Landscape photography FAQ’s.

A common motivation for many landscape photographers is an appreciation of nature and desire to share the awe and beauty you experience with others. As is the case with all kinds of photography, it helps to have some understanding of the basics, and get lots of practice.

Whether you are just starting out or have some experience under your belt, we’ve provided answers to common questions that will guide your explorations into landscape photography. From landscape terminology to gear recommendations to selling your images, we’ve got you covered.

Common landscape photography questions.

What is the definition of landscape photography?

Landscape photography is the photographic genre that generally captures a relatively wide shot of an environment – focusing, for instance, on the natural beauty of a landscape, the wildlife within it, the natural light on a particular space, and disturbances in weather. Other times it captures the human-effects on a landscape or natural scene, like artificial structures, or the effects of climate change.

What is straight photography? 

Straight photography, aka pure photography, is a photographic style that emphasizes detail and focus, relying on the natural forms and other contents of an image to stand on their own. The style is all about depicting the scene as the camera itself sees it. Landscape photographer Ansel Adams embraced this style of photography.

What is fine art landscape photography?

Fire art landscape photography comprises the skilled photographer’s point of view, artistic sense, and technical ability. The photographer conveys their idea or message through the photo and compels the viewer to understand or dialogue with this message, and feel something.  

What is abstract landscape photography? 

Abstract landscape photography is known to isolate a particular aspect of a landscape, emphasizing unique shapes or patterns in a landscape, such as curves in rock formations, or reflections in water. Light, texture, and color may also come into play when a photographer determines the abstract nature of their landscape photograph.

What is urban landscape photography? 

Urban landscape photography is a type of landscape photography that captures aspects of the landscape that have been urbanized. This could be capturing whole cityscapes, or aspects of the natural environment that have seen human interaction, such as buildings, roads, or built structures. 

Why is landscape photography important? 

Understanding why landscape photography is important is often determined by who you ask. Each landscape photographer might have a different answer. Take for instance famous industrial landscape photographer Edward Byrtynsky, who uses his photographs of the industrial landscape to convey the impacts industrialization has on the planet.

What is the difference between pictorialism and straight photography? 

Pictorialism and straight photography are two distinct styles of photography, often contrasted with one another for their differing aesthetics or viewpoints. Pictorialism references impressionist paintings, and involves adding a manipulation to the photograph, such as softening the focus, adding color, or other creative elements. Straight photography encourages capturing the precise detail of the subject, or landscape, being photographed.

What is the purpose of landscape photography? 

The purpose of landscape photography depends on the photographer’s point of view and what they want to communicate with their work. Some artists look to document the impacts of humans on the landscape, others may use landscape photography as a way to forward conservation efforts by taking breathtaking natural landscape photography.

What is the difference between landscape and nature photography?

Subtle differences exist between landscape and natural photography, and they have overlap as well. Not all nature photography is landscape photography, and vice versa. Nature photography that is also landscape photography likely will combine elements of the two to make up the photo.

What is the best lens for landscape photography?

The best lens for landscape photography will vary from one photographer to the next. The “best lens” is almost as personal as how you take your coffee. That being said there are a few key things to look out for when choosing your favorite landscape lens. When you’re out in the wilderness, chasing an epic scene with the perfect dramatic weather conditions you want a lens that is robust and weather sealed. Some of the best landscape photos are taken during crazy weather events and knowing you can rely on your gear is key. Look for a lens with a wide aperture – this gives you more light to work with and more flexibility when capturing scenes in low light or even for astrophotography landscape photos. Another great lens feature to have is image stabilization especially if you don’t have time to set up your tripod while you’re hiking deeper into the wilderness. Telephoto lenses can create new, dramatic perspectives while isolating your subject against a blurred background. A 70-200 lens will provide excellent subject separation and create a sense of scale in your images. 

When you’re starting out, you probably won’t want to spend a fortune on multiple lenses or carry around very large and heavy lens kits. That means that while prime lenses can produce beautiful results, a good quality zoom lens is probably the best choice for a beginner who wants versatility and ease of use. 

