Landscape shoot checklist

Here is a quick mental checklist – the six most important things to remember when shooting landscapes

1. Make sure you are well prepared. Good preparation reduces risk; your personal safety is the most important consideration when heading out into the wild to photograph a location. Look at sunrise, sunset time, and weather forecasts, make sure your phone is charged and someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. 

2. Equip for the job in hand. As well as making all your camera equipment checks, make sure you have all you need for the conditions and environment you will be shooting in. Good boots, warm gloves and a waterproof are essential items for shooting in the winter whilst you should never be without a sunhat, sun cream and plenty of water in the summer.

3. If you are new to an area research good spots for photography online before heading out. Contacting local camera groups is a great way to quickly access great shooting locations without the risk of getting lost. Alternatively utilise GPS co-ordinates of existing images to find good shooting locations

4. Take your time. Just because the scene in front of you is stunningly beautiful doesn't mean you can take a simple snap and be done. Carefully consider your composure; look at each element that makes up your image - foreground to background, the corners and the centre of your frame. This will help you make decisions on how you want the image to look. 

5. Bring a tripod. First, to keep your camera steady and allow slow shutter speeds. This means you can keep your ISO low and aperture small for front to back sharpness. Second, it slows down your work forcing you to consider each shot more carefully before taking the picture. Looking is very important in photography. The more you do the better your pictures will be.

6. Wait for the light. Once you have everything set-up be patient and wait for the perfect light. This might be a chink in the clouds or waiting for the sun to dip lower in the sky and changing from yellow to deep orange. Patience will almost certainly pay off in better quality images. It may even mean coming back another day.

Farbenspiel, Mr Marco Müller

Patience certainly paid off for Marco in this shot. Waiting for the perfect cloud and sun positions to create the beautiful sun rays really help to make this a lovely countryside scene.

Castelo dos Mouros Sintra, Carlos Duarte

This amazing image above the clouds by Carlos must have required some preparation and planning. You certainly want to be in position with all your equipment set-up well before an image like this is taken. That way when the light is right all it leaves you to do is make the exposure adjustments and shoot away.

Upleatham Woodland, Nigel Lee

This simple winter scene by Nigel works really well due to the range of tones in the landscape from sky to foreground and the contrasting texture of the trees. When working in winter conditions, it's essential that you and your equipment are in good shape. Warm gloves and boots are essential. Also keep your spare batteries warm in an inside pocket to increase their life.

Autumn Light, Rob Horsefield

Rob has cleverly used the trees and branches to scatter the sun's rays in this really atmospheric forest scene. Although you should always be careful when shooting directly into the sun, capturing the light through trees, where the intensity is reduced, can be really effective. Look for dapples of light in the foreground to show where the rays land and provide interesting detail.

Free Time Nov 2015, Enrique Mortel Uy

By using camera support, Enrique has been able to use a slow shutter speed to smooth the flowing water through this woodland landscape. He has chosen a low shooting angle to add lots of interesting foreground detail to give the viewer the sense of being there.

Find out which lens suits your landscape photography best in the Canon Store

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