Self Learn Landscape Photography
Landscape Photography Guide

How to Self Learn Basic Landscape Photography from Scratch

Reading Time: 9 minutes

There’s a photographer in everyone, you just need to identify and be dedicated enough.

If you are someone who is confused about his photography and his niche then I see myself in you during my starting phase. Photography is itself a vast subject and mastering everything at once will not going to happen.

Learning anything from scratch sounds hardcore at once but when you take a start, that’s all it takes, “The Start“.

If you absolutely don’t know anything about landscape photography or even photography there’s no problem at all because everybody had to go through that stage for once.

For your say, let me tell you something about my learning – “I had started with blogging about the places I went and how somebody can reach there at a minimal cost. I take my camera with me every time I go somewhere to get one best shot. But, where is the best shot I always asked myself! No reply but the inner voice says better luck next time.

Some of the images get blurry, out of focus, underexposed, overexposed, and other various other barriers, do you know why?



Because I didn’t know anything about photography, absolutely nothing, and if I say in other words –

“What will be going to happen when someone handover a two-wheeler to you and you didn’t know how to start it” Messed-up right?

So, understanding the area is important before jumping into the field.

That is what I had learned.

okay,

let’s start from scratch then,

What is Landscape Photography?

Landscape Photography is understanding and capturing what nature has to offer to us through our lens, or mobile phone, or any other camera device (that’s my understanding)

What is meant by “What Nature has to offer to us”?

It could be anything from sunrise over the mountains to sunset over a beach. Nature is something that we shouldn’t manipulate much.

Rather we have to connect in a way that what our eyes had seen and capture through our devices the same way.

How to get started with Scenery Photography?

Landscape Image Shot at Betaab Valley, Pahalgam

Getting started with Scenery (Landscape photo) Photography is important first and foremost and the rest of the things come afterward.

okay, okay, let’s get there

If you are landed here you must be having an eager to learn this area from scratch right?

i.e. Gaining knowledge and implementing it side by side will be going to make improvements undoubtedly.

(Keep reading till the end, I insist you should read in this order only)

10. You will take time

Since you are learning by yourself, i.e consider yourself the teacher and the student who will be going to teach himself and who will be going to correct himself.

If you had made your mind that in a few months you will be pro and rock the world then your mindset will be going to be badly hurt and you will start losing interest.

Keep yourself disciplined and giving up would not speed anything at all.

By being disciplined and generating curiosity every day to improve and learn will keep you going and going and going.


9. Practice without camera

The camera will not be going to be with you every time. When you go out in a metro or on a road.

Make up in your mind that if you had a camera in your hand while traveling in the metro then what should be the Aperture and shutter speed to capture a platform.

Two situation –

  1. How you are going to capture the depth of a platform that right from foreground to every corner of your frame will be going to be lit sharp (empty platform).
  2. How you are going to capture the same situation on a crowded platform.

When you get your answer try to google that you got this correct or not, if not what should be done.

Or

Try to bring the camera one day with you to the same platform and now click with the mind you had made without the camera. If you get the wrong settings, find the correct answer, and keep experimenting the same until you are satisfied with your shot.

Note – Be careful while clicking pictures in a crowded place, nobody likes to get clicked by a stranger.

8. You don’t need a high-end camera

This is the biggest myth that starting from scratch encounters. Purchasing a high-end and expensive camera will not going to make anyone pro and master in Landscape photography or any other niche.

Let me quote a message which changed my same thought –

“First Identify why you need to upgrade your camera, how your current camera is becoming a barrier in your photography skills. If you had identified it, then you are good to go with an upgrade – Bobby Joshi (Landscape Photographer)

You must remind yourself of this message whenever you see others with a better camera and you think that you wanted to upgrade as well.

First comes your skills, a very important thing in today’s world. Let that badass skill talk first.

okay, I hope this point will keep banging your head until you identify your barrier.

Right?

7. Turn back and say Wow

Image Shot at Mandrem Beach in Goa

Let me go straight if you are not happy with what you had shot then don’t expect the others are going to say for you.

Click a picture, playback, and if you had liked it you’ll be excited, it can be seen on your face, moreover, it will be going to make you happy from inside.

If you didn’t like it, stand there and see what went wrong. Why was the picture you just clicked don’t deserve a “wow” from you?

Keep trying and clicking until you become satisfied with your shot images.

If you skipped that time afterward you will go home and forget everything.

The chances are high that you will start comparing yourself to others that why he/she has got something excellent than me, is this because of the camera? You will start doubting yourself and the horror doubting yourself story goes on and on.


6. Change your Perspective

Bridge at the Mandrem Beach in Goa

Every field requires a perspective that should convey a strong message or a strong feeling. The person on the other side who is the viewer should feel that he is with you and actually living that moment with you.

If every picture you are going to take from the same normal standing eye-level perspective then you will start getting a little bored &”Photography is not about getting bored“. Make things interesting for yourself.

