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6 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Images

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This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

6 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Images

Gary Detonnancourt

Guest blog post by Marion Faria

 Guest Blogger Marion Faria

Guest Blogger Marion Faria

I am a passionate and quirky photographer concentrating primarily on landscape photography.  My images have been printed in NANPA Expressions magazine. The image of The Road to Fitzroy was the cover image for Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel" 2015 book.  I have won numerous Spider, black and white awards, also, images of the day at earthshots.com, Shutterbug Magazine and Bing. Finalist for image of the month at Popular Photography.  My stock images are represented by Getty Images.  http://marionfariaphotography.com/

 

1. The "rule of thirds", which almost every photographer has heard about, can work most of the time.  If you are struggling with composition, it would be wise to use this as a starting point until you are more confident. It is based upon the Golden Mean which was used by painters for many centuries as a guide to composition.

The image above demonstrates the use of the "rule of thirds"...it is beneficial to a composition to place a major subject on one of the crossed lines.  

2. The composition of landscapes can be improved by using certain graphic elements.  Some elements draw the eye into an image, others add strength and tension to an image...it is important to recognize graphically what is in your composition.

The illustration above gives you an idea of the elements that can improve an image.

3. As a landscape photographer, I shoot almost entirely in Aperture Priority, switching to Manual as needed, which isn't very often, usually as night approaches.

4. When shooting landscapes, you want to use the lowest native ISO for your camera, mine is 100, some are 200.  Using a low ISO is important for helping to avoid excess noise in an image.  Using too much noise reduction can diminish the quality of an image.

5. Compose vertically as well as horizontally; it gives you another option and can improve a composition.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

6.  Of course the most important thing of all, in landscape photography!  Wait for the best light.  The light is what will elevate an image from ordinary to extraordinary. Notice the difference between images 4 and 5.  In image 4 the light is dramatic, as is the sky; in image 5, the light is good on the mountain peak but flat everywhere else.

Canadian Rockies, near Banff

Mount Rundle from Vermillion Lake, Banff National Park