Landscape in travel photography

Landscape in travel photography

It is probably the most popular genre among travel photographers, perhaps because at first glance it seems the simplest type of photography. In reality, landscape in travel photography requires important technical knowledge and a lot of effort to bring about appreciable results.

How many times do we happen to see a breathtaking landscape during a trip to a beautiful place and then reviewing the photographs at home we realize that they do not make the same feeling? This happens if the right attention is not paid to important aspects of photographic technique such as composition, light and exposure.

However a landscape photographer cannot be only a technician! So he above all, be able to tune in to the environment that surrounds it, feel its peculiarities and understand what makes that landscape so unique. In fact, he must know what is to capture and what to emphasize. Then transmit the same feelings to those who see the photograph.

Kind of Landscape

The landscape in travel photography include many and different genre which i will deal with separately. I can’t discuss all the categories but I will talk about the most common between photographers.


Do you know those photos where the beach and the sky are divided only by a horizontal line at the sunset? However beautiful, they are far from interesting.

The sea is a moving subject, uses long exposure to create beautiful images that show the flow of the sea, and create those silk effects that make the water look like a mirror. If you go to the coast to photograph the waves, you have to start the shots a few seconds before the waves break, using continuous shooting.

Many times I use the sea as a background and use some elements that can characterize the photo. After that, I try to get a balanced shot, taking advantage of the third party rule.

Is really interesting Photograph the off-season beaches. Try going in spring or autumn, in these seasons as opposed to winter, you should find a time that is sufficiently forgiving to allow you beautiful images. Usually in this time can you capture the sea with fog in the early morning. In some areas the fog comes down during the night so early in the morning armed with a tripod, waterproof cover for the car and lots of patience. Very long exposure times are used for these photos.

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Lake and Reflections

Often in the most suggestive images in landscape photography in travel, the most representative ones, are beautiful snow-capped mountains that reflect on a lake. For landscapers, photographing with reflections in the water means being able to obtain images with a strong effect.

The best time to obtain an even more accentuated effect is undoubtedly after sunrise is at dusk. To avoid the central hours especially if the sky is clear of clouds. Also remember that the sky with scattered clouds often gives the water a more suggestive effect, especially in the Golden Hour.

Landscape in travel photography
Tso Moriri, Ladakh


Best time to shot is in the early hours of the morning and in the golden hour of the afternoon, when the light is warm and grazing and the peaks are colored. Beware, however, that it may happen that the sun disappears behind the profile of the mountains well before when you can expect it.
A circular polarizing filter can help us make the skies even bluer and the clouds even whiter, let’s remember to put one in your backpack.

Let’s not just frame a mountain range in the background, we also insert an element in the foreground, when possible.
Indeed try to highlight, when possible, the scale of size of the elements present – for example, a hut gives us the idea of the majesty of a waterfall, a man of the power of a glacier, and so on.
Especially if we mount a wide angle lens, we look for some subjects in the foreground, which can make the shot more interesting. Also try to maximize the depth of field, preferring closed diaphragms to more open diaphragms, say, from f./11 onwards.

The mountain should never be underestimated, the danger is always lurking. The mountain hardly forgives hazards. So check before go the weather and always carry rain protection, both for us and for our equipment. We study safe routes and try to remain faithful to the original itineraries. Let’s avoid venturing solo.

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The deserts offer very graphic cues. Soft and clean lines, defined horizons and precise chromatic (sky / earth) contrasts, maybe much more than with any other panorama.
Keep it simple! The desert has a soul of its own, we keep things simple! Always when photograph desert do not look for complicated shots at all costs. Instead often simplicity helps to underline the majesty of the subject.

The soul of the desert often express by the marked contrast between light and shadow. By shooting early in the morning and in the evening, we take advantage of the long shadows.

Let us have a degrading filter, it may be necessary to contain the delta between sky and sand.

Not just wide angle! So look for alternative shots to the classic wide angle, we use a medium telephoto to compress the perspective.

Whenever possible, we insert a human element or any object that makes the proportions of the scene. So this give the sense of open and vast space immediately clear.

The best times of the day to photograph the deserts are early morning and late afternoon. In these hours the sun is low on the horizon and enhances the natural tones and textures. Often in the half hour on the turn of the dawn, the desert shines. It is revealing a unique character and giving the opportunity to go home with truly memorable shots.

Desert means sand and dust: it is forbidden to change lenses without first having found effective protection. And the exposed sensor is a magnet for dust.

Landscape in travel photography
Walk alone, Gobi Desert, Mongolia 2010


Cloudy days are great for photographing forests. In fact, it is difficult to get great photos of trees under the sun.You can also take advantage of the fog or haze at certain times of the day!

Look for a shot that allows us to align as many elements as possible behind one another in order to reduce clutter. Do not include the soil in the shot. Because they dry branches and dead leaves it creates disorder, and it distracts from the beauty of the trees.

Practical Advice

Take your time when capture the nature, slow down the pace.

Arrive early to the place where you have decided to take your photos. Then stroll around, because you need to get into the spirit of the place. So spend time listening to it, seeing it, smelling it. In this way you will also be able to understand what exactly you want to photograph. Therefore, to make fewer but better shots.

Study from the Masters

The study of the masters, or even contemporary photographers who you enjoy, can open your eyes to your own work. If you’re just starting out on your photographic journey the lessons from some of the masters will hopefully help you along. In fact, there are many reason why they calls masters and just only looking their works you understand it. In nowadays you have a lot of resources to do that, starting from internet. Anyway I suggest to go in some library or in some museum to look the prints and how are presented. With the time you start realize how is important have a synthesis in every works.

Use The Right Equipment

In order to take quality pictures, you need a quality equipment. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the professional gear but something is reliable. So be be sure you have the right traveling photography equipment. The essential gear to travel photography for beginner is camera with battery and memories card. Then you will add reflectors, artificial lights and tripod.

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