When you get your new camera, chances are you’ll want something to photograph, and there are only so many times you can photograph the cat, family members and your back garden before they get annoyed or you get bored. The next best thing to do is go out with your camera and take photographs of the surrounding landscapes! They’re not scary places, there’s rarely any people and you can concentrate on what your doing.
The great thing about landscape photography compared to other types of photography is that with little skill, you can create amazing photos. This is due to the fact that nature can be so beautiful and you have so many options. You see a mountain, the sea, cliffs, horses in a field, an empty farm house, and you can literally photograph anywhere near them and you’ll have a result. Even the newest of photographers will usually have some understanding of composition, and I dare to argue that when you’re new, you are far more experimental with your compositions, because you’re learning your craft.
As time goes on, you’ll understand that weather conditions, time of day and the type of light that is available can enhance your photographs, and there’s little to adapt other than learning to work with the things you’ve learned. You’ll experiment with light and shadows much more, and you’ll build on what you know. It’s a perfect learning ground, where the only things that change are the light and weather conditions. You can fine tune your craft with the certainty that you’ll always be in your safe place, with little risk to others, and the knowledge that you’ll get some amazing images.
Landscape photography also lends heavily on allowing you to continuously work and improve on your editing skills. Unlike other forms of photography where colours can hugely vary, you know what colour the skies, water and landscapes are. You’re already programmed with that knowledge, so when you’re at the computer editing, you know straight away if you are on the right track with the edit you are making.
A lot of photographers will almost exclusively do landscape photography, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Firstly it gets you outdoors, and secondly, of all the other forms of photography its the easiest to sell and the easiest to please other people with. As mentioned, it’s also a great place to learn your craft, as there’s so much opportunity to play with your camera and the settings that go into capturing an image.
If you’re just starting out with photography, get outside, and photograph to your heart’s content. With digital photography there’s no cost, and nobody ever got better by doing less photography. If you’ve got a printer, use it on a regular basis, print out your favourite images and just look at them. Give them to friends and family to look at, and take in any feedback. There’s a myth that you should only do photography for yourself, but if you think your work is great and others don’t, it can be really detrimental to you progressing in photography. Of course you should be able to please other people with your images, it will boost your moral and give you confidence to get better.
Once you’ve taken the time with landscape photography, try other genres such as street photography, portraits, architecture or any other kind of photography. Yes, they are so much more challenging, but you’ll reap the rewards for your efforts.
Starting with photography can be a minefield. You’ll read books, watch videos and listen to others. Even if you don’t plan on doing landscape photography, give it a try. Your subject won’t be moving, you’ll have beautiful photos, and you can concentrate. Landscape photography can really be the place to start your career, and it’s one you can dip your toes into time after time in the knowledge you are learning new techniques and enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with it.