Seven things you wish you’d known before starting landscape photography
Photography requires life-long learning, exploring, and experimenting. That’s why we love it, right? But there are just some things we all wish we’d learned sooner. In this video, Mark Denney talks about some of these things. If you’re a beginner, consider these great pieces of advice that will make your photographic journey more enjoyable and successful.
- Composition is the way: at the beginning of his career, Mark admits that he was paying too much attention to the gear hoping it would help him improve. However, mastering composition is the fastest way to improve your photography. Buying fancier gear simply won’t cut it – but more on that later.
- Rotate: in other words, turn around. While you’re obsessing over a scene, a way better one could be right behind your back. So, don’t get too fixated on the composition you’re trying to get, turn around once in a while and see what’s going on behind you.
- Changing perspective: shooting at eye level is most natural (and most comfortable). But unless you have some injury or pain, get down on the ground, experiment with angles and perspective. This will give you plenty more options and opportunities for better shots.
- Time it right: if you find time for photography based on your work schedule, it’s not always going to be ideal. For example, if you have a 9-5 job, you’ll often go out and shoot around lunchtime. In other words, you may often go out in the midday sun. If you can, go out in the morning or late afternoon if it’s sunny if you want to get better lighting.
- Manual understanding: Mark notes that it’s essential that you understand how to use manual mode, and I agree. You don’t have to use it, but you need to understand how it works. It will give you greater control over the camera settings and the final look of your images.
- Education and travel over gear: As mentioned, Mark used to invest a lot of money in gear. He thought he was purchasing his way to better photos, but he was actually buying “higher resolution versions of the same garbage photos” he’d taken before. So, instead of investing tons of cash in gear, take that money, invest it in tutorials and education, and use the remainder of it for travel. It will give you the knowledge of photography and new places to apply it and to get inspired for shooting – a perfect combination if you ask me.
- Get the reps in: it may sound like a cliché, but practice really makes (nearly) perfect. Do educate yourself and spend time learning, but take that information and put it in a real-world scenario. Make mistakes, figure out why you made them, and learn from them to improve for the future.
I’ve been doing photography for quite a while now, and landscape photography has been one of my preferred genres. And what I can say is that I agree with Mark on so many things. I didn’t buy gear too often though, but I did make mistakes of poor timing and eye-level perspectives only. These all seem like little things, but trust me – they can be a game-changer. So, think about them the next time you plan a shoot, and make sure to implement them.
[Game-Changing Photography Advice I Should’ve Applied Years Ago! | Mark Denney]
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.