Just Like the Masters: 5 Concepts that Can Make Anyone a Better Landscape Photographer

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Not every photographer is destined to be a great landscape photographer; I’m sure most of us are painfully aware of this – to become a better landscape photographer takes time, practice, patience and skill.

We all look at the work of gurus like Eliot Porter, Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Salgado or Franco Fontana and can’t help but be blissfully astonished by their creations.

They make it look easy — the hallmark of a true master.

become a better landscape photographer

Become a Better Landscape Photographer

While most who pick up a camera will not reach the heights of photographic brilliance inhabited by the names (above), the greats have left plenty of clues for the rest of us.

No matter what stylistic difference are present in the best landscape photos and the photographers who shot them, those photographers and their images share some significant commonalities that, if observed, can help make a competent landscape photographer out of just about anyone.

1. Location is Everything

What matters more than your geographical location is your location within a scene.

It’s great if you have the means to travel to exotic faraway places to capture landscapes, but that’s hardly necessary. Whether you’re off in the Himalayas or on a hike 5 miles away from your home, the most significant factor in determining the visual appeal of your prospective shot is finding the right place to setup your camera.

All good landscape photographers understand this point. In fact, it was Ansel Adams who quipped,

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

You will reap magnificent benefits by taking the time to study a location and its features. Always ask yourself where you should setup, but be sure you don’t answer that question too hastily.

Even when you’re in a place where you think everything is perfect, some spots are going to be “more perfect” than others. Choose wisely.

Oahu Landscape.

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