How to be a landscape photographer: 10 concepts that guide every great image

How to be a landscape photographer: 10 simple concepts that guide every great image

Keen to take your landscape photography to the next level? Top pro Dan Ballard shares his best landscape photography tips and the guiding principles that are behind every shot and helped define his style.

All words and images by Dan Ballard

How to be a landscape photographer: 10 simple concepts that guide every great image

Landscape photography is all about taking the viewer on a journey through the amazing, fleeting moments nature creates. It is about looking deeper, and creating a sense of awe at the world. It is about showing the world in its finest light.

Like most landscape photographers I found out the hard way that it’s not easy to take photos that stir emotions. After thousands of hours spent looking for great images, I noticed that I used certain simple ideas every time I went out.

While the concepts that follow are not complicated, I find them to be key to creating great images.

One of the biggest keys to success in photography is hard work and dedication. Go and shoot as often as possible in great light, and try my ten ideas.

Not only will you start to create more inspiring images, you will witness some of the most beautiful moments nature has to offer…

SEE MORE: 13 ways famous landscape photographers make money from photography

How to be a landscape photographer: 01 Light is everything

How to be a landscape photographer: 01 Light is everything

We all know that shooting in great light is critical, and it is one of the most common ideas taught by photography instructors around the world.

However, it is still one of the most difficult concepts to truly grasp the importance of.

I still find myself amazed at how much light affects photographic success. Light is everything!

SEE MORE: See the light like a pro – everything you were afraid to ask about natural light

If I were asked whether I would rather shoot a beautiful location in average light or a boring location in amazing light, the answer is easy: amazing light every time.

It really is the most important element of photography. Learning to recognise great light when it is at its best will help your photography more then you can possibly imagine.

The main idea is always to go and shoot in the early morning and late evening. Always start shooting before the sun comes up and after it goes down.

Some of the best light is present before the sun appears and after it sets.

SEE MORE: Golden hour photography – tips for making magical landscapes at dawn and dusk

If you can head out shooting during these times on a regular basis you will start to create much better images using this idea alone.

It is also very important to start noticing different types of light and how each one affects your images.


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