The village of Preci in Umbria (David Noton)
List 29 June

5 Top tips on photographing landscapes

One of Britain's most acclaimed landscape photographers David Noton reveals five top tips of taking unforgettable landscape shots

1. Enjoy yourself

When you’re in a photogenic spot and the weather or circumstances turn against you, the burden of expectation can ruin all enjoyment of your trip. Relax, and have faith in your own skills.

You can’t beat Mother Nature. If you put yourself in the right place at the right time, sooner or later you’ll get lucky. The best pictures will come when you are enjoying your photography the most.

2. Find new landscapes

It’s tempting to head for the well-known vistas immortalised by previous generations of photographers – Yosemite in California, Belvedere in Tuscany – but try to come up with something unique.

Search out locations and ideas that are born solely of your imagination and photographic eye. These are the pictures that you will treasure most in the years to come.

3. Use a tripod

A good tripod is essential for my landscape photography; it enables me to work in low light and achieve maximum depth of field without sacrificing quality by raising the ISO. It also engenders a more thoughtful approach to composition.

4. Slow down

It’s all too easy to get sucked into a whistlestop tour of visitor attractions. No matter how much time you’ve got you can’t see it all. It’s often far better to slow down, get beneath the surface of a place and observe the light on the landscape over several days; this is when the best photographic opportunities come. I make it a rule to stay at least three days on each leg of the journey, usually more.

 

5. Have a plan

You can’t expect to get off the plane and just stumble over epic scenes. You’ll need to do your research before you go: how are you going to travel? Where will you stay? For how long? Try not to bite off more than you can chew: you want to be behind the lens, not hanging around departure lounges.

No plan ever survives the first contact with reality, but you need a starting point and a set of objectives.

David Noton is one of Britain's most acclaimed landscape photographers. You can view his images and buy prints at www.davidnoton.com. He also publishes a subscription-based eZine titled 'Chasing the Light', aimed at budding landscape and travel photographers of all levels. Sign up online: www.davidnoton.com.

These top five tips have been taken from the current issue of Take Better Travel Photos. Order your copy online or pick up a copy in WH Smiths now.

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