Professional Landscape Photography: Revealing the Drama

Some people consider professional landscape photography a dream job because you get to travel all over the world to different places to find their natural beauty. In order to succeed as a landscape photographer, you need to be willing to travel, have the drive to go anywhere to get a great shot (no matter how difficult it is), have an artistic eye and have patience. Here is a brief guide to help you get started with revealing the drama in your landscape photos.

Step 1: Find the Right Locations

The first step in creating your landscape photos is finding a place to shoot at. Landscape photography involves shooting extremely wide shots of large areas. Most of it is in nature, but you could also shoot breathtaking vistas of cityscapes too. Almost any place can be used for landscape photography, as long as you can find a great shot.

If you're shooting landscape photography as a hobby, then you can shoot whatever you want as long as it's attractive to your artistic sensibilities. But, if you're trying to get into landscape photography as a professional, then you need to have photos that are unique and can't be found in anyone else's portfolio. That means that you have to travel to unique locations. This could be as simple as going for a walk through the woods across the street from your house, or it could involve flying to the southwest to shoot in the dessert. 

Step 2: Always Look for a Great Shot

While you're traveling with your camera, you need to always keep your eyes open for a potentially great shot because you never know where it may come up. This doesn't need to always be your primary focus, but it should be in the back of your mind. If you already have a background in photography and have been shooting for awhile, then finding a great shot in ordinary places might be second nature to you. If this is all new to you, then it may take time to develop this artistic sense, but you can do it. Remember that art is subjective; what you might find beautiful is something that someone else will find ugly. What's most important is that you connect with it.

Step 3: Capture the Right Lighting

Traveling to the location and finding the perfect shot isn't quite enough to get the most drama for your photo. It also needs to have the right lighting to it. And because the area in a landscape photo is so large, there is only one lighting source you can use: the sun. How the sun affects the photo is dependent on the weather. On an overcast day, the sky is full of clouds which diffuse the sun's light, making everything appear evenly lit and flat. On these days, there is little you can do besides accept the circumstances.

But, on a partly cloudy day, the light is always changing. It could be cloudy for a few minutes and then sunny for another few. One these days, you need to wait for the best lighting to naturally occur for your photo. You need patience to do this.