Introduction to Landscape Photography for Novice

Summer is the best season for taking scenery photos. I have a little experience to share about taking scenery. This time, we will try to set the equipment and camera, and share with you the preparation and composition before shooting. If there are any mistakes in the article, please correct them, thank you!

Equipment used by the author

Nikon D800

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 – Take more scenery into the picture

Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 – General standard lens

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 – can bring a strong sense of compression

Shutter line – avoid vibration to the camera when taking long exposure photos

Tripod – take slow shutter photos or full view

Torch – for normal lighting, to help focus, or to illuminate the foreground when shooting the Milky Way

LEE Filter – 0.6GND (Gradual Gray Filter), 0.9ND and 3ND (Dimming Filter), a sharp tool for shooting scenery. If not, try to use a black card instead

Black card – non-reflective black card cardboard

Flash – light the foreground or fill the main body (rarely used)

Use of GND, ND and black card


The purpose is to balance the exposure between the sky and the ground when shooting the sunrise and sunset, when the exposure difference between the sky and the ground is more than several orders of magnitude. Otherwise, when the sky exposure is correct, the underground will be too dark, resulting in dead black, or when the ground exposure is correct, the sky will be dead white again

Black card Suppose that the author is shooting the sunrise and starting to measure the light, and the exposure difference between the sky and the ground is two levels:

The normal exposure of the sky is 1s+ISO400+f/9

The normal exposure of the ground is 4s+ISO400+f/9

The author needs to set the camera to 4s+ISO400+f/9 for shooting

During the shooting, it needs to be in the part of the skyShake the black card for about three seconds

, making the sky only exposed for one second

andThe ground is exposed for four secondsThe final image should balance the sky and ground exposure

The shaking range of the black card is about as shown in the figure below. In addition, why should we keep shaking the black card? Because if you only use the black card to cover the picture, there will be an obvious black shadow. Moving the black card up and down can make the boundary not obvious.

If you forget to bring a black card, you can useCamera exposure surround

First set up the tripod, and then take several photos with different exposure values, including – 1EV, 0EV,+1EV, and then use the Layer mask to merge in Photoshop, so that the photos will not be over-exposed or underexposed (the post-production part will be introduced later)

In addition, in some cases, the gradient gray filter cannot be used instead. For example, when shooting fireworks, the black card is used to completely block the light, so the gradient gray filter cannot be used instead

Camera settings for general scenery shooting

Capture mode:

Set the camera to M-Mode manual mode


Taking scenery usually requires deeper depth of field, so F9 – F16 will be used


Depending on the environment (use slow shutter if necessary)

Color temperature:

About 5000-6000k for daylight shooting and about 3100k for night shooting

ISO:Low ISO is widely used for shooting, about ISO100-800

Preparation before shooting

Generally speaking, for taking landscape photos, the author suggests that you should arrive at the shooting site one hour earlier, find the angle to shoot, compose the picture, and then start shooting, which will be more convenient

Pay attention to the information of the observatory. If you go to the seaside to take photos, you should pay attention to the tide and the position of sunrise and sunset, because the position of sunrise and sunset will vary in different seasons

If there are some places to shoot for the first time, the author will suggest going to and google map to see if the sunrise and sunset directions are correct, so that the shooting can be carried out smoothly

Precautions when shooting scenery

Pay attention to horizontal and vertical

Will the sky be too exposed and the ground be too dark

To shoot a slow shutter, use a shutter line to avoid vibration to the camera

Make sure there is enough depth of field

For silhouette shooting, it is better to capture the clear outline of the subject

The composition can use:

golden section

Sight guide

Color contrast

Use the sense of compression

Comparison on objects

Take a silhouette

Use reflection

Light and shadow

Shooting skills

Straightness vs transverse:I am often asked by different people why there are so many straightness in the photos taken. In fact, the reason is very simple. The reason is that when shooting the scenery, the most beautiful side should be shown to everyone. So if the scenery is not good at that time, the author will choose to shoot straightness. If the scenery is not very spectacular, the author will take transverse photos. If shooting on the mountain, the broad mountains will be shot, Because straightness is difficult to express the broad feeling, the shooting straightness and straightness depend on the shooting location and subject matter.

