Expert Tips for Overcoming Landscape Photography Challenges
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Battle with bad weather
  2. Dealing with lighting issues
  3. Tackling the wrong time of day
  4. Overcome the challenge of plain and boring landscapes
  5. How to get sharp photos
  6. How to create depth in landscape photography
  7. Dealing with crowded landmarks
  8. How to capture movement
  9. How to find the best location
  10. Plan your shots

When it comes to advanced landscape photography challenges, every shutterbug knows they can be as unpredictable as the weather. But don't let that dismay you. Here, we'll go over key strategies to help you overcome common hurdles, elevate your game, and capture those breathtaking vistas with confidence. So, let's dive right into it!

Battle with bad weather

It happens to the best of us: you've hiked for miles, set up your gear, and then the skies decide to throw a tantrum. Bad weather is one of the advanced landscape photography challenges that can feel like a real deal-breaker. But remember, it can also be an opportunity to capture unique, dramatic shots.

  • Embrace the rain: Rain can add a fresh, moody element to your landscapes. The wet surfaces can create interesting reflections, and the overcast sky often results in softer, diffused light. So, instead of packing up your gear, consider donning a waterproof jacket and giving it a go. Make sure you protect your camera though - a simple plastic bag can work wonders.
  • Make friends with fog: Fog might obscure your view, but it can also add an air of mystery and depth to your photos. Use it to your advantage. Try focusing on the shapes and silhouettes it creates.
  • Use wind wisely: Wind can turn calm waters into raging seas, and peaceful fields into waves of wheat. It’s all about capturing that energy. A slower shutter speed will show movement, while a faster one will freeze the action. Both can create stunning results.

Remember, some of the most celebrated landscape photos were taken in less-than-ideal weather conditions. So, next time you're facing adverse weather, think of it not as a roadblock but as an opportunity to take your landscape photography to the next level.

Dealing with lighting issues

Let's shine some light on another advanced landscape photography challenge: lighting issues. Too harsh, too soft, too direct, too diffused — getting the lighting just right can sometimes feel like a Goldilocks syndrome. But, fear not. Here are some tips to help you navigate those tricky lighting conditions.

  • Make the most of Golden Hour: This is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset. The light is softer, diffused, and warmer in hue, casting long shadows and adding depth to your landscape shots. It can turn a good photo into a great one.
  • Use a polarizing filter: This nifty tool helps reduce glare, manage reflections, and enhance the colors of the sky and foliage. It's like sunglasses for your camera, helping to balance the light in your shots.
  • Master manual mode: It gives you full control over your camera's settings, allowing you to adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO according to the lighting conditions. It might take a bit of time and practice to get used to, but it's worth the effort.

Remember, lighting can make or break a landscape photo. But with these tips, you can turn lighting challenges into opportunities to create visually stunning images. So, don’t shy away from those tricky lighting situations. Instead, use them as a chance to experiment and grow as a photographer.

Tackling the wrong time of day

One of the most common advanced landscape photography challenges is shooting at the "wrong" time of day. But what if I told you there's no such thing as a wrong time? It's all about perspective and a little creativity. Here's how you can turn any time of day into the "right" time for landscape photography.

  • Utilize harsh midday light: While it's true that midday light can be harsh and unflattering, it can also create dramatic shadows and reveal textures that softer light can't. Try converting your photos to black and white to emphasize these elements.
  • Embrace the blue hour: This is the period of twilight in the morning before sunrise, or in the evening after sunset. The indirect sunlight takes on a blue hue, creating a magical atmosphere that's perfect for cityscapes or seascapes.
  • Make use of long exposures at night: If you're up for some night-time photography, long exposures can create stunning images. Capture the motion of stars, the glow of city lights, or the ethereal beauty of a moonlit landscape.

Whether it's the crack of dawn, the peak of afternoon, or the dead of night, there's always an opportunity to capture a breathtaking landscape. So next time you're facing the "wrong" time of day, remember: there's always a way to make it right.

Overcome the challenge of plain and boring landscapes

Some of the most advanced landscape photography challenges involve taking photographs in areas that might seem dull or ordinary. But, sometimes, it's in these "boring" landscapes where you can discover truly unique shots. Here are some tips to help you transform the mundane into the extraordinary:

  • Focus on details: Instead of trying to capture the whole scene, look for unique details or patterns. An old tree trunk, a patch of wildflowers, or even a close-up of leaves can turn a "boring" landscape into an intriguing subject.
  • Change your perspective: Sometimes, all it takes to see a landscape differently is to change your viewpoint. Try shooting from a higher vantage point or get down low for a fresh angle. You might be surprised at what you find.
  • Use the magic of editing: Post-processing is a powerful tool that can transform a bland photo into a masterpiece. Adjust the contrast, saturation, or apply a filter to bring out the beauty in a seemingly "boring" landscape.

Remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even the most "boring" landscapes can reveal hidden gems with a bit of creativity and patience. So, the next time you find yourself in a plain location, embrace it as an advanced landscape photography challenge and use it to stretch your creative muscles.

How to get sharp photos

Another advanced landscape photography challenge is achieving sharp, clear photos. Even the most scenic landscapes can lose their charm if the images turn out blurry or out of focus. Here are some tips to get those crisp shots:

  • Steady your camera: A shaky hand can result in blurry photos. Use a tripod to keep your camera steady, especially when shooting in low light conditions or using a slow shutter speed.
  • Master the art of focusing: Manual focus can be a great tool to capture sharp images. Learn to use your camera's focus peaking feature, or if it's not available, try the hyperfocal distance technique.
  • Optimize your aperture: Aperture plays a crucial role in the sharpness of your photos. A smaller aperture (higher f-number) will generally yield sharper images. But be careful, as extremely small apertures can lead to diffraction, which can also affect sharpness.

