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The Best Way to Take Landscape Photos

Updated on February 10, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

Good central subject and right f-stop/shutter speed combination


There are many ways to capture good landscapes photographs and almost all vary in their techniques and methods. Yet there is one simple way to make your landscapes images stand out and lead the viewer into the main scene while allowing them to see other elements whether real or imagined.

This simple technique is to get very low to the ground and include a small element or object within the scene placed in the front of the image, right in front of the lens. This not only gives a different perspective to the shot, but leads the eye towards the rest of the scene and gives you a sense of space. You should also use a wide angle lens to include as much detail as possible.

The use of a wide angle lens gives the foreground element or object an exaggerated sense of proportion and will also pick up the background. By including an object right in front of the lens you are in a sense adding a subject to a much larger subject.

Your viewers can get the feeling that they can reach out and almost touch this object. This not only adds depth to the scenery but it also adds an element of interest not rarely seen in most landscape shots.

Good central subject but too wide an f-stop blurs the background landscape scenery

Good central subject but too wide an f-stop blurs the background landscape
Good central subject but too wide an f-stop blurs the background landscape | Source

Yes, your gear can also work | Source

Most landscapes shots are captured as if we were taking a snapshot and this seems natural to most. But by changing the perspective as well as your angle you are altering the way the scenes is looked at. This style tends to be rather bland in many cases since there really is no center of interest to grab the attention of the viewer.

The object "placed" in front of the lens should be small like a rock, a small tree stump, flower patch or small boulder. The idea is to change the way that most of us are used to looking at a landscape and make it more interesting.

The difficult part of this technique is really determining what object or other element to us as the center of attention. If it is too big it will distract from the mani landscape scene, too small and it can become irrelevant and forgo the intended effect.

Going to try this technique?

See results

There are many things that can be applied for this technique to be effective and each location and terrain offers its own unique set of suitable subjects.

Here are few suggestions as they pertain to different locations and different terrains.

Keep in mind that most locations offer a variety of subject matter and objects that can be used correctly with this technique.

Look carefully, try different views and capture several images so that you can judge what works for you.

If capturing a water landscape try to include a reflection on the water or small set of pebbles. If the terrain is mostly sand, look for some patterns in the sand itself.

For many other terrains like rivers or creeks pebbles or small rocks work best.

During bright sunny days look for striking and interesting shadows. Don't forget to look for sets or even single leaves during the Fall.


Be attentive to your f-stop (aperture). If you use a large f-stop setting it will tend to blur the elements as they go away from the main point of focus.

The best setting is always the narrowest one that your lens allows but this brings another issue into play.

The narrower the f-stop setting the less light that enters the film or sensor plane. Keep in mind the combination of shutter speed, f-stop and available light when composing your shots. | Source | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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