When is the best time to go out and shoot landscape photos?

Phil Howell says the golden hour is a special time to go out to shoot scenics
(Image credit: Phil Howell)

The natural beauty of the world is a great inspiration for me. The diverse landscapes I shoot, from the rolling hills of Gloucestershire to the rugged features of the Brecon Beacons and the Lake District, are a constant source of creativity and wonder. 

I am particularly drawn to the golden hours of sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and warm and the world is transformed into a breathtaking tapestry of colour and form. I have a love for capturing panoramic shots and for using long exposures to create a sense of time flowing and moving in my images. I believe that every photo should tell a story, and I use my 10-stop ND filter to capture the movement and flow of the world around me. 

The best neutral density filters ND filters for longer exposures: beautiful lighting for vlogging, video calls and selfies

Whether I am capturing the misty peaks of a mountain range or the still waters of a lake, I aim to create a sense of wonder for anyone viewing my images, inviting them to experience the beauty of the world through the lens. 

To achieve the sharpest images, I use a Vanguard tripod, with a levelling bowl and a Benro geared head. This setup allows me to achieve precise compositions and keep my shots steady, even in low light.

(Image credit: Phil Howell)

Langdale Pikes, Lake District, England

This image captures the iconic Langdale Pikes from the unique perspective of Side Pike. Shot using a Sony A7R IV and a Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art at 38mm, 1/50 sec at f/11, ISO 100. Post-processing the shot using Lightroom and Affinity Photo, I cropped in slightly and removed the well-known Langdale house from the image, which allows the mountain to rise up uninterrupted from the valley floor.

Phil Howell says the golden hour is a special time to go out to shoot scenics

(Image credit: Phil Howell)

Pen Y Fan, Brecon Beacons, Wales 

The soft beauty of hill mist as it cascades down the slopes of Pen Y Fan Massif
in the Brecon Beacons at sunrise. I used a 10-stop ND SRB Elite filter for a long 30-second exposure that captures the movement in the clouds and highlights
the ethereal quality of the mist. A Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens was
used at 31mm and f/5, providing a wide and detailed view of the scene.

(Image credit: Phil Howell)

Making steady progress

Phil says that his Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ aluminum tripod is a must-have. Its sturdy construction, combined with adjustable legs and a center column, provides unbeatable stability for shooting any landscape. The tripod’s adjustable legs allow for low-angle shooting and uneven terrain, while the center column can be inverted for unique perspectives.

Check out The best budget tripods, be sure to look at the 8 tips for jaw-dropping winter landscape photography

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Alistair Campbell

Alistair is the Features Editor of Digital Camera magazine, and has worked as a professional photographer and video producer.