camera’s frame to the top. This is best used for architectural landscapes, such as heritage and historical sites.
  • Change your point of view. Rather than shooting at eye level, try changing your point of view. Crouch close to the ground, on a crawling position. Doing this can help exaggerate the perspective, as the objects get smaller.
  1. Use Mist And Fog To Your Advantage

 If you happen to be in a place where the mist and fog are very thick, use these to your advantage. They can help you create mysterious and ethereal photos. When you’re traveling, the best mist and fog generally happens very early in the morning, where there’s more pressure in the atmosphere. Try to go inside the mist to create more depth and drama for your photo.

  1. Use Water To Your Advantage

If you’re shooting across lakes and oceans, use the water to your advantage. During calm and sunny days, the reflection of the mountain and other landscapes on the water is magical. When working with water, the best time to take photos is at dusk or dawn. This is when the tones and colors in the sky are very subtle.

  1. Be Smart About Your Use Of Filters

Yes, you’ll want to keep the photos as natural as possible. But it doesn’t hurt, too, to use the right filters. For landscapes, the most recommended way to go is to strike that balance with at most two different kinds of filters. The best adjustments or filters you can also use are those you take immediately while shooting the photo.

The best examples of these landscape photography filters include:

  • Polarizers, which are used to darken the sky. This can help bring out better shades of blue in the sky, contrasting with the white clouds. When shooting water, this can also help clearly bring out what’s under the water.
  • Neutral density, which prevents the photo from getting too much light. This enables you to make more choices with exposure.
  1. Capture Movements In Water
Couple of tourist near famous Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland

Yes, it’s possible to capture movements in water even when you’re shooting a still photograph. Start by choosing a long exposure to have that stunning white effect in the water. This can also help create a calmer and more peaceful effect on your photos. On the other hand, shorter exposures are great for raging waters such as strong river currents and falls.

For water movements, however, you should have a tripod with you. With a tripod, you have more control over the entire photo. It will also help each element in your photo look sharper.

In Summary

With all these tips, you are now on your way to taking amazing photos of landscapes that look straight out of a postcard. Remember, even if you’re still a beginner, there’s always room to learn. With the right practice, you’ll get better at taking interesting landscape shots.

Landscapes can be as magical on photos as they are in person. Now all that’s left for you to do is to grab your camera and start filming.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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