What is the best focal length for landscape photography?

You’ll want a lens that is on a wider end of the spectrum, but not necessarily the widest angle available since, depending on the lens, can result in distracting distortions. For a wide angle lens option many landscape photographers prefer the 15-35mm range. For panoramic shots, stitch together multiple shots to get an ultra wide angle effect. It’s natural to gravitate to wide angle lenses for landscapes but telephoto lenses can also create new, dramatic perspectives while isolating your subject against a blurred background. A 70-200mm lens will provide excellent subject separation and create a sense of scale in your images. 

How to use ND filters for landscape photography?

Neutral density filters, or ND filters, can be very useful when shooting landscapes. A popular application is shooting bodies of water where you want the water to blur. To do this, you can use an ND filter to limit the light hitting your sensor while slowing down the shutter speed to get the blurred effect. Thanks to the ND filter, you’ll have a well exposed image despite the slow shutter speed. 

How to make money with landscape photography?

To make money as a landscape photographer, look for jobs with tourism boards, travel and nature publications, airlines, or any other client that regularly uses landscape imagery in their marketing materials. You can also sell your prints since landscapes are a popular subject in home decor. Finally, consider additional ways to grow your income, such as teaching courses, creating an ebook, or hosting workshops. 

How to sell landscape photography?

Creating a store on your portfolio website is a good way to sell your landscape photographs. You can showcase them on your social media accounts and drive traffic to your website where prints can be purchased. Another way to sell your landscape photos is on stock image websites. You can sell licensing to use your landscape photos there, so a single image can potentially be licensed to many clients. 

What is the best camera for landscape photography?

As a landscape photographer, you’ll likely be carrying your equipment into remote areas to get “the shot”. Since you can’t drive your equipment in, you’ll want a camera that is as light as possible without sacrificing quality. Mirrorless cameras are an excellent option for landscape photographers. They are generally lighter and more portable, and have a myriad of features like image stabilization and focus stacking to help you capture those stunning images. That being said, many of the most famous landscape photos in the world were taken with DSLRs, so if that’s what you have there’s no need to switch away. 

How many megapixels do I need for landscape photography?

In general with landscape photography the more resolution you have to work with, the better. There are, however, benefits to camera bodies with lower resolution, such as better low-light performance and less noise. Megapixels alone won’t determine if a camera is great for landscape photography and you have to consider what your priorities are when choosing the best camera body for you. If you’re printing your work and want to create high quality prints of your landscape photographs, aim to print them at 300 DPI. The size of print that you can produce with your camera will depend on its native resolution. If you’re not planning on printing larger than A2 size, you won’t need more than 16 megapixels. 

How to sell my landscape photography?

To sell your landscape photography, you have to advertise it or otherwise get it in front of interested buyers. Maintaining social media channels is a good way to keep eyes on your work, so that people who love landscape photography can discover it and, hopefully, convert to buyers. 

Where to sell my landscape photography?

Some great places where you can sell your landscape photography are on your online website, in local galleries, and on stock image websites. You can also sell your landscape photography services to clients, such as tourism boards and magazines. 

How to price landscape photography prints? 

The price you can command for a landscape photography print will depend on your experience, the size of the print, the quality of the material it’s printed on as well as the image quality, whether or not it’s framed, and other factors. When pricing your prints, make sure you’re covering all printing costs, material costs, and shipping fees. Then, set a markup that you’re comfortable with. Look at what other landscape photographers similar to you are selling prints for to get an idea. 

How to sell landscape photography prints?

You can sell landscape photography prints online or in person. Make sure to set up a print shop on your portfolio website. People visiting your site are already interested in your work, so you want to give them a chance to buy your work when they’re most interested. You can also sell on online marketplaces or stock photography websites. Finally, local businesses or galleries may have opportunities for you to display your work and offer prints for sale. 

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