As each new year approaches, people usually start thinking about what they can do better or improve in the new year. As a professional landscape photographer, I thought it would be fun to give some tips to people starting out with landscape photography.
1: Don’t be scared!
Don’t touch the full automatic mode anymore. If you really want to learn photography in general, it’s important to stop using the full automatic mode on the camera. While it may feel very “comfortable” for a lot of new photographers, the mode doesn’t really help you getting better and it can prevent you from improving certain shots. Don’t be scared to move away from this mode. Use Aperture priority mode and work from there. It’s not that hard. I’ve seen people “stuck” on Auto mode for years because they’re too scared to try a different mode. Then I teach them to use the Aperture mode for 10 mins and they say: “Oh wow, I didn’t know it was that easy.” There’s really not that much to it!
2: Start shooting RAW format
I cannot emphasise this enough. It’s another ‘don’t be scared’ thing. Just put your camera on RAW+JPEG if you’re not really familiar with the RAW format. You will thank yourself when you learn basic photo editing that you can still use the RAW files of your old shots and have a go at them to make them look better. RAW is extremely important for a landscape photographer because we often shoot sunsets/sunrises where there is a lot of contrast between dark and light. With RAW, you can also change your white balance without quality loss. Finally, the files have a lot more data in it for editing.
3: Learn (basic) post-processing
Processing is important in landscape photography, even if it’s just slightly tuning the image. Nowadays, if you haven’t done so, install Lightroom! Lightroom is not that hard! Basic post-processing can make your images better in the sense that you can easily balance them out with color and contrast changes. Like I mentioned in point #2, shooting RAW is a must. When you look at landscape sections of popular social media channels, I can assure you that 99% of the shots are processed in some way.