Landscape photography is everywhere today and for good reason – the world is beautiful! However, because landscape photography is so popular, it can be difficult for your photographs to grab the eyes of your desired viewers. While there’s no way to predict exactly what image will stand out in the crowd, you can use these four techniques to give your photography the edge when it comes time to grab some eyes.
#1. Define your vision
As a photographer you are not only taking a photograph, you are sharing a vision – your vision. It’s important to remember this concept every time you’re capturing an image. This is important because if you are aware of why you’re attracted to a scene, and why you want to share it with others, the easier it will be for your viewers to connect with what you saw.
This does not mean that you have to stick with the same definition of vision through every photograph you take. Instead, you should try to adapt and evolve your vision each time you go out to take photographs. Letting your experiences influence the choices you make in your photography will allow your photography to express your individuality as a person.
It’s easy to see a beautiful landscape and take a photograph of what you see, but that is often not enough to grab the eye of your viewer. After you’ve defined your vision for a specific photograph it’s time to answer some questions about the perspective you wish to convey.
Do you want to photograph from a low angle or from above the scene? Are you thinking of using a super wide-angle lens or would your scene be better suited for the compressed look of a telephoto? You can even begin to think about what type of post-production techniques you will use. Will it be HDR, black and white, vibrant and saturated, or muted?
Each photograph you take is going to be unique in its answers to these questions. There’s no one-answer-fits-all solution here, it’s just a matter of finding out what works and learning from experiences over time.
#3. Be purposeful in the choices you make
If you’re going to overexpose a photograph, have a reason why. If you’re going to post-process an image using the HDR technique be sure do it because it makes sense, not because you want it to be HDR. Making purposeful decisions in your photography will make every photograph you take better.
In regards to post-production in general, be sure to use it as a tool to elevate your great photographs to the next level, and not to save your misfires from the trashcan. Post-production is not what makes a photograph great, it can only enhance an already great photograph allowing it to stand out, above the crowd.
#4. Subject matter, light, and the basics
Finally, a boring landscape, shot in bad light, with the wrong techniques is not going to win any love from the peanut gallery so brush up on the basics first. Learning how to photograph in the right lighting conditions, how to properly use a tripod, and how to achieve the perfect exposure of your scene will allow you to create more eye-catching photographs.
Do you have some other tips for achieving eye-catching landscape photographs? Share them with us in the comments below!