May include landscape photography of buildings

Landscape photography: Photographing mountain landscapes and mountains

Photographing mountains - can there be more beautiful motifs? I'll give you 35 photography tips for capturing wonderful mountain panoramas, alpine worlds and impressive rocks.

I love im Black Forest to hike and photograph the beautiful landscape and rolling mountains. It was something completely different this year in the Alps traveling in Austria to be. Here, too, there were wonderful motifs and breathtaking mountain panoramas. I love mountains very much and I cannot imagine living in the lowlands again.

Today I give you 35 Photography Tips at hand to take beautiful mountain pictures and to produce impressive images of such landscapes.

Gentle Black Forest mountains


Preparation for the excursion in Alpine worlds

# 1: Wear appropriate clothing

When you are out in the mountains, you should wear suitable and comfortable clothing. Walking shoes are usually compulsory. A Rain protection* - Not only for your camera, but also for you, always belong in your luggage, because the weather in the mountains or in the mountains can change quickly. If it's cold, make sure you have enough layers so you don't freeze.

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# 2: Adapt your photography equipment to the trip

A trip into the mountains, hours of hiking, inclines, small climbing areas - all of this takes its toll. So make sure you have a good shoulder strap instead of a shoulder bag that is a burden on one side. Only the bare essentials belong to the camera equipment. Less is more when you're on the road for a long time. A body that is not too heavy, a wide-angle lens, a light telephoto zoom and a standard zoom - that's usually all you need. As a tripod, you should choose a lightweight travel tripod made of carbon * decide that has little space and little weight. Add a couple of filters and a charged spare battery - that should be enough.

# 3: Let someone know about your trip

Before you set off, tell someone you know about your destination, route and your planned return. Ideally, you will even have someone with you. This is more than useful for difficult mountain hikes.

# 4: Have a map and GPS with you

A smartphone with a hiking app and GPS is a great thing. I personally trust But a hiking map in paper form is also a good idea. Because then you won't be standing there blank if your battery unexpectedly gives up.

# 5: plan the route of your hike

Plan your hiking route well and think about when you want to be where. This is especially important if you have a certain subject in mind that you might want to photograph in the best light or in the golden hour. You usually have the best light in the evening or in the morning. By contrast, around noon the lights are hard and the colors are mostly dull.

# 6: Take into account the length of your journey

If you are in the mountains and plan to climb a special peak, it often makes sense to plan an overnight stay in a mountain hut. So you can use the best light on site in the morning, photograph a sunrise or start your ascent to the summit as early as possible.

Mountain peaks above the clouds

Tips for taking photos in the mountains and in the mountains

# 7: Change your location and take photos from different positions

Mountain landscapes are exciting and varied. Different perspectives also help you to produce impressive recordings. You will find plenty of opportunities to take photos from a variety of positions. Climb rocks or lie down on the ground. Hold your camera at an angle and photograph a motif from different sides and from different positions.

# 8: think about your safety

With all the creativity in the search for a position, however, never forget your safety. Do not go to the edge of a slope, always make sure it is in a safe location and do not take unnecessary risks. No photo in the world can outweigh your own health or even your life.

Barren, snow-capped peaks

Tips for composing images when taking photos in the mountains

# 9: Don't be afraid of backlighting

Almost everyone knows this rule - do not take pictures against the light. But you should forget that very quickly. In the mountains you will be able to take beautiful motifs with the sun behind you as well as against the light. The rays of the sun peeking over a hilltop or breaking through the clouds are fascinating. Play with the light and try it out. Everything is possible, nothing is neccesary.

# 10: Observe the rule of thirds

Make use of the rule of thirds and ideally place the transition between sky and mountains on the upper, horizontal third line. In this way, your mountain landscape is particularly emphasized, while the sky gets a little less space.

Photographing expanses in the Black Forest

# 11: Don't place your main subject in the middle

Striking peaks, buildings, a summit cross - there are many exciting things that are worth integrating into the picture. Instead of placing such a motif in the middle, you'd better place it on one of the vertical third lines, or even better in the intersection of the third lines. That makes your picture much more exciting!

# 12: use leading lines

In the mountains, look out for elements that can be used as a guide. This can be a path, a path, the transition between landscape elements, trees or fences. With such lines you can guide the viewer's eye of your image to specific points or just into the depths of your image.

# 13: Find exciting diagonals

Just like leading lines, diagonals - if used correctly - exert a certain fascination. A railing in a ravine, a straight path, the transition between the sky and the outline of a mountain - all of this can be used as a diagonal. Personally, I like it very much when diagonals lie exactly in the corners of my pictures, or when a bundle of diagonals run towards a certain point in the picture.

# 14: Use different layers for your composition

A beautiful mountain panorama often comes into its own when you not only photograph distant mountains, but are also looking for an exciting foreground and also pay attention to suitable motifs in the middle of the expanse of your picture. Foreground, middle level, background - if you integrate something exciting into all parts of the picture, your picture will gain width and be fascinating!

3 levels in the Austrian Alps

# 15: An exciting foreground creates more depth in the photo

Often there are viewing benches, flowers or other beautiful foreground motifs in the mountains that you can integrate into the picture. A cable car, a hut or people are also great foreground motifs. Then there are the mountains in the background - and you have a wonderful picture that may even tell a whole story.

# 16: Play with lighting moods, clouds and cloud holes

A blue sky is fascinating, but clouds can be even more exciting. So don't be afraid of bad weather. Sunbeams falling through a cloud hole, fleecy clouds that glide gently across the sky or entire cloud fronts that are gloomy and threatening in the sky can suddenly turn an ordinary scene into a really impressive picture. So use such natural phenomena and play with them. See how different lighting moods affect how different cloud constellations affect your scene.

