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How to start landscape photography.

How to start landscape photography.

Landscape Photography is about capturing the world in front of your lens, sometimes endless and monumental, other times microscopic. In other words the landscape photographer try to capture his vision about the nature. Him or her is trying to give his/her personal point of view about nature while in the outdoor, especially when traveling.

Landscape photography is an amazing way to enjoy spending your time outdoor, disconnect from your problems of your day-to-day life, capturing memorable images of the places you visited.

Where to start to make a good landscape?

The answer is pretty easy: begin studying the fundamental. Don’t think that much about the gear. Just a camera or your mobile phone can be an honest beginning. If you don’t know the fundamental of photography (and of landscape photography) there is no difference between using a 5000$ camera and a 200$ one. Make a good image setting correctly the camera is better than retouching a bad photograph for hours trying to transform it in something eye-catching.

You need good foundations to start this journey in landscape photography. And to celebrate the beauty of nature trough your skills in landscape photography you need to study and practice a little bit. First of all you need to learn the basic camera settings of photography and how they relate each other. Understanding these basic camera settings you will be one step ahead to make a good landscape photograph.

Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.

Ansel Adams

The three main settings: Iso, Shutter Speed, Aperture. The exposure triangle.

Have you ever taken a photograph that was too bright or too dark? Here comes the exposure triangle, which is probably the foundation of everything about photography. The three elements of the exposure triangle are: Iso, Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Once you perfectly control the exposure triangle you will take complete control of the dials and the buttons of your camera. You will know what they do and why there are there. These dials and buttons will become your friends thanks to the exposure triangle.

These are the three element of the exposure triangle.


As light is the most important element in photography (no light no images!), in the same way Iso is the main element in the exposure triangle. The Iso controls the sensitivity of the sensor of your camera to light. A low number of Iso, for example Iso 100, mean less sensitivity of your camera to light. This means you have to open wider the Aperture, or use a slow shutter speed. If you are using Iso 100 you probably are in a very bright condition of light. If you increase your Iso (for example from 100 to 2000) your camera sensor become more sensitive to light. With a hight number of Iso your photograph begin to have noise (this is something to keep in mind).

When you use low Iso making landscape photography your camera is less sensitive to light. For this reason you will need a longer time to have a correct exposed image. For landscape photography usually photographer prefers to use the base Iso value (usually from 100 to 200 in most of the cameras).


The Aperture value is how much your lens is open. This value means more light or less light through the lens. In fact the Aperture controls the quality of light coming into your camera. Some example of Aperture value: f16, f11, f8, f5.6, f2. The higher the number the smaller the opening the lens. In the opposite way the lower the number the bigger the opening of the lens. For example f16 correspond to a really small aperture with less light passing through the lens. And f2 is wide open with a lot of light going trough the lens.

Don’t get confused: using a low aperture (number of f/stop), the correct amount of light arrive to the camera’s sensor with a shorter time. So a low aperture number allows you to shorten the shutter speed and lower the Iso.

The Aperture is really important and have a really great impact on the photograph, in fact it not only affect the brightness of the image but also the depth of field which is really important in landscape photography. Using an open Aperture such as f1.8 not every part of the photograph will be in focus, but the parts that are in focus will be really sharp. On the other hand a narrow Aperture such as f/22 will make everything in focus but less sharp. This is the reason why Aperture such as f/7.1 or f/11 are really popular in landscape photography.

Shutter Speed.

This is the third element involved in the exposure triangle. Your shutter speed can be really fast, and this will freeze the action. For example 1/4000 sec. is a really fast shutter speed. In the opposite way you can also use a slower shutter speed, for example 1/30 sec. In this way you can obtain motion blur and more light come through the lens. So the shutter is similar to the aperture as it allows more light or less light entering your camera depending on the shutter value. Differently from the aperture the shutter speed controls how long the camera sensor will receive the light.

This image was taken at sunset

Use the rule of third also in landscape photography.

The rule of third is about composition and is quite easy to understand. For this reason it is used by beginner photographers and by professional photographs as well.

Through the rule of thirds you broke the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The photograph result composed by 9 frames with four intersection point given by the intersection of the 4 lines you draw on the image. Look at the photograph below to have an example. If interest in knowing more about the rule of third you can click here.

An example of how to use the rule of third in landscape photography.

If you want to use the rule of thirds correctly you should avoid placing the main subject in the center of the frames. The main subject should be placed where the lines intersect.