5 Tips to Capture Landscapes with Your Smartphone
Have you ever taken a snapshot of a stunning view only to find the photo doesn’t come close to the beauty of the place you travelled?
No, you don’t need to bring a bulky professional camera on your next trip. Your smartphone is likely perfectly capable of capturing not only great natural wonders, but even the feeling you had when you were there.
Check out a few of these landscape photography tips for the smartphone (or any camera you have on hand) and try them out on your next big trip!
Tip # 1: Explore Your Surroundings
When you get to know the place you want to photograph, you’ll have a better idea of how to capture it in the photo. Walk around to find spots where natural light hits it just right, or an area that offers a unique perspective.
Photographer Robert Caputo tells National Geographic, “When you arrive in a place you’ve never visited before, spend time scouting-- driving or hiking to different locations, finding different vantage points.” You never know what the sights can offer if you only tread the tourist areas.
Tip # 2: Don’t Miss the Golden Hour
Every day, there’s a short window of when natural light just makes for perfect, dramatic photos. Golden Hour usually happens just after sunrise and right before sunset. The sun isn’t so high and the light it emits is redder and softer, making it less intense. It gives photos naturally soft diffused lighting.
The great thing about photography during the Golden Hour is that the effect of the light can be flattering, regardless of how you use it:
- Front lighting: When the sun faces the object of your photograph
- Backlighting: When the sun is behind the object of your photograph
- Rim lighting: When the sun creates a halo around the subject of your photograph
- Sun flares: When sunlight hits your lenses
- Silhouette: When the subject is completely black
Tip # 3: Play Around with Available Light Sources
What if you won’t have an opportunity to take a photo during the Golden Hour? Fortunately, landscapes are always bathed in natural light. Taking photos any time of the day will yield great results, and any color or tone correction can be easily edited using a photo editing app like Instasize.
But, nighttime also offers plenty of opportunity to take stunning photographs. Get creative with the light source you have on hand and illuminate the landscape you want to capture. You can even use it as part or subject of your photo, like a lit-up tent in the middle of beautiful camping grounds.
Want to photograph the stars? One landscape photography tip is to find a remote area where there is little city lights and watch how your camera phone captures a sky full of stars.
Tip # 4: Include Elements that Show the Depth of the Landscape.
Want to convey how majestic a sight is? Add a human element. It creates a point of view for the person who will see your photo. You can also pick a point of interest, like a barn on a field to add a sense of scale.
You can inject feeling and emotion into your photo by the composition. Want to show the tranquility of a great, beautiful lake? Include the scenery reflection in the water. Symmetry also makes a photo more captivating and evoking to viewers.
Tip # 5: Play Around with Lenses.
Your smartphone is a pretty powerful tool, but if you want to maximize what it can do in terms of landscape photography, invest in wide lenses made for mobile phones. This will help you capture the full and vast beauty of sights you will see on your trip.
Now that you’ll be applying these landscape photography tips and you’re able to capture the beauty of sights on trips, you need to share it to the world-- and in a way that doesn’t compromise your stunning photography. Sharing it on Instagram might require cropping, especially for panoramic views.
Instead of worrying about which part of the photo you should cut, use InstaSize to size your image for Instagram without sacrificing any part of it. In fact, you can even add borders to help frame and present your shot.