Everybody fancies themselves as an amateur photographer, but mastering how to take the perfect photos takes time and a lot of effort. That goes double for landscape photography, and figuring out the best ways to take this style of photo could leave you with an image that you just can’t wait to put on a canvas to keep forever. Below we’ve detailed some quick and easy steps for ensuring your landscape photos look like they were captured by a pro.

Finding the ideal time of day

The secret to taking the best photos is finding the optimum time of the day to capture them. Landscape photos are defined by the quality of light they were taken in, which is why many photographers choose to shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The sun is lower, and there’s often a refined colour palette which can be used to your advantage. It’s no wonder the hours after dawn and before dusk have been called the ‘magic hours’.

Maximise your depth of field

With most landscape photos you’ll want to fit in as much of the scenery as possible, and the easiest way to do this is by choosing a small aperture setting on your camera. With a smaller setting you will find that your shots have greater depth, and with a bit of experimentation it could really give you some stunning images. Keep in mind that small aperture settings mean that less light will be hitting your image sensor, so you might have to compensate by increasing ISO sensitivity or lengthening your shutter speed.

Seek out a focal point

Landscapes without a focal point can look empty and leave people wondering what they’re staring at, so try to fit one in whenever you can. These focal points can be anything you like, whether it’s a building, an interesting tree, a rock formation or anything else. Always try to seek out a focal point if you’re planning to have your landscape placed onto a canvas.

Consider movement

Landscapes are often regarded as pictures of calm, passive environments, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can try to add some movement into the image to change things up a bit, and with the right effects you could end up with a very interesting picture. For example, waves crashing into the beach can make a fantastic photo, as can wind in the trees or birds flying overhead. Try to consider movement the next time you’re out capturing your landscape.

Keep your balance with a tripod

It’s important to keep your camera still when taking shots, especially if you find yourself using longer shutter speeds. Tripods will ensure your camera remains in place while the picture is being taken, and we’re sure you’ll be thankful for one after you get the beautiful image you’ve been searching for.

Look to the sky

The sky can really transform your landscape into something to behold. A bland, boring one will be detrimental to your shot, but there are a few things to remember when it comes to including the sky. Try not to let a boring sky dominate your shot by placing the horizon in the upper third of the shot. However, if the sky has lots of colour or an interesting cloud formation you can let it stand out more by placing the horizon lower down. You could even use software to enhance the skies afterwards, which could make for some funky shots.

Use the weather to your advantage

The weather can cause mischief and really screw with your shots, but there’s also a way to use it your advantage. Photographers who are just starting out in their craft often believe that a sunny day provides the best picture opportunities, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes an overcast day with the threat of rain can present the better chances to create unique, moody images. This goes for storms, fog and rainbows, too. Working the different weather variations into your shots will make a big difference to those regular, sunny blue skies.

Go off the beaten track

Finding the most ideal location to take your picture from shouldn’t be easy. Scenic lookouts are fantastic for discovering vast landscapes, but they might not always offer the best perspective. If you really want to get a unique shot that no one else is going to have then you’re going to have to put in some foot work. Go off the beaten track and find the time to seek out a different perspective on things. This could mean wandering down paths and looking for new angles, or even getting onto the ground to take a shot from down low. By exploring and experimenting you could end up with a really exceptional picture.

Take lots of shots

After finding the best landscape to capture you should take a large amount of different shots at different exposures. The best ones to keep can be chosen at a later time, but for now you just want to get as many as you can to have a large choice. If you’re feeling really creative then two exposures can be blended together to show different elements properly exposed.

Always prepare well

There might be an ideal time to shoot from a certain location, and if this is the case then you should prepare well before you want to take the shot. Seek out the ideal angles and work out where the sun will be at a certain time, as this could make all the difference to your final image. You could be waiting a while for the shot you want to appear, so bring enough warm clothing, water and maybe a flask of coffee to keep you going! Sometimes sunrises or sunsets only last a few moments, so being ready is imperative.

With these tips your landscape shots should be looking professional in no time at all. You can picture a huge range of things in a landscape, and experimenting with your results is one of most fun parts of photography. If you capture a shot that you really love and want to bring it to life on a canvas then Parrot Print is the service for you.