Hi! I’m Ray Salibury from hot pixels. You are about to learn ten hot tips to take your landscapes to the next level.

1. Planning.

I cannot emphasize how crucial this is. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Much of your success depends on how organized you are. Your emotional response to a scene will motivate you to capture it on camera but you’ve got to use your head, not just your heart. Get a local weather forecast, check the tide charts and find out when the sun rises and see it.

2. Location.

You really need to get to your location about one hour early. You don’t want to be on a rush or put you on the back foot and you could make some stupid mistakes. Right here, we are on location. Grab your camera. And your tripod and this hit off down to the beach. Once you’re on location. Scout around for likely compositions use your legs, shoot handheld or even use your smartphone if you need to. If you’re on the coast an outgoing tide is best because the beach will be washed clean of footprints. Rocks will have a wet season. And you are less likely to be knocked over by an incoming wave.

3. Composition

While you are scouting your location think about composition. Don’t just place your subject in the middle. Try the rule of fit. Same with the horizon. If the land or ocean is interesting, it should fill about two-thirds of the frame. Conversely, if the sky is more interesting, it should focus see this off the frame. Look for leading lines that will direct the viewer’s eye to the focal point. And try out a portrait orientation.

4. Tripod

Once you have chosen the best location set up your tripod. Using a tripod will slow you down and make you more intentional. Your hands are free and you can make fine adjustments to your composition. Always use the lower leg sections and push them firmly into the ground. Avoid giving salt water and sand into the joints.

5. Camera Preparation.

Now attach your camera to the tripod. Make sure your memory card is formatted. And your batteries are fresh. If you need to swap lenses, point the camera downwards so it can’t get into the sensor. If it’s windy, you could do this inside a plastic bag. Use the live view seating so you don’t have to crouch down. If your camera doesn’t have one place the spirit level on the camera’s hot shoe.


Without explaining the math behind this concept, you need to focus your camera about a third of the way into the frame. It’s called the hyperfocal distance. You can also zoom in 10 times on the LCD screen to focus on an exact spot before you even press the shutter. So you don’t accidentally change the focus seating. You can lock it down manually.

7. Exposure.

Check the histogram graph. See if the highlights are clipped or if the shadows have food in. Add or subtract the bits of light using exposure compensation. If in doubt you could bracket exposures. That as, click off a series of frames using varied exposure settings. One of them will be correct.

8. Aperture.

You want to get all the elements of your sane pin shop from foreground to background. Therefore you’ll need a very wide depth of field. So dial in an aperture ceasing between if 8 and if 22.

9. Avoid Camera Shake.

When you press the shutter you don’t want to bump the camera. So we attach a cable release. Or you can activate the camera’s self-timer.

10. Filters.

Really they’re steeped in filters. The most necessary filter is the polarizer. It can give you Deep Blue Skies, saturate the color and eliminate reflections and clear. A set of indeed graduated filters will help you get balanced exposures and camera. But be precise when lining up to graduation with the horizon.

We still haven’t taken our photo yet but don’t weigh all this stuff will become second nature and won’t take as long. While you’re waiting for the right light don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the moment. Finally, be realistic. Two out of three photo shoots might not come off because you can’t control mother nature. Just keep showing up. And you will make some great images. The only way you will improve your photography is if you get out there and do it.

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