Before we dive in, here are our 10 commandments of landscape photography. Keep these in mind as we go through the rest of the course & while shooting your own landscape photos.

1. Shoot At Golden Hour

To automatically make your photos look better, shoot in the hour before and after sunrise and sunset. This golden hour light seems to make everything look better.

2. Think About Your Foreground Elements

Don’t just capture wide far-off landscape. Put something such as a tree, rock, or any other element in the foreground.

3. Increase Your Depth of Field

When starting out, increasing your depth of field with a smaller aperture (large f-stop number), will help you capture big wide landscapes in focus.

4. Straighten Out Your Horizons

Pay attention to your horizons. They should be level across your frame. You can also do this in post-production.

5. Use Your Tripod and Capture Motion

When photographing water or moving clouds, use long exposures to capture their beautiful motion. During the day you’ll need to use neutral density (ND) filters to be able to shoot long exposures. While doing this, your camera must be perfectly still. A tripod will help.

6. Check Before You Go

Check the weather, the time of the sunset and sunrise, and whether anything special is going on at your location before going. Think about colors that show during the different seasons.

7. Use a Polarizing Filter to Make Your Sky Pop

Using a polarizing filter, you can increase the contrast of the sky, making clouds dynamically pop.

8. Use Different Lenses

Instead of just using wide lenses to shoot big wide photos, use telephoto lenses or a zoom to capture details when you’re out shooting.

9. Turn Around

Especially during sunset and sunrise, don’t just snap photos of the sun. Turn around and see what’s behind you. You never know what you’ll find.

10. Simplicity Stands Out

Try composing photos with lots of negative space, or finding views that aren’t too complicated. Sometimes less is more.

Like these tips?

Enroll in the full landscape photography course to go behind the scenes with us on a recent trip to Joshua Tree, and see exactly how we shoot our own landscape photos.