A picture is worth a thousand words. Provided, of course, it’s a good picture. In my case, not so much. You know how it goes. You come back from a tour and tell people about the gorgeous mountains, stunning waterfalls, and picturesque lakes you saw. But when you scroll through your photos, they don’t quite measure up to reality. Which is why I approached two professional photographers about putting together 5 tips for taking scenery photos like a pro.
5 tips for taking scenery photos
Tim Pearson, owner of Pearson studios, has over thirty years experience in corporate photography, working with clients like Target, Wells Fargo, and UnitedHealthcare. Through his ministry branch, Photography for Christ, Tim partners with Christian organizations and helps them tell their stories through photography. Here he offers three tips.
Get up early. Some of the most beautiful light of the day is at sunrise. Early morning is also the time when wildlife is most active. Just after this photo was taken, my daughter and I spotted a grizzly bear just half a mile away, a memory we will share together for a lifetime.
Bozeman, Montana – Pearson Studios
Keep your horizon line away from the center of your photo. In the picture below, I wanted the viewer’s attention to be on the water, not the sky, so I included just a narrow band of clouds above the mountain. Having an empty blue sky above would have detracted from the impact of the photo and made it a less interesting shot.
Whidbey Island, Washington – Pearson Studios
Including interesting objects in your foreground. This adds depth to the image. Because the rocks appear larger than the trees in the background in the photo below, you experience scale and distance. The benefit of this sense of depth is that the viewer feels as through they’re right there, sitting on the rocks with cold river water cooling their feet after a long hike.
Gallatin River, Montana – Pearson Studios
Terri Sommer is manager of the Sommer household as well as owner of Sommer Days Photography. She takes pictures of people, people doing life, and sweeping scenes of nature. Here she offers a couple of tips on photographing one of her favorite subjects–God’s creation.
Find “leading lines” as you frame your pictures. Roads, paths, or fences can serve as lines that draw your eye through a picture and invite you into the story it tells. It highlights details you might otherwise miss.
Zoom in close. Focus on smaller details, textures or colors that may not be obvious at a quick glance. Then don’t be afraid to fill the frame with that subject. You’ll often discover hidden beauty.
Do you have any photo tips you can share? We’d love to hear from you.
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