It is better to use the horizontal to express the broad mountains, and these two photos are based on light and shadow and broad mountains respectively.

Example of transverse degree:

Example of straightness:

Keep horizontal:

In general, you need to pay attention to horizontal or vertical lines when shooting scenery

Shooting method: color contrast

Importance of prospect

Generally, when taking a landscape with a wide-angle mirror, the author will try to look for the foreground and add some objects as the foreground, so that the viewer can know the scale of the landscape in the picture

The boat in front of and behind can make the viewer know about the distance and depth

Shooting method: two boats are placed in two different golden positions, with color contrast

Relationship from foreground to background

Generally speaking, when shooting, the author will try to add elements unique to the scene environment in the foreground, and tell the viewer where the shooting place is

For example, this photo was taken one day earlier by the author at the truck yard near Zhongshan Park in Shanghuan. The element of container car was added to the photo to make the viewer know that it was taken in the truck yard

Shooting method: the car is placed in the golden section, and the reflection

Shutter VS slow shutter

Generally speaking, when shooting at the seaside, the author will use the slow shutter to shoot, but if shooting on the mountain, he will try to use the fast shutter, because the shutter is too slow, the flowers and plants will swing too much, making the image unclear (if you want to shake the black card, you need to use a slow shutter)

When taking such slow shutter photos, the shutter cannot be too slow or too fast, because too fast will cause waves to be shot, and too slow will make the sea as flat as a mirror, depending on what the photographer wants to feel.

Shooting water method: slow shutter, stone as foreground

Take a reflection

Generally, if there is a calm water surface, you can try to take a complete reflection

Shooting method: use the reflection and add the boat as the foreground

Color contrast

When shooting scenery, it is easy to take advantage of color contrast, such as the burning cloud at sunset and the cool color at the top of the sky, the blue color of the blue hour after sunset and the golden color of the residence

Shooting method: use color contrast

Space compression using telephoto lens

When taking photos with strong artistic conception, it is usually taken with a telephoto lens, which compresses the subject and background into the same space

Shooting method: take silhouettes and use the sense of compression

The importance of perspective

When using a wide-angle mirror, the foreground elements should be added to a broader perspective, so that the overall depth and distance of the image can be created, and the image can be more layered. Some common things can even be added, or people can be photographed into the image to make a scale to tell the viewer the scale of the landscape at that time

Shooting method: place the boat in the golden section, and use color contrast to shoot reflections

When to shoot more sky?

Generally, if the clouds in the sky are very powerful, you can choose to take more pictures of the sky. For example, if the clouds in the weather are not strong enough, don’t take too many pictures of the sky. After all, taking pictures of the scenery is to take the best view for everyone to see

Shooting method: eye guidance

Next, the author will explain the idea of the author’s work, and lead you to examine the composition and visual elements in the photos from the author’s perspective

If you can master the above five or eight skills, I believe you can make rapid progress

Use the Bank of China Building and Yangtze River Group Center as the background, and then use the car track as a sight guide

Shooting method: eye guidance

Use the mobile phone raised by people as the foreground and fireworks as the background to capture the atmosphere and fireworks at that time

Shooting method: contrast on objects, relationship between foreground and background

Use the large stones covered with seaweed as the foreground, the middle view is other small green stones, and the background is the sky at sunrise

Shooting method: golden section, color contrast

This time, friends from the same industry are used as the foreground. The middle view is still small green stones and seaweed, and the background is the sky at sunrise

Shooting method: golden section, color contrast

This photo is taken with a telephoto lens, mainly based on color contrast. The upper part is warm and the lower part is cool

Shooting method: color contrast

This photo was taken by the author in the restaurant during his trip, with chairs and tables as the foreground. The background is the blue hour just after sunset outside. If the background is pure black, the visibility of the photo will be reduced

Shooting method: the chair is placed in the golden section, and the color contrast between indoor and outdoor

The green stone is used as the foreground. At that time, the shooting season is just spring. Many seaweeds will grow on the stone, so we decided to use the stone covered with seaweed as the foreground to take this picture with seasonal restrictions

