Get the Maps Out and Plan Your RouteYou should never leave home to shoot in new locations without a good map (especially in areas where cell phone reception is non-existent). Before you head out, use a map to do a quick recon of the area you are planning to photograph. Scout your location in advance, working out elevations and exactly where the mountain peaks, lakes and scenic spots are, and which road or hiking trail you’ll need to reach them. Once you arrive and unpack and setup your gear, all you need to think about is taking incredible pictures.
Get in Position to Take the Perfect ShotThere’s a lot to think about when it comes to outdoor photography. Working out where the sun will rise and set, the sun’s position in relation to you and your landscape, and ensuring you’re in the right place at the right time. Before setting up, visualize the photo you’re trying to capture. Take sample shots by shooting handheld, getting up high and kneeling down low. Take several photos until you’ve envisioned a good, balanced composition of foreground and background elements.
Take Your Time and Don’t SettleWhen shooting landscapes, photographers can sometimes get lazy. They’ll reach a vantage point by car, park, and take a few snaps before driving off again. Want the best shot? Use your feet. Walk around, get down to the lakeside or base of the mountain, or walk up to a higher viewpoint, all of this will improve your composition. This can sometimes be difficult while lugging around gear, but in the end it’ll be worth it.
Shoot During the Golden HoursSunrise and sunset (and an hour before and after) are the best times of day for capturing captivating landscape shots with spectacularly colorful skies. Watch the weather forecast and try to avoid overcast or cloudy days – clear skies with just a few clouds usually create vibrant skies.
Review Your ShotsUnless you’re hiking for miles, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shoot tethered, checking your images after you’ve taken them. The most important tools for this are a TetherPro USB cable, laptop, extra tripod, and light-weight Tether Table Aero. Using your laptop, you can easily check your composition and framing, while checking on your color and white balance. Need some inspiration? Here’s just a few of our favorite photographers who shoot landscapes, time-lapse, nature, travel, or wildlife. Pål Gabrielsen – www.palgabrielsen.com
Matt Shannon Photography – www.mattshannonphotography.com
Scott Kelby – www.scottkelby.com
Timeographer – Ron Risman – www.timelapseworkshops.com
Laurie Rubin – www.imagesbylaurie.com