• Daniel Wretham

5 Tips To Improve Your Landscapes

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Corfe Castle Sunest

Everyone needs a bit of help from time to time and sometimes just a little reminder goes a long way to improve your pictures so here's 5 tips to get your images looking better.

1. Light, light, light

This is the main frame (pun intended) of any photograph, without good light your image will appear flat and not really that interesting. So what is good light ? How do you get it ? what do you do with it ? All questions you need to understand before you can get the best out of it. Most of you will have already discovered that your pictures look extra special when taken during The Golden Hour, this is when the light is at its best usually and when the colours and landscapes are most flattering.

An hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset are the key times to shoot if you want the best light, but its not a fixed rule, i often shoot for 30 minutes after the sun has set for the pretty colours in the sky, BUT that doesn't get your subject matter well lit, for that you require a good light source falling on the object.

Beautiful golden low light bouncing off rocks is always a pleasure to see and shoot, look for these times when its really illuminating your subject matter from the side, or for a break in the clouds allowing a beam to fall on your subject.

Light behaves in different ways on different surfaces, bright light falling on rocks will look fantastic when its low in the sky but when its directly on the water it can cause you exposure issues so pick the direction of where your light is coming from in order to maximise the potential of any shot.

This brings me nicely to point number 2.

Portland Dorset

2. Look Behind You

More often than not the temptation to point your camera at the sun is all too strong to resist, while this can give you dramatic contrasting image it can also be costing you a good shot, how often have you been so focused on that moment that you have paid no attention to whats going on behind you only to turn round too late and see beautiful colours just dropping out of the sky.

By looking behind you just before sunset you will have a fairly good idea of how the sky in front of you will behave at the critical point as the sun goes behind the horizon.

The clouds behind will light up before the clouds in front as the axis of the sun falling behind the horizon pushes the light up and clouds give their colourful displays. As the clouds behind start to fade the clouds in front will light up if the sky is fairly even so you can get bonus shots.

Often i have seen the clouds behind light up with great displays while the sun setting on the horizon has yielded very little, so keep an eye on these especially during sunny & rainy conditions as you might be lucky and get a rainbow, but won't be seen if your looking towards the sun.