4 tips for extraordinary landscape photos (+ special class giveaway)

We reveal four tips for shooting dynamic scenes during sunrise, midday and sundown.

Are your landscapes not turning out the way you’d like? Here, we’ll reveal four tips for shooting dynamic scenes during sunrise, midday and sundown.

Plus, enjoy a special offer for Lighting Rumours readers! Enter for your chance to win award-winning photographer Rick Sammon’s online Craftsy class Landscape Photography: Shooting From Dusk to Dawn here (a $59.99 value).

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1. Get your timing right.

It’s important to consider weather patterns and timing in advance so that you can be where you need to be to make the most of the amazing light provided by sunrise and sunset. Lucky for you, there are tons of smartphoneƂĀ apps, from “Photographer’s Ephemeris” to “The Weather”, that will tell you everything you need to know.

To capture the best photos during the blue-tinted lighting provided during twilight you’ll want to:

  • Shoot in manual mode
  • Use a longer exposure than normal daytime photos
  • Be sure your camera is stabilized to prevent shake; mount your camera to a tripod and/or carry a cable release
  • Capture the sky directly opposite of the sun

When shooting during the golden hour’s soft, diffused lighting you should:

  • Use a wide aperture
  • Set your white balance to cloudy, otherwise you risk neutralizing the warm, golden glow

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2. Frame it.

Make sure your viewer feels like they are seeing the entire scene by using a wide angle lens to include more in your frame. When deciding where to position yourself to take your photo, walk around your subject to see what it looks like from every angle before settling on the one that makes for the most intriguing image. Experiment with both vertical and horizontal compositions.

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3. Don’t forget the sky!

While the sky is frequently overlooked it’s an important element of landscape photography. When you encounter a dramatic sky, let it dominate your photo by placing the horizon line at the bottom of the frame. Unless you have a reflection scene like a lake, avoid placing the horizon in the center of the frame.

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4. Crop it.

Don’t forget that during post-processing cropping provides a second chance at composition. Use the rule of thirds to make sure your subject is not in the exact center of your photo, but rather offset to one side or top or bottom creating more tension and interest. Another handy trick is to create a vignette by darkening the edges of your scene just a bit to draw attention to the main subject.

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Now that you’ve picked up a few tips, take the next step towards standout photos by entering for your chance to win the online Craftsy class Landscape Photography: Shooting From Dusk to Dawn! Enjoy a guided tour through stunning vistas as instructor Rick Sammon reveals essential lens, filter and framing strategies for incredible landscape photos any time of day. With lifetime access you can learn at your pace and easily revisit concepts before your next shoot.

What are your secrets for shooting stunning landscapes at dusk?

One winner will be randomly selected on June X, 2014 at midnight MT (GMT -7). This has been a sponsored post kindly brought to us by Craftsy.

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This is a sponsored article. The content does not necessarily represent the views of Lighting Rumours editorial staff.