Richard Bennett writes about photography, adventure and making a career out of what you love.

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Six things that will improve your landscape photography now

How many times have you seen something beautiful in nature, photographed it and been disappointed with the results? Capturing all the elements, conveying the mood, the light and feel is challenging. But there are a few things that you can do to instantly improve the quality of your landscape photography. Here they are:

1. Find the area of interest


What is it that you find interesting or beautiful about the scene? Is it in the foreground, the middle ground or the background? Sometimes the things that are most interesting are the sky or the intricate details in the foreground. Each photographer finds different elements of the landscape inspiring. Peter Dombrovskis was fascinated with the micro details of the wilderness. I like to convey its mood and vastness by incorporating the detail of the foreground and the horizon in the distance. Doing this establishes where you are. The sky is often a significant feature in my work because it conveys the mood of the scene by incorporating the weather (more on this in point 5).

2. Consider where to place the horizon


I rarely put the horizon in the centre of an image, and if I do, it will be exactly in the centre. Often, I will place the horizon very high or very low in the image depending on whether the area of interest is in the foreground or the background. Doing this adds impact.

3. Choose the right lens for the job


The right lens depends on what interests you about the landscape. I use a wide-angle lens because it provides depth of focus. Depth of focus means that you can have the detail in the foreground of your image sharp, while still keeping the background in focus. If you want to photograph flora and fauna, a macro lens would be more suitable.

4. Compose your image through the lens


Look at each corner of the viewfinder. Often the eye is attracted to the corners of the image. Choose what you want to include in the photograph, including what will feature in each corner, and what you want to omit before you take the photograph. By composing the image first, you ensure that you are making the most of the pixels available to you in each frame. If you need to crop the image heavily in postproduction you will lose a lot of quality.

5. Consider the light and weather


The weather is integral to landscape photography. Sunny weather is not always ideal and stormy weather can be amazing. When photographing a landscape, you need to wait for the natural light to highlight the areas of interest in the scene. You need to observe the weather and think ahead. If light is piercing through clouds to illuminate the ground, monitor this and be ready to take your image when the light hits the right spot.

6. Get out there...


The best thing that you can do to improve your landscape photography is to go to beautiful places and practice.

The South West Tasmania World Heritage Area is the landscape that inspired my career. Even after 50 years of walking in this wilderness, I still find it to be an inspirational subject. In fact, I am working on a new book on this area now.


If you would like to explore this wilderness, I am leading a 5-day photographic walk to Ketchem Bay from 8-12 March 2015. I will share my philosophy behind the camera and help you to find, or improve your own. Most importantly, I will provide the guiding expertise needed to get you into this remote and beautiful wilderness.

Visit - Workshops to find out more.

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Richard was born in Tasmania, Australia, and has lived on the island all his life.
Tasmania’s environment was a catalyst for his career as a photographer and still inspires his projects today.

Richard began walking in Tasmania’s South West World Heritage wilderness at age 17 and it captivated him. He realized he needed a camera to capture the beauty and mood of the area so that he could share it with others. This was the beginning of his photography career.