Planning the Shot

Taking a  landscape image  requires planning, a bit of luck and numerous attempts before you get something you would be willing to print, frame and put on your wall, but it is possible and you can do it. 
Scout a location in advance and use sites like The Photographer's Ephemeris to determine the best time and location for your landscape images. Always have a game plan.

Some of the best times to take landscape images are during golden hour and even blue hour. A simple Google search for Golden Hour Calculator will bring up information on when the sun will rise and set. Also, there are many good Apps for your SmartPhone that will allow you to get the same information on any day in the future and even change your location.  I have been using the GoldenHour.One App.                   

Compose your shot with layers.  Foreground, middle ground and background adds a sense of depth and dimension. Include a strong foreground  element to add interest. A good middle ground separates foreground from the distance. Having your primary subject in the distance makes for a good composition. So does using leading lines.


Tripod and cable release are a landscape photographer's best friend. They both work to fight the dreaded camera shake.  If you have not picked up a tripod  or cable release, set your camera on a solid base, like a flat rock then use your camera's self timer to trip the shutter. 

Camera Settings
Metering – Spot
Aperture Priority Manual Mode 
Wide focal length, 24mm is idea
f/18 as a default
ISO 100
Manual focus one third into the scene to maximize DoF

High Dynamic Range - Use your camera's built-in bracketing feature to take several images at different exposures, then combine them into one HDR image using LightRoom or PhotoShop. 

Photo Challenge
At some point in the class, capture an image of a landscape taken during golden hour by using what you learned in this section.