So, make the focus clear that you will be changing the perspective in every shot and sometimes depends upon the situation.

This way you will develop an understanding of making your landscape photography interesting.

5. Practice daily

To Practice Landscape pictures, you actually don’t need to go anywhere. Staying indoors at home will be going to help you a lot rather than outside.

You must be thinking that this guy is telling about Landscape Photography and wanting us to stay inside? How can this will improve?

Let me share with you my own experience –  I used to think that for practicing Landscape photos and improving I needed to be present in the mountain, river, forest, environment, and I will be going to master it.

And without a doubt I was wrong. When I see my shots I used to tell, not even one single well composed and a good shot.

If you want to start learning landscapes compositions you start from your home

I realized that staying in that environment is not very important but making the basics and skills strong is a bigger task.

i.e Staying Indoors is my go-to advice at the starting until basics are clear.

To practice daily, choose a room of your house and practice keeping in mind about the landscape environment, let’s assume your room as a big cottage above the mountains. Try to get everything in focus while you learn the combination of the golden triangle (Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO).

Shoot at different points, at different Aperture & at different Shutter Speed. Look where you went wrong, correct the errors, and keep practicing.

I don’t want you to make the mistakes that I did in my starting phase.

  • In other words, “Practice a lot at cricket nets daily, and when you think you are absolutely ready just go into the field and rock it

Staying home will eventually save a lot of money for traveling and other expenses and you will be going to improving as well.

Trust me


4. Giving more emphasis on Understanding Aperture for Wider Depth of Field

Understanding the Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO is important but the topic here is landscape photography & making depth sharp should be the way to go.

The role of a landscape photographer is to present an image with utmost sharpness and Aperture will going to play a major role.

Remember, Aperture decides how small and big your camera opening will be?

A smaller Aperture opening let’s assume, f/22 makes the opening of the lens very small that only a handful of light is allowed to enter. On the other hand, a larger Aperture opening f/2.6 allows more light to enter.

The Aperture controls the depth of your image, a small Aperture opening brings wider depth in your image or a sharper image of every object in your frame.

The Larger Aperture opening will make images more blurry which we do not want as a Landscape Photographer. This is a very useful asset in Portraits because we want a blurry background and a crisp sharp focus on our subject.

That is why giving more emphasis on a wider depth of field is required.

3. Starting with Auto Mode

Since, if you don’t know about Auto Mode.

“Auto is a camera mode where the camera decides everything and you just have to point and shoot”

Starting with Auto mode for landscape photography should be your go-to preference at first. Since you are starting and learning by yourself, therefore, Auto Mode will be going to give you an idea about how the different camera functions work.

If you are going out with your family and friends for a vacation, carry the camera along and start with shooting in Auto mode. Try to focus on multiple subjects like mountains, rivers, trees, or anything in your surroundings.

Come back home and try to understand how the camera had captured this scene, you might see the values like 1/60, f3.5, ISO-400, and other important values.


2. Understand Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO

In the last point, I had listed some values. Understanding these values should be your utmost priority.

In a one-liner, I will be going to tell you what these three are –

  • Aperture decides your camera opening, the bigger the hole (mean less f-number) the more light will enter and vice-versa.
  • Shutter Speed decides that for how long your Aperture remains open (the slower shutter speed will allow more light to enter and vice-versa)
  • ISO decides the sensitivity of light to the sensor (A high ISO value will add noise to the image)

As you can see it’s all about balancing the light from different functions and capturing the photo.

You should master these three things to make a strong base in regards to Landscape Photography or any type of photography.

1. Understanding your Camera

I hope as a kid you remembered that excitement when you bought a new toy and takes full control over it. You leave that toy until it becomes not properly functional.

Remember right?

The same thing you have to do with your camera here but don’t go beyond the extent that it becomes non-functional. Because the camera wear & tear will be going to hurt you as anything ever did.

Try to go into the menu and find out what all buttons you are having there and how they can help you out in different situations. You had got a manual sheet with your camera that fully explains what all functions are there in the camera, but hardly anyone sees it. Try to maintain an eye on the manual sheet as well.

okay then,

You had practiced a lot then head straight to the field, being an adventure & landscape photo enthusiast you wanted to capture some stunning images then Bir Billing in Himachal might excite you.

Bir Billing Collage

 



Conclusion

These are the points which I thought are necessary for the self-learning of basics of Landscape Photography from scratch.

I am not the master of Landscape Photography but I had been through this stage. So this is the medium that allows me to share my thoughts and past experiences so that others will learn.

Also, this was my first photography-related article and hope you had liked it and will be coming with more such articles.

Things should go like –  keep learning ➡️ teaching others = You will learn twice.

I would not say that you will not be going to make any mistakes after reading and practicing, rather if you are not making mistakes then you might not improve.

Please share and subscribe if you found this article useful.

Also, let me know if you got some other points on starting landscape photography from scratch.

Until then, see you on the roads

Keep learning and exploring

Vansh Tiwari
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