3 Top Landscape Photo Tips Every Beginner Should Know (VIDEO)

If you’re just getting started in landscape photography, welcome to the club! You definitely have a lot to learn, but don’t feel intimidated because expanding one’s skills is part of the fun. The tutorial below from an accomplished British landscape photographer is designed to shorten your learning curve, with three simple tips he say’s “every beginner should know.”

This episode from pro Nigel Danson isn’t about camera settings, exposure, focus, and other technical matters. Instead, the 11-minute lesson involves esthetic considerations and how to view subjects differently than when shooting other types of photos. There’s also a healthy dose of advice for composing images with maximum impact.

Danson says his goal is to help you consistently capture better photos, and he kicks off the video with a discussion focal length and the best lenses to use depending upon the scenes you confront. In this regard Danson insists that the key to photographing expansive vistas is simplifying the scene and drawing the viewer into the frame by accentuating one or a just a few eye-catching elements.

In some cases doing this requires setting conventional wisdom aside, leaving your wide-angle lens in the bag, and shooting with a somewhat longer focal length. Taking this approach makes it easy to eliminate extraneous elements, and thereby your imagery will have far greater impact. You can also achieve this goal with careful cropping, depending upon the resolution of your camera.

Danson’s second tip is also somewhat unconventional, as he says. “Don’t put your camera on a tripod as soon as you arrive on location. The tripod should be the very, very last thing you should pull out before starting to shoot.”  Danson prefers to walk around the area with his camera, unencumbered by a heavy tripod, while examining the terrain and taking a few test shots before deciding upon a composition. Then, and only then, is it time to lockdown your camera and get to work.

The last tip has to do with deciphering the quality and direction of prevailing light, and this too may require a bit of experimentation. Danson has some great suggestions in this regard, and they can make all the difference. By combining all three of his tips, better images are sure to follow.

You can find a wide array of landscape photography tips on Danson’s instructional YouTube channel, so be sure to pay a visit and return often.

And if you missed this morning’s tutorial, with great ideas for shooting landscape photos close to home, take a look and discover opportunities you may have overlooked.