The one thing that can make or break your landscape shots

I'm not going to drag this one out, keeping it short and sweet. As above the one thing you need to be considering in your photography, more so for landscapes: Depth. 

By depth i mean drawing the viewer into the image. Creating depth in your shots really makes them stand out from the crowd and creates that immersive 3D effect. 

How do you do this? There are a couple of ways:

1) Leading Lines. I always try and use leading lines in my shots if i can. They help draw the viewer in and create symmetry in the photo. Leading lines could be a jetty on the water, rocks in the foreground leading away to the subject, a mountain line, cliff edge. There are a number of ways to create leading lines . Have a look at some shots below 

 

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These two images are good examples because they show nice symmetry in the Center of the frame. Particularly in the road shot you can see the lines going off to infinity.   

2) Your foreground subject  

Having an interesting foreground can create depth in an image and also perspective. Example:  

 

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As ye can see, i like rocks and water! But rocks make a great foreground subject. Trees, roads, cliffs, buildings they can all be framed right and used for a foreground. 

3) This is a general rule you'll see pop up a lot on landscape photography articles and guides online: Shoot at golden hour. Golden hour being either sunrise or sunset. Why? The light is soft, there is more colour in the sky (if conditions suit) and you don't get those harsh shadows caused by the glaring sun in the middle of the day. A lot of people see a crystal clear sky and think this will be a stunning sunset, while it will be clear and beautiful, the most vibrant and surreal skies i have seen have had some cloud in them. When the clouds are high in the sky, you will get a good sunset/sunrise. Also often after a day of rain if the weather clears there is a stunning sunset, likewise if you look at the forecast and see reasonably clear conditions but rain forecast for the evening then get out for sunrise! 

 

This is a winter sunset from Glencar Lake, Co Leitrim. The following day was the most miserable, wet bucketing down irish day you could imagine. I am not a meteorologist, i'm just sharing what i have experienced and what seems to happen regularly. So don't be disheartened if you see poor weather, take the chance, you never know what might happen!     So that's it, quick little tips about landscape shots. I didn't go into the camera settings or gear used for landscape photography (Narrow aperture, Tripod maybe, wide angle lens (not always), patience, the tea and sandwiches etc. That can be for a different time, its fairly well covered across the internet spectrum anyway.   Happy shooting. 

This is a winter sunset from Glencar Lake, Co Leitrim. The following day was the most miserable, wet bucketing down irish day you could imagine. I am not a meteorologist, i'm just sharing what i have experienced and what seems to happen regularly. So don't be disheartened if you see poor weather, take the chance, you never know what might happen!

 

So that's it, quick little tips about landscape shots. I didn't go into the camera settings or gear used for landscape photography (Narrow aperture, Tripod maybe, wide angle lens (not always), patience, the tea and sandwiches etc. That can be for a different time, its fairly well covered across the internet spectrum anyway. 

Happy shooting.