How to Shoot Epic Landscape Photos on a Smartphone (VIDEO)

So you're driving through the countryside, come upon a beautiful scene, and pull over to admire the view. Instead of berating yourself for leaving your camera at home, how about using the techniques in this video from Great Big Photography World to capture a few spectacular images with your smartphone?

This popular YouTube channel is devoted to tutorials that explain interesting shooting and editing techniques for creative photography. This episode is installment #19 of their 52-week Smartphone Photography Course. The unnamed instructor begins with this: "Landscape photography with a smartphone isn't just about taking pictures; it's about capturing the conversation between nature and light while maintaining visual balance."

In this behind-the-scenes video you'll pick up a variety of simple techniques for accomplishing this goal with a creative flair. While hiking through the outback the instructor discusses a variety of important topics, including phone features that are ideal for this type of photography, composition, camera settings and other key considerations that contribute to beautiful imagery full of balance—just like you'd do with a "real" camera.

Dealing with a smartphone's unique (some would say "inconvenient") form factor is also part of the deal, and the first topic of conversation covers phone features that are particularly useful for shooting landscapes. These include High Dynamic Range (HDR), and you'll see how to enable this setting in whatever device you own.

If you have an older phone without HDR there are ways to achieve the same effect when editing your images with a variety of popular apps. There's an example of doing so when processing photos with Snapseed, but other apps work much the same.

But what about expansive vistas that exceed the wide-angle capabilities of your phone? This is where the Panorama setting comes to the rescue. All you have to do is activate this feature, move the camera slowly across the scene, and let its software do the work—automatically stitching multiple shots together to create one awe-inspiring image.

Shooting photos with dramatic composition and effective balance is another key consideration, and this lesson delves into a variety of methods for achieving this essential technique. As you'll see, one very effective approach involves framing up the scene with a compelling element in the foreground.

This is just a taste of what you'll learn by watching today's quick tutorial, and by the time you're done it will be imminently clear that a modern smartphone is also a "real" camera that's deserving of more respect.

There's much more to learn on the Great Big Photography World YouTube channel, where you'll also find past and future episodes of this smartphone photography series, so be sure to take a look.