eight Common Landscape Photography Errors (+ How to Fix Them)

8 Common Landscape Digital photography Mistakes (+ How to Fix Them)

8 common landscape mistakes

Landscape photography is a load of enjoyable – but even the best landscape shooters make mistakes, that is what this article is all about.

Specifically, I’m going to share the eight mistakes I realize all the time, especially in beginner pictures. And I’m also going to explain how those errors can be fixed, so that the next time you’re out shooting, you understand exactly what to do (and things to avoid).

Seem sensible? Let’s dive right in, starting with the most common landscape photography mistake of all:

1 . A lack of stability

Penguins and iceberg in Antarctica.

In panorama photography, you usually want your pictures to be sharp all the way through, from front to back. To achieve this effect, you must use a narrow aperture , which in turn can reduce your shutter speed and make your images very vulnerable to blur.

Therefore, many landscape photographers come back home after shooting, only to find their photos plagued by consistent blurriness.

There’s a simple way to deal with this issue, however: Use a tripod ! This is specifically important if you’re shooting in low light, but in all honesty, I recommend you period tripod with you everywhere .

Now, there are tripods plus there are tripods . For landscape photography, you might want to invest in a more heavy-duty option; while small, lightweight tripods might do the trick for a while, in case you are shooting in the wind, a person risk tripod shake (plus, your tripod might get blown over). A good tripod will also last a long time and can take a beating, so buy the best tripod you are able to afford and keep your camera as still as possible whenever shooting.

Another good piece of equipment to buy is a remote release . You don’t need among the expensive ones with a pre-installed intervalometer; just a simple remote control shutter is fine. Once you are set up and ready to take your shot, step back from the camera and press the particular shutter button. There will be no vibration from you hitting the camera shutter button, and your picture will be nice and sharp.

(If you don’t want to purchase a remote release, you could use the self-timer, instead. )

2 . Not getting the horizon straight

Several a good landscape image has been ruined by a skewed horizon. And while this can be fixed in Photoshop or Lightroom, you might lose some details as you go along – which is why I highly recommend you deal with the horizon in camera, not within post-processing.

You may use a few different tools to ensure your horizon is straight. You might try switching to the grid in your camera viewfinder, then always taking the time in order to line up the horizon with a horizontal gridline. Some tripod heads even have a built-in spirit level, so guarantee this is level and your horizon should be fine.

Alternatively, you can purchase an amount that mounts to your digital camera hot shoe. Just connect the level, then do a fast check before taking your picture.

beach photo with a crooked horizon
A crooked horizon is distracting.

straightened horizon of beach sunset
The image looks much better now that the horizon is definitely straight.

3. Shooting only in landscape format

Landscape photography will be, well, surroundings photography – so photographers assume they ought to shoot in landscape (horizontal) format.

And generally speaking, this is a good idea. The horizontal orientation stresses the sweep of a picture, and it can lend a sense of vastness to the shot.

Except, in some cases, a portrait orientation (vertical) could work well, too – occasionally better than a horizontal alignment. Think of a forest scene. The trees stretch in to the sky, so a horizontally format will limit their height rather than show this off, and create a less interesting photo in the process.

Bottom line: If the subject’s shape is more vertical than horizontal, you should try it within the portrait format, as it may provide the composition a dynamic existence. And if you’re not sure whether to shoot vertical or horizontal, just do each and sort out the issues afterwards!

rocks on a beach
Shoot in family portrait format, too!

4. Failing to remember about the aperture

Aperture is a camera establishing – but it’s the composition tool. And many panorama photographers forget this.

You see, aperture assists determine your level of field (i. e., the amount of the scene that appears sharp). And by carefully considering the depth of field, you can produce different compositional effects.

The moment you start making a composition, you should be thinking about your own depth of field. Ask yourself: Do I want everything from the particular foreground to the background to stay focus? Generally, in landscape photography, this will be the case, when you’d prefer to keep certain areas soft, you should choose early on.

If you do wish foreground-to-background sharpness, make sure your aperture is f/8, f/11, or higher. If you shoot at f/2. 8 or f/4 and also you focus on the foreground, the setting will be out of focus, and the middle of your scene is going to be soft. And once you’ve taken a shallow depth associated with field photo, it can not be fixed in Photoshop.

landscape sunset mountains and beach
In a landscape image, you will likely want everything in focus.

5. Shooting using the camera’s “landscape” mode

Yes, you may have a surroundings setting in the scene modes of your camera. But attempt to use it as infrequently as is possible.

