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21 Inspiring Landscape Photos With 21 Quick Tips

Time for a bit of landscape photography inspiration. I've picked out 21 awesome shots, all of which just make you want to get out there with your camera and create beautiful images.

I've written a 'quick tip' beneath each image, to give you 1 small takeaway idea from each one. Feel free to read these, or completely ignore them if you just want to look at some amazing pictures!

1

by Daniel Zedda

Quick Tip:

There are loads of reasons why this photo works so well, one being the way it is nicely divided up into triangular sections. Can you make them out? There's the rocky part of the foreground, the land to the left of the stream, the sky and the land on the right. They create a balanced composition, and all converge at the point where the river disappears, leading the viewer's eye deep into the scene.

2

by Gilles Chiroleu

Quick Tip:

This picture blew me away. It's magnificent, isn't it? I'm yet to find myself in the right place at the right time to capture a really good lighting photograph. But here are some of the techniques that are needed if you do find your self in that position: 1) Shoot on a tripod to enable long exposure times. 2) Use a cable release to allow you to react when lightning strikes, without causing camera shake. 3) Shoot in bulb mode. Hold down the shutter release for the duration of the shot/lightning strike, and release to finish. 4) Pre-compose the shot, and wait for the lightning to fill the sky.

3

by Graeme Law

Quick Tip:

Blending multiple exposures. As with many of the shots in this collection, the impressive tonal range in this mountain landscape is achieved through blending together several different exposures. It's just not possible to capture the full range of tones, from the brighter parts of the sky to the much darker foreground, in camera. You can take a collection of shots on location, or simply shoot in Raw and create separate conversions to blend (here's a tutorial on blending Raw images in Photoshop).

4

by Daniel Zedda

Quick Tip:

This is a nice example of lead-in lines. The rickety old fence begins right in the foreground and leads our eye to the bare tree, which in turn provides a vertical line for us to follow. Lead-in lines are one of the main tools of landscape photographers, drawing in the viewer and adding dynamism to static scenes.

5

by Steve Dunleavy

Quick Tip:

This image really draws you into it, from the foreground through to background. You can almost smell the clean mountain air! An image like this needs to be really sharp all the way through. Here are some of the things you can do to achieve this: 1) use a tripod. 2) Use a cable release (failing that, the self-timer). 3) Use a really narrow aperture (e.g. f.29) 4) Use a decent lens! Obvious, but not everyone realizes how crucial glass quality is. 4) Shoot at ISO 100. 5) Use the Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop.

6

by Zach Dischner

Quick Tip:

Who says landscapes are all about the 'magic hours'? This is a wonderful shot of the desert, with great contrast, cool texture and an amazing sky. There are those who simply don't bother to shoot landscapes outside of the dawn/sunset periods. But this image, and several others in this collection, proves that some of the best opportunities for landscape photography come with overcast skies. The soft, diffused light is what sculpts the dunes and gives them their interesting smooth texture.

7

by Rajesh

Quick Tip:

Landscape photography is usually all about wide angle lenses, but telephotos have their uses too. This close up off mist wrapping itself around dark green mountain faces would only have been achieved using a long zoom lens. Whilst telephoto compression takes a picture in the opposite dirtection of most landscapes (where a small focal length enhances the sense of depth), this does result in a clean and uncluttered effect, which can look really cool, as in this shot.

8

by Vinoth Chandar

Quick Tip:

This kind of 'controlled blur' can look awesome in landscape photos. Select a relatively slow shutter speed, in the region of 1/15th to 1/50th of a second, and swoosh the camera up vertically during exposure (or horizontally if that suits the subject, e.g. a beach). The effect is very compelling and atmospheric. Strong colours are important for this kind of shot to work. Alternatively, apply a directional blur filter in Photoshop, to all or some of the image.

9

by Lewis Argerich

Quick Tip:

Take spare shoes and socks when photographing on the beach! Not the most inspiring tip to accompany an awesome coastal shot, granted. But it's well worth bearing in mind. I suppose the wider point is to plan your shoots with a bit of care. As a beginner I often used to rush off to the beach in the evening, and squelch my way back in freezing, soaking, salty shoes! Urgh. The photographer has been able to capture the tide line so effectively in this scene by standing right at the water's edge. I'll bet he had some spare shoes in the back of the car!

