Through the Gadling Lens: adding some oomph to your landscape shots

I was recently talking to a friend of mine, and he was lamenting the fact that his landscape photographs seemed a bit “boring.” “I look at all these other landscapes in the Gadling flickr pool,” he said, “and they’re so much more exciting than mine. What can I do to make my shots more compelling?”

To be honest, of all my photography, I struggle with making my landscapes interesting more than any other — shooting people is easy, I think. It’s really good scenery that’s difficult. And so I thought I’d go through some of the amazing landscape photographs in our Flickr pool, and point out some of their aspects that make them compelling. With some luck, some of the observations will help catapult us all into become the Ansel Adams-quality photographers we all can be.
1. Shoot with a relatively wide angle lens.

First things first: make sure that you’re using the right lens. As you probably remember, we discussed the various types of lens for various types of photography before — and the upshot is that if you’re shooting a landscape, you need a lens with a smaller focal length, rather than one with a larger focal length. For most landscape photography, I would choose a lens of, say 50mm or less. If you choose one much larger — say 100 mm — you’ll likely be disappointed how much of the scenery the lens crops out of the resulting image (although that type of lens is fabulous for portrait photography).
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