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Top 5 landscape photography tips for beginners

The field of photography comprising natural earth elements in the form of a sunrise, sunset, weather changes, waterfall, mountain, ocean, river, lake and clouds is known as landscape photography.  It can be considered as a subset of nature photography. I started my journey of digital photography with landscape shots, and I still learn new things from like-minded people. A fair amount of background work goes in producing landscape shots. This could be in the form of post-processing, travelling to the location, waiting for the weather, etc. Without beating too much around the bush, here are my top 5 tips for every landscape photography beginner:

1) Make good use of the golden hour. DSLR photography is all about light, and golden hour is great for capturing those fantastic colours when the light is soft and vivid. Early morning sunlight (sunrise) or late evening sunlight (sunset) is suitable for any sort of photos, including outdoor portraits. Afternoon sun produces flat colours and harsh lighting in the sky which is not easy to get around as a beginner. Once you train your eyes enough by practicing, you will naturally be able to identify good lighting conditions.

landscape shot taken at focal length 31 mm
31 mm landscape photograph

2) Shoot RAW format. Yes, RAW photo format gives so much power to the user. Do not let the camera take care of the processing part for you. I know post processing is a huge field and takes years of learning to get good at it. Start easy and small, install the trial version of any photo editing software and see how you feel bringing out details in the landscape shots. YouTube has tons of amazing photographers doing post-processing tutorials for beginners. This is not to say take poorly exposed RAW shots and correct them in post-processing, instead, add a cherry on top of a well deserving shot with post-processing.

3) Keep the horizon straight. A tilted horizon is no good and looks very distracting to the viewer. If there is no horizon in your landscape photo, try to focus on the subject alignment. Another solution is to keep a vertical object aligned vertically. 

4) Invest in a good quality tripod, simply can't stress this enough. Having a decent quality sturdy tripod will improve your landscape photos by a huge margin. Ability to get real close to the ground easily, rotate the camera, change angle and stability on extension are some of the things expected from a tripod. When extended, cheap tripods shake even with a slight breeze or inches of water flow. 

5) Mix up the focal lengths. Landscape photography is majorly associated with a wide angle or ultra-wide focal lengths, but that's not a universal rule. Telephoto lenses can also be used to produce stunning landscape photos. Zoom into those distant fields or mountains to get a different perspective (compression) from the same scene. Here is an example of an image taken using my Tamron lens at 300 mm: 
300 mm landscape photo
300 mm landscape photograph
Hope this post helped you learn something new today. Share the photography love by sharing this post. :) 


  1. Don't stress too much about nailing the straight horizon (point 3). It's easily fixed when you convert from RAW (point 2)


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