5 keys to landscape photography

landscape photography

Lake Verret south of Pierre Part, La., is a picturesque swamp replete with Spanish moss-draped cypress trees.

Create fine art prints with landscape photography


1. Use a wide-angle lens

Wide-angle lenses allow photographers to capture images that illustrate nature’s expanse, while the lenses’ inherit depth of field means pretty much everything will be in sharp focus.

These lenses also have a tendency to add some distortion at the edges of the frame, which can be a positive and a negative. On the positive side, clouds can be transformed into sweeping photo elements that add drama. On the negative, trees and plants can be bent. So just be sure to pay attention to the edges of the frame.

The Morning Star photography

The sun breaking through storm clouds create a beautiful starburst over the Louisiana marsh that makes up Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area.

2. Find an interesting angle

Most people see an interesting view of a swamp, mountain or creek and just point their cameras and take a few photos. Capturing true works of art requires more.

So look for a different angle than the obvious. One great strategy is to get as low as possible, even lying on the ground.

Bayou Teche NWR photography

The afternoon sunlight gleams through a clearing at the end of an old cypress run deep in the swamps of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge.

3. Compose with a strong foreground element

Showcase something that grabs your attention makes awesome landscape photography. A cool tree. A beautiful flower. Some wild rocks. Combine a strong foreground element with a wide-angle lens, and the results are sure to wow you.

4. Take long exposures

The longer the exposure the deeper the depth of field. Long exposures also transforms water into wispy cotton. So keep the shutter open s long as possible.

In low-light situations that’s pretty easy, but when sunlight becomes strong you can use a neutral density filter to cut down the amount of light entering the lens to elevate your landscape photography.

5. Keep the horizon straight

Nothing ruins an otherwise great image than a crooked horizon. So make sure it’s straight. Professional DSLRs and many upper-level amateur cameras make it easy by providing grids on the viewfinder system, so turn that function on and use it as a reference point.

Click here to view my full online gallery!

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.