1) Use a Tripod
There are times when you just won't have the time. But equally if you've got a fantastic scene in front of you and you have a moment or two to set things up, then please do. You'll honestly be more pleased with your results. Where you may have a landscape that involves a bit of water, you might need a longer shutter speed. The tripod will help stabilise you. Consider also using a shutter release to help you as well. For a bit more information on tripods and when and where to use them check out our troubleshooting article on exactly this - Tripod or Not
2) Construct your Image
Look at the layers that a landscape is providing you. You might have Sky, Mountains, Greenery and then foliage right in the foreground. Placing points of interest in your foreground can make a shot more interesting and create a sense of depth. Opening up the landscape by focusing on more land may stop the sky from being over-exposed and equally focusing on sky might bring the foreground in. Play around until you get the right mix.
3) Lead with Lines
Often it's suitable to lead your viewer in with some fantastic lines of symmetry or general lines within the image. It doesn't always work, but it's worth thinking about. Lines create depth, scale and a focal point. Whether that's with roads, a bridge, hedges, pathways or walkways.
4) Work with the Sky
Using a polarizing filter will enhance some contrast and bring out some colour in your shot, this is often useful for making the sky a stronger blue. If your sky is boring, white/grey or just empty, then consider using more of the foreground and land to spice the image up a bit. If the sky is fascinating, of course take in more of it! For more information on filters check out our Filters Troubleshooting Article - Filters
Is your horizon straight? Is there anything there that disturbs it that could be eliminated if you crouched down? You can straighten images afterwards, but it's always useful to know you've achieved a decent shot at the beginning. Consider the rule of thirds - that's right - consider it! You don't have to use it, but it's worth thinking about.
6) Get Adventurous
Stand on the car bonnet (carefully), stand on a bench, perch on a wall - do anything to shoot your landscape from a different vantage point. Getting higher or lower will open up either the sky or the ground in your shot and provide different lighting. Equally consider slanting your camera if you've got some great curves or lines going on. If you're shooting in a forest, pointing your camera down or up rather than straight in front of you might help to capture the sense of expanse and height.
7) Get with the Movement
Waves, Trees blowing in the wind, water running, birds flying - even clouds rushing - can create a fantastic atmosphere. A longer exposure will create a blurrier scene. You need a tripod, a big stopper filter and a shutter release to achieve a shot similar to below - but it's possible! Those smooth clouds and smooth water looks are much sought after. Depending on your light, set your exposure to a few seconds (or more) and shoot away. If you're struggling and need to guess your exposure then set the camera to BULB mode and the shutter will remain open for as long as the button is held down.
Previous Photography Troubleshooting Articles
If you have a burning Photography related question then do shoot me a note after checking whether or not we've already covered it below!
Tripod or Not
The Watermark FAQ
From Snap to Pro
What Digital Camera?
Dull Images on dA
Christmas Lights - Shooting them!
Working with Mist
Being a People Person