Shooting method: slow shutter, golden section


Shoot the silhouette of the figure. The sun is on the left, and the silhouette is on the right. The left and right are used to balance the picture, and the telephoto lens is used to compress the image onto the same plane

Shooting method: golden section, silhouette

This photo has a reflection element. The figure is in the golden section. The background is the sky after sunrise, plus color contrast

Shooting method: golden section, color contrast, silhouette, reflection

This photo is taken by the author when he asked his friend to walk to the stone, and then made use of the contrast of the environment. The tiny characters match the nature, which makes human beings feel very small

Shooting method: golden separation, silhouette, and comparison with nature

Use the river as the sight guide to guide the viewer’s eyes to small people

Shooting method: sight guiding, silhouette, comparison with nature

The shooting of this mosque uses the element of reflection and adds fallen dead wood to compare it with the gorgeous mosque and guide it as a line of sight, like pointing to the mosque

Shooting method: the main body is placed in the golden section, with reflection and line of sight leading

This picture uses the Crab Cave in Hezui as the foreground, and then the Milky Way as the background. In order to prevent the Crab Cave from being completely black, the author added flash and flashlight to illuminate the Crab Cave when shooting. Of course, before shooting, we need to pay attention to whether there is anyone nearby who is shooting, so as not to affect other people

Shooting method: flash lights up the foreground

Generally, most people have to take silhouettes when shooting the portrait of the Milky Way. This time, the author tried to take a clear flash portrait of the Milky Way by using the flash light to form a figure, so even if the photo is enlarged, the figure is still very clear

Shooting method: use flash to illuminate the main body of the character

The West Ring Wharf is famous for its mirror of the sky, but the author chose to shoot the cardboard when he went there. Because the West Ring Wharf is actually a public cargo loading and unloading area, there are also a lot of containers and cardboard here, so the author tried to shoot the cardboard and sunset, and put the cardboard in the golden section

Shooting method: the card board is placed in the golden section, and the color contrast of the sky

This photo of the sunrise was taken near the author’s home. In recent years, some people have built a road with cement to go out to the sea and swim, and some chairs are placed here, so the author decided to take these chairs and the sunrise

Shooting method: the chair is in the golden section position, and the sky color contrast

This picture is mainly about the atmosphere of the scene, and the elements of palm trees, beaches and people

Shooting method: color contrast

This is a sunrise shot at the location of the swimming pool. It refers to the reflection of the swimming pool, the beach bed in the middle shot and the use of the line of sight to guide

Shooting method: eye guidance, color contrast

This kind of photo can only be taken when the tide recedes. This time, the author put the boat on the right and the sun on the left to balance the whole picture. At that time, the clouds in the sky were more layered, so he decided to shoot more sky upwards

Shooting method: the boat and the sun are placed in different golden positions, and the sky color is compared

Sometimes when shooting vast mountains, the composition of 3:2 is not enough to express the size of the environment, so we can also use the composition of 16:9 to express the continuous mountains, and the author added the building in the photo, and the building just received the side light, making the stereoscopic sense more serious, and adding a scale foot to the photo, so that the viewer can roughly know the size of the mountain.

Shooting method: comparison between buildings and nature


In fact, the most important thing to take good landscape photos isFrequent attendance

After all, it is very difficult to meet the day of burning clouds. Only by working hard can we increase the chance to meet them!

One is required for shootingClear subjectOr objects to match the background, such as using a wide-angle mirrorJoin the prospect


Try to add scale to the photos so that viewers can clearly know the size of the environment

Try to find out the unique things in the environment and incorporate them into the picture, so that the viewer can know what the environment of the shooting scene is like

Learn to use the gradient gray filter or black card, and try to use the exposure surround when the light difference is large

Make good use of the color contrast of nature

Try shooting with slow shutter (when shooting at the seaside)

When shooting scenery: “wide angle mirror takes its potential, tele takes its meaning”, which means that if the scenery at that time is very powerful and shocking, you should use a wide-angle mirror. If the scenery at that time is not shocking, you can use the telephoto to shoot some pictures with more artistic conception

In addition, when you don’t know how to shoot, you should find a commanding point to shoot. When you reach the commanding point, you can look down on the whole environment and terrain, and believe that the perspective and field of vision will be more different