Rock with Pico del Teide in the background

# 17: Use reflections in beautiful mountain lakes

In many mountains and mountain landscapes there are beautiful lakes, either natural or man-made. They alone are often a great element in your picture. But if the mountain peaks are reflected in the lake or beautiful clouds also appear in the water, then really impressive images are created. So keep an eye out for such opportunities and use appropriate waters for your composition.

More motive ideas

  • Mountain and storm huts
  • Lakes and other bodies of water
  • Exciting details and mountain formations
  • Plants & flowers along the way

View of the Yosemite Valley

Tips on camera settings for the perfect mountain panorama

# 18: Make sure you have sufficient depth of field

Typically, you want your landscape shot to be consistently sharp and crisp from back to front. For this you should use an aperture that is as closed as possible (f / 11 - f / 16) or you should use the hyperfocal distance employ.

Mountains in Austria

# 19: Shoot in RAW format

In the mountains you often have to deal with difficult lighting conditions. As in almost every field of photography, it makes a lot of sense to be in the RAW format to photograph. This is the only way you can use the maximum of details in your photos for yourself. Only the RAW format gives you all the freedom you need to edit your images. This also has the advantage that you can easily readjust the white balance and other settings later.

# 20: Shoot in manual or AV mode

Don't give your camera too much freedom. Only if you consciously deal with the sharpness by specifying the appropriate aperture will you succeed in taking the pictures you want. Use the AV mode or take photos in manual mode.

Exciting rocks in Joshua Tree NP

Photo equipment for mountain photography

# 21: Use a wide angle for as much landscape as possible

With a Wide angle lens you can take in wonderful mountain panoramas. The extreme angle creates fascinating images - especially if you also install an exciting foreground. But be careful, objects at the edge of the screen may be heavily distorted. People on the edge of a picture taken with a wide-angle lens can look really irritating. You should also hold the camera as straight as possible to avoid problems with falling lines. The more you tilt the camera, the more distorted corresponding objects such as houses or mountains will be. Apart from that, a wide angle is indispensable in landscape photography. It's wonderful to get as much as possible of a wonderful environment in the picture.

Wide angle panorama on Tenerife

# 22: Use a telephoto lens to reveal exciting sections

In the mountains in particular, however, it can also make a lot of sense to look for exciting sections and details. These are best done with a Telephoto lens capture. You can also get particularly exciting pictures if you stagger different levels and objects in the depth of your picture with a telephoto lens. Try to put it in portrait format. You will accumulate what great mountain pictures can result from it.

Halfdome brought in with the telephoto zoom

# 23: Take photos from the tripod

One tip that almost always applies, of course, is a To use tripodto get the sharpest images possible. However, the tripod has an additional role to play in the mountains. On the tripod, you can take pictures slightly shifted in order to later combine them into beautiful panoramas in image processing or to create HDR images. In both cases you have to make sure to take all pictures with the same parameters. The aperture must also remain the same, you should not move the tripod under any circumstances. Appropriate software will help you later to put the individual images together to create total works of art.

# 24: use filters

Filters are indispensable in landscape photography and especially in mountain photography. Personally, I am a big fan of polarizing filters, with which you can conjure up particularly strong colors and strong contrasts in any landscape, no matter how monotonous. Sure, you can still improve a lot with image processing these days - but it is much better and more effective to use a polarizing filter to influence the light falling on the sensor in such a way that correspondingly beautiful images are created.

But you have to be careful not to overdo it with the position of the polarizing filter. Otherwise your sky will very quickly darken too much or unevenly exposed areas will appear in the sky, which then look strange in the picture. You have to exercise particular caution in connection with a wide-angle lens. So it is better not to overdo it with the polarizing filter or - this is how I usually do it - take different pictures with the polarizing filter in different positions and later see what fits best.

The gray graduated filter is also very important. With this you can balance strong contrasts between bright sky and darker landscape very nicely. But make sure that you mount the course absolutely parallel to the horizon. Otherwise it quickly gets strange. On the other hand, you mainly use neutral gray filters Long term recordings - for example, if you want to blur clouds in the sky.

UV filters, on the other hand, are usually superfluous, although they have their raison d'etre especially in hazy light conditions. But I rarely or never use them. Even the often-used argument to protect the lens should hardly work these days with first-class optics and lenses.

Mountain peaks in the fog

More tips for perfect mountain photos

# 25: Don't be afraid of bad weather - rain, fog and clouds are great too!

As already mentioned, the weather and the surrounding conditions contribute to being able to produce exciting and varied recordings. One and the same landscape can produce completely different effects and images in different weather. Fog in combination with and without the sun is fascinating. You can play wonderfully with clouds above and around the mountains and include them in your picture in an attractive way. Even when it rains, there are impressive motifs such as rainbows, reflecting puddles or drops on the plants. The colors of leaves and plants also come into their own when it rains. Try it. There is no such thing as unsuitable weather - only unsuitable clothing! Of course, you should also protect your equipment appropriately when it rains. A rain cover for the camera and for the photo backpack is mandatory.

# 26: Be on the summit in the golden hour and have the right settings ready

The most wonderful pictures can often be shot in the incomparable atmosphere of the golden hour shortly before sunset. If you are planning such recordings, be there in good time so that you don't have to look for the right place first. Ideally, you should already have made your camera settings or at least have them in your head. Often the most beautiful moments of light and opportunities are over quickly and briefly. It would be a shame if you missed these moments after a long walk because you are still fiddling with the equipment or looking for the best place instead of being able to take full advantage of the light and the opportunity.