Why? Well, it’s not great at generating an even exposure, plus it can’t determine the proper aperture to get a given scene (only you can do that! ).

So instead of using your Landscape mode, try changing over to Aperture Priority mode or even Manual mode . Both these options will let you dial in your aperture and INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG , and they’ll furthermore let you tweak the shutter speed for the best results.

At first, this may take some getting used to. A person won’t be able to rely on a familiar point-and-shoot mentality. Yet over time, you’ll become more and much more familiar with your camera settings, and you’ll end up with greater results than your camera’s automated Landscape mode could actually achieve.

six. Standing next to other photographers

If you visit a group of photographers standing on the very best of a hill, here’s our advice:

Take from somewhere else.

I don’t mean to mean that the other photographers are taking bad shots. Rather, I’d want to emphasize the importance of originality. Do you wish to go home with a shot much like everyone else’s? Or do you want a shot that’s uniquely yours ?

Of course , in certain situations, the best composition or advantage point is at one particular place, and all the photographers may congregate in that area. That’s fine; take a shot following that to start. But then look for other places to get a great shot, too.

(Pro tip: It’s a good idea to scout a scene before you shoot it. Go and take a walk around the area the day prior to, look at where the sun will be setting, and decide on your situation. Don’t simply follow the crowd. )

Machu Picchu high vantage point
A different composition of Machu Picchu.

seven. Including unnecessary negative area

Harmful space   could be the “empty” area that surrounds your subject, and the addition – and exclusion – of negative space can truly make or break your picture.

Careful utilization of negative space can lend your photos a sense of relaxed and tranquility. But bad use of negative space, being common in landscape digital photography, will create static, dull photos.

In many landscape scenes, the skies is the negative space, especially on a clear, sunny day time. And you’ll often find beginner landscape photographers include lots of sky in the composition, even though it doesn’t actually add anything interesting to the chance.

So before you decide to include large swathes associated with sky in your compositions, meticulously observe the horizon. Are there components of interest, such as clouds? Or even is there a simple, blank blue?

If the answer is “blank glowing blue, ” then make the skies a small portion of your image (of course, if there are some great-looking clouds, then by all means, give it more space in your scene).

This goes for other types of negative space, too. Are you photographing an sea scene? Make sure not to include too much water, unless of course it adds atmosphere towards the photo. Are you photographing a valley? Make sure not to consist of lots of empty grass. Got it?

snow with mountains in background
The sky acquired no clouds, so I caused it to be a small part of the image.

8. Not including a clear subject

It sounds crazy, however it is  very easy to have an uncertain subject in landscape picture taking. For instance, if you photograph a forest but just show some random tree mayhem, the viewer won’t understand where to look – mainly because there’s no clear issue. And if you’re photographing an ocean but you just stage your camera at the water and shoot, you’ll end up with some boring water and sky, not a coherent, impressive photo.

Instead, identify what matters to you in a scene – and then emphasize it in your shot.

Naturally , you don’t need to fill the frame with your subject matter; it’s perfectly acceptable to demonstrate both your subject as well as the beauty that surrounds it. But if you’re struggling to highlight the subject, do try moving closer or utilizing a longer lens. And look at your composition afterward, asking yourself: What stands out? What will the audience notice? And what do I want the viewer to notice?

If what the viewer will discover and what you want the particular viewer to notice differ, then you’ve probably made a mistake.

iceberg and ship landscape photography mistake
The iceberg ahead of the ship is the clear subject matter.

Landscape photography mistakes: final words

Properly, there you have it:

The eight surroundings photography mistakes to avoid the next time you’re out shooting.

When you are in the field with your camera, explain to you these mistakes. Make any kind of corrections, then check the photo. I’m guessing you’ll end up with a much improved result!

Now over to you:

Which usually of these landscape photography errors do you make? Do you have any extra mistakes that deserve to be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Learning much more from our Guidelines & Tutorials category

Barry J Brady

Barry J Brady

is a Fine Art Panorama and commercial photographer located in Vancouver, BC. He is also an addicted traveller and loves travelling to far off places and capturing their importance. Barry is an entertaining plus experienced photography teacher plus public speaker. He loves simply being behind his camera or showing other photographers how to get the most out of their own camera. To see more of their work, visit his site here . You can also join Barry on a photography workshop in Canada. Click right here to find out more.

I need help with…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *