If you’re first starting out in landscape photography, you probably have a lot of questions. It isn’t always an intuitive field, and not everyone finds a connection to it. That said, landscape photography is such a rewarding pursuit that many photographers want to learn more tips and techniques to practice it as well as possible. In this article, I’ll share some of my top landscape photography tips for beginners, including some suggestions that might fly in the face of what you’ve heard before. Hopefully, you learn something that helps you out along the way.
1) Don’t follow the rules of composition
Some photographers say that there are rules of composition in landscape photography. Are they correct? Don’t take everything at face value.
When creativity is involved, it is easy to fall back on basic tips and suggestions that simplify things. But the problem with many of these tips is that they oversimplify a remarkably complex process. Even the famous rule of thirds does this, distilling a deeply personal process down into an impersonal grid. Take a look at the work of a master photographer like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell — or photos by any photographer you like. Chances are good that they compose their photos based upon what looks good, not upon a pre-conceived formula.
It’s not just the rule of thirds, either. Although that is the best-known “rule,” some others pop up from time to time. So, to be clear: All of this applies equally to every such rule and special grid of composition. The golden ratio, dynamic symmetry, the rule of triangles, and so on… These are cookie-cutter formulas that sound fine on paper, and might work as basic tips for beginners, but have no relevance for advanced creative photography.