Rule of thirds is one of the most important parts to taking any image. Imagine a grid through your viewfinder that’s the same as a noughts and crosses board. When you’re shooting any landscape try and place the horizon line either on the top or bottom third. If you have a subject within the landscape or point of interest try placing it on one of the intersections on the grid for a more interesting composition.
Tip 2: Exposure.
Exposure is another important skill to any photograph. There are different types of exposure techniques from fast shutter to slow shutter. Slow shutter or “Long Exposure” can create some magical images especially when using fast moving clouds or water. It makes the sky blurry and the water milky with everything that’s not moving kinda in focus.
Be warned though this requires a sturdy tripod, remote, and filters if using this technique in the daytime.
Tip 3: Foreground.
There are many stunning views we see when we are trekking outdoors, but try to keep in mind that sometimes a rolling countryside is stunning to look at through our eyes but occasionally as an image it doesn’t work. Try finding an interesting focal point for the foreground and then shoot again. Most of the time it can transform a shot to be more appealing.
Tip 4: Shooting into the sun.
Many people’s advice is not to shoot into the sun. But this is so wrong. Shooting into the sun can give you some amazing shots, especially sun flares, they can create the sense of the sun hitting us with it’s warmth. If you have a half decent camera, try using f/22 when shooting into the sun, it can give you some amazing sun flare results.
Tip 5: Golden Hours.
This is what can elevate most outdoor photography shots. Think about the light in terms of its quality. How much light will there be and what direction will it be coming from.
The golden hour is the hour before sunrise and sunset. During this hour the colours and light are the best for any outdoor shot. The light is soft and not so harsh like the midday sun. Every outdoor photographer sets their alarms for sunrise (sunset). The beauty of the rich tones from the colour of the sun adds warmth and texture to rural and coastal shots.
Tip 6: Clouds.
Clouds or overcast skies can add so much drama and depth to your outdoor shots. Especially during the “golden hours” this can produce some magical colours. So when you’re outside don’t always think it has to be clear blue skies, that can make the image flat, clouds create so much more interest to any landscape/seascape.
Tip 7: Contrast.
Contrast is key. Try finding contrasting elements in your shots such as still and moving, light and dark, hard and soft, this will give your images an instant point of interest.
Tip 8: Look around.
We can get transfixed on a view especially when it’s sunrise or sunset. We are drawn to the sun, but be aware that sometimes the magic can be happening in the sky behind you. So always be vigilant to look 360° when composing your shot.
Tip 9: Equipment & Settings.
Just because someone might have all the gear it doesn’t mean they’re brilliant. It’s the person behind the camera that creates the look, yes equipment can help but this becomes more important when you improve. Settings on any camera can confuse you. Start on automatic, I did and once my confidence grew I started using other settings to create over and under exposed shots, long exposures etc.
Gain your confidence before going completely manual and spending a fortune on equipment.
Tip 10: Enjoy.
Probably the most important tip. Enjoy yourself. Have fun being outside with nature, give yourself time to take it all in before shooting the landscape to death. If you feel the moment of the beauty within yourself, I strongly believe it WILL transmit into your images.
Hello my name is Sean Byrne, I'm a passionate landscape/travel photographer and social media influencer from the UK.
I have a passion for taking photos of the great outdoors, whether that's in the UK or around the world.
I've been a photographer for over 4 years now. I'm also self taught after becoming addicted to photography on Instagram. Now more than 4 years on I have collaborated with National Geographic, Waitrose, Travel Alberta, Visit England, Swiss Air, Iceland Air, Austria Tourism, Enterprise, Sony Xperia and many, many more.
I've also been a speaker at Blog Stock, Brit Mums and Inflow Travel Summit.
Thank you for taking the time to read this bio, I hope you enjoy my blog and all my past adventures.
May this journey continue ...
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