Remember, achieving sharp photos is not just about the right gear but also about understanding your camera settings and the environment you're shooting in. Practice these tips, and soon, you'll conquer this advanced landscape photography challenge in no time.

How to create depth in landscape photography

Creating depth is a key component of landscape photography. It brings a sense of dimension and scale to your images, pulling the viewer into the scene. But how exactly can you tackle this aspect of advanced landscape photography challenges? Let's find out:

  • Use leading lines: Lines that start from the bottom of the frame and lead towards the main subject can give an illusion of depth. It could be a winding road, a river, or even a row of trees.
  • Play with foreground and background: Including objects in your foreground and background can create layers in your photo, giving a 3D effect. A rock or a bunch of flowers in the foreground, with mountains in the background, can make a huge difference.
  • Experiment with perspective: Changing your angle or viewpoint can also add depth. For example, shooting from a low angle can make your subject seem larger and more imposing, adding a sense of depth.

Adding depth to your images is about understanding composition and perspective. With practice, you'll soon be able to capture the breadth and depth of your landscapes, taking your photography skills to new heights.

Dealing with crowded landmarks

Some of the most beautiful landscapes can, unfortunately, also be the most crowded. It's a common advanced landscape photography challenge to try and capture the majesty of a landmark, only to have it swarming with tourists. So how can you deal with this issue? Let's see:

  • Embrace the crowd: Sometimes, including people in your shot can add a touch of life and scale to the landscape. They could even become an interesting part of the story you're trying to tell with your photo.
  • Go off-peak: Try visiting the location during off-peak hours, like early morning or late evening. Not only will there be fewer people, but you'll also get the benefit of the soft, golden light during these times.
  • Use long exposure: A long exposure can blur moving subjects, like people, making them less noticeable or even invisible. You'll need a tripod for this and possibly a neutral density filter, depending on the light.

Remember, dealing with crowds is all about creativity and patience. With a bit of planning and the right techniques, you can turn a crowded scene into a captivating photo.

How to capture movement

Capturing the dynamism of a landscape is a key aspect of overcoming advanced landscape photography challenges. Whether it's the rustling leaves in a forest, the crashing waves of the sea, or the bustling cityscape, movement can bring a photo to life. Here's how you can effectively capture movement in your shots:

  • Use a Slow Shutter Speed: A slower shutter speed allows more light to enter the camera sensor over a longer period, recording the motion in your scene. This can result in silky water effects, streaks of light, or blurred motion.
  • Try Panning: This technique involves moving your camera to follow a moving subject, such as a cyclist or a running animal. If done correctly, your subject will be sharp against a blurred background, emphasizing its movement.
  • Experiment with Burst Mode: If your camera has this function, it can take a series of photos in quick succession. This is great for capturing the perfect moment in a fast action scene. You can then choose the best shot or create a sequence to show the movement.

Remember, capturing movement requires practice, so don't be disheartened if your first few attempts don't turn out as expected. Keep experimenting and you'll soon be creating dynamic, vibrant landscape photos that truly stand out.

How to find the best location

Location scouting is one of the advanced landscape photography challenges that can truly make or break your shots. Finding the right spot to set up your tripod is sometimes as crucial as the photography skills you've honed over the years. So, how do you find that perfect location?

  • Research, research, research: The internet is your friend here. Look at other photographers’ work, read travel blogs, or use Google Maps to find interesting landscapes. Remember, you're not trying to copy someone else's shot, but to find inspiration and potential locations.
  • Explore Local: Sometimes, the best locations are right under our noses. Take a walk around your local area, you'll be surprised what hidden gems you may find. A familiar location can offer new perspectives at different times of the day or year.
  • Use Technology: There are numerous apps designed to help photographers find good locations. For instance, apps like PhotoPills provide a wealth of information, including the position of the sun, moon, and Milky Way for any location on any day.

Remember, the best location isn't always the most obvious one. Sometimes, it's that off-beat path or the less traveled road that offers the most unique and captivating views. Happy location hunting!

Plan your shots

Once you’ve found your ideal location, the next step in overcoming advanced landscape photography challenges is planning your shots. This step involves a bit of strategic thinking and a whole lot of creativity. Here’s how you can approach it:

  1. Understand the Light: Light is a photographer’s best friend and understanding its nuances can make your shots stand out. Study the location at different times of the day to see how the light changes, and plan your shots accordingly.
  2. Visualize the Scene: Have a clear idea of what you want your final image to look like. Are you aiming for a serene sunset or a vibrant morning shot? This vision will guide your planning process.
  3. Be Flexible: While planning is key, don’t be afraid to improvise. If you notice a striking cloud formation or a sudden ray of sunlight breaking through the trees, adapt your plan to capture that moment.

Planning your shots can be the difference between a good photo and a stunning piece of art. So, take your time, let your creativity flow, and watch as your landscape photography takes on a whole new dimension.

If you're looking to further improve your landscape photography skills and overcome common challenges, don't miss the workshop 'Introduction to Landscape Photography' by Peter Holliday. This workshop will provide you with expert tips and techniques for capturing stunning landscape images, regardless of the challenges you may face in the field.