What Is It That Makes a Good Landscape Photo?

If you are anything like me, you have probably experienced the feeling of sitting in front of your computer, agonizing over which shot from a series of similar images you should select to edit. So, what is it that every good landscape photo should have? This informative video tutorial discusses three things that most (if not all) landscape photos have.

Coming to you from Mark Denney, this great video tutorial discusses three characteristics that worthwhile landscape images have: an interesting subject, compelling composition, and good light. There are a lot of things that go into a landscape image, both on the technical side of things and in voicing your own creativity. One thing that helped me quite a bit was learning to simplify my compositions when I felt stuck. A lot of us struggle with landscape scenes simply because they often contain so much information, and it can be hard to compose the images in a way that is not too busy and that clearly emphasizes the subject. If you are struggling with creating an image, try zooming in a bit to simplify the composition and focus on including just two or three compelling elements. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Denney.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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Tony G's picture

Did you skip past a good shot at 6:53 [1020] on purpose? It has a lot of potential.

Robert Nurse's picture

I use a 3-pass culling process over the same number of days: very cold, very heartless. The image that receives a 5-star rating has to really move me and be technically proficient. If I have to "save it", it goes to the cutting room floor. After this process, I too, end up with about 8 to 10 images worthy of working on in post.

Jacques Cornell's picture

I have found it tremendously helpful to study the work of great photographers who were not "landscape" photographers but whose work incorporated scenery in story-telling and commentary. Some of them are documentary photographers. Sebastiao Salgado comes to mind, as does Josef Koudelka, William Eggleston, and Stephen Shore. What sets them apart from typical "travel & landscape" photographers is that they bring a specific perspective, a unique understanding, that informs a message about the environment in which we humans live. It prompted me to undertake an ongoing series of "landscape" images that were really about a particular state of mind that accompanied changes in my own life.