Sunday, October 28, 2012

Landscape Locations Tips and Tricks

I am giving tips and tricks posts another try! Last time I focused on Sunbursts, this time I would like to share some tips I have about finding and shooting landscape locations. I love exploring the world around me and trying to capture the natural beauty I see. The world is beautiful and diverse in its landscapes and I feel blessed to be able to see a small part of it.

Tips/Tricks (see below for more details)
1. Locations Scouting 
2. Be ready to walk and hike
3. Get above it all
4. Wide Angle and Zoom

Settings: ISO 100, 25mm, ss1/125, f/8.0

1. Location Scouting - I use a few different methods to find places to take landscape photos, here are some of them:

  • iPhone Apps - I love National, State and Local Parks for taking photos and I use Oh Ranger! to find ones near where I am. I also use the built in Maps app to find and navigate to parks. Yelp is great for when I find a park to find reviews and secrets about the park. 
  • Google Images - I often find inspiration by searching images and find places I want to explore. I will type in an area I want to explore or a time of day I want to capture to find my inspiration.
  • Go for a Drive - My favorite way to find places to photograph is to get in my car and drive. To go down the roads I drive by on a regular basis and never have time to explore or to go to unfamiliar places with no agenda or destination in mind.

Settings: ISO 100, 18mm, ss1/200, f/13
Location: Wheeler, Oregon

Settings: ISO 200, 50mm, ss1/100, f/7.1 
Location: Longview, Washington

2. Be ready to walk and hike - Many of my favorite landscape shots have been off the most obvious trail or have been discovered by walking around just one more corner. I love the discoveries of what is just beyond the bend.

ISO 200, 18mm, ss1/40, f/11 (sunlight wb)
Location: Lincoln City, OR - Siletz Bay

3. Get above it all - There is nothing better than seeing the landscape from a vista to capture the vastness of the land. While I am in no way the best at composition for these shots, I love the feel of being high above and looking out over it all. Finding these vistas is often a matter of just exploring back roads and taking turns that look like they might lead to higher ground.

Settings: ISO 100, 18mm, ss1/250, f/11
Location: Cliff View Restaurant overlooking the Port of Tacoma

4. Wide Angle and Zoom - It is somewhat of an assumption that you should use the widest angle lens you have to take landscape shots and often I agree. However, I am a firm believer in the power of perspective and I feel that sometimes zooming in on a part of the landscape can produce a beautiful picture.

Settings: ISO 100, 50mm, ss1/200, f/11
Location: Grayland State Park

Settings: ISO 100, 36mm, ss1/100, f/14
Location: Cannon Beach, Oregon
“One of the functions of landscape it to correspond to, nurture, and provoke exploration of the landscape of the imagination. Space to walk is also space to think, and I think that's one thing landscapes give us: places to think longer, more uninterrupted thoughts or thoughts to a rhythm other than the staccato of navigating the city.”  ― Rebecca Solnit

I would love to see your landscape and/or sunburst photos and your own tips and tricks. Please share them on my Facebook page!


  1. Great tips, thank you! I really like the idea of getting up higher. :)

  2. Great tutorial! I wish I was doing Tuesday Tips and Pics right now, this post would be perfect for it!


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