10

by Patrick Merritt

Quick Tip:

This image has several key elements, including a lead-in line, strong contrast and nice composition. But the thing that really makes it amazing is the texture of the earth. Hundreds of little cracked shapes, punctuated by one large rock, looks really cool. So keep your eyes peeled for interesting textures that can serve as foregrounds in your landscape photos. For example, sand, wet stones, dry earth, smooth rocks, delicate flowers etc.

11

Image by Prayoga D Widyanto

Quick Tip:

You have to be there. There's a great quote (and I apologize for not being able to recall the source) that goes something like: "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff". This landscape, taken from above cloud level, shows that you have to make the effort to get to the interesting places if you want to produce great photos. They won't come to you.

12

BY Lewis Argerich

Quick Tip:

Certian landscape images look amazing in square format. This is especially true of clean, sparce, fairly minimalist shots. One of my all time favourite landscape photographers, Charlie Waite, often uses a square format camera (most of us would just crop to square in Photoshop) to wonderful effect. Waite's pictures often have a kind of soothing, calmness and orderedness about them. I think the square format lend itslef to this kind of simple, neat composition.

13

by Prayoga D Widyanto

Quick Tip:

Including people in landscape photos can add a whole new element of interest. It provides an immediate focal point for the viewer, around which the rest of the image can unfold. So the placement of a figure is really important. For me, the above shot is just perfect composition! I love the way the boat is pointing towards the main light source, leading our eye in that direction and off into the landscape. Just a thin strip of foreground is enough to frame the lake nicely, creating a balanced composition.

14

by Luigi Torreggiana

Quick Tip:

Keen landscape photographer? Visit Tuscany! The number of breathtaking Tuscan landscapes I've seen is ridiculous. It's got to be a photographer's paradise. But I guess there are dozens of locations around the world that make every landscape photographer's mouth water. Come to think of it, there are loads around where I live that I want to shoot. I think the point is: make a list! Since I started making a wish list of locations I've been making way more of an effort to actually visit them.

 

15

by Lewis Argerich

Quick Tip:

A lot of photography is about contrast, not just between dark and light, but colours, textures, shapes and themes too. The vibrant pink flowers in this shot contrast beautifully with the mellow tones of the sand and sky. They also create a nice tension with the brooding sky to the left. Another thing to take away from this shot is how imortant a good foreground is; in this case it makes the picture.

16

by Earl Wilkerson

Quick Tip:

High Contrast? That calls for a B/W conversion. Photoshop makes it possible produce awesome black and white conversions, without having to actually shoot with any particular filters. This image demonstrates how a dramatic sky often looks brilliant in monotone, and the same goes for the shadow underneath the tree. So if the light is right, think about the possibility of a B/W conversion in post-production.

17

by Graeme Law

Quick Tip:

Although this is taken in relatively strong light, the photographer has been able to use a long exposure to create that atmospheric, misty effect. The key? A neutral density/ND filter. These little things are a must have piece of kit for all keen landscape photographers. They allow you reduce the strength of the light entering the camera by a given number of stops, without imposing a colour cast on the image. I use the square shaped Cokin filters, which are great for layering up several different filters on top of each other.

18

by Vinoth Chandar

Quick Tip:

The photographer could have found a way of composing this image without the buildings in the bottom right. But by including them he's created a much stronger sense of scale and added another layer of interest. I also think that by positioning them very near the bottom right of the frame, instead of higher up, that sense of the scale of the sheer rock faces is enhanced.

19

Prayoga D Widyanto

Quick Tip:

Shooting into direct sunlight is a tad hazardous, for both your camera and your eyes, but it can be a very effective technique. It works very well in images like this, where the sun's rays are intersected by tall, silhouetted trees. Sometimes the inevitable flare can ruin the image, but sometimes it can make it too. When it comes to exposing for this kind of image, I like to take a spot meter reading at a point in the sky at some distance from the sun.

20

by Michael McCullough

Quick Tip:

Sky + water = a winner. Sometimes it's worth ignoring the rule that landscape photos need a good foreground. The thin strip of land in this picture, sandwiched between 2 expanses of sky and water is a stunning effect. The symmetry created by reflections on the water is always going to be really satisfying, and it's worked brilliantly here.

21

by Sang Trinh

Quick Tip:

Turn that camera around! One of my favourite images in the collection, this. It shows just how effective a portrait format can be for a landscape shot. It feels like the wet stones are just beneath your feet, as the waves rush over them. This format relies on a strong foreground to pull the viewer in. Because of the added height, you can really create a strong sense of depth with this method, and lead-in lines often come into play.

 

What do you think of these landscape photos? Which ones are your favourites?

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