Mother Nature has the most powerful ability to take our breath away, and the struggle to compress her majestic panoramas into photographic form is the insatiable pursuit known as landscape photography. Inspired by Earth’s infinite beauty, popularized by Ansel Adams, and practiced by everyone with a camera, it is an art that anyone can create, but takes real skill to excel in. Use these tips to help your pictures stand out from the crowd.

Step 1: How to optimise your camera for landscape photography.

Take it off regular auto mode – on the PicsArt camera, set the scene mode to “landscape” (or “sunset”, if needed). On a DSLR, use either fully manual or aperture priority mode, selecting a small aperture like f/16 or f/22. This will ensure that your landscape photos are sharp from foreground to back. Adjust the brightness and contrast on the PicsArt camera (or “exposure compensation” on other cameras) until you see maximum detail in both the shadows and the highlights.

Step 2: How to set the photo camera tripod.

This is important for two reasons. One, it steadies the camera, allowing longer exposures (more on that later). Two, it helps you frame your scene more precisely according to the rules of composition, and lets you get a nice, straight horizon.

Step 3: How to use the photo background and the foreground.

Incorporate interesting elements nearer to the lens. Use these to either complement or juxtapose the landscape (or both!).

Step 4: Capture photo silhouettes to create positive/negative space.

Expose for the sky, and let objects in the foreground fall into deep shadow, creating contrasting photo silhouettes that attract a viewer’s attention.

Step 5: Include a point of focus.

Mountains, clouds, and trees are great, but every photograph needs a main element – something distinct to draw the eye back to it and hold the viewer’s attention.

Step 6: Long exposures.

If you can set your shutter speed to last several seconds, you can create some extremely interesting images. For one, you can get incredible skies by allowing the movement of the clouds to create motion blur. For two, long exposures will allow you to create nighttime landscapes that are still sharp from front to back. Also: star trails!

If you have a neutral density filter, it’s possible to photograph a busy area without people. With the filter on, close your aperture down all the way (f/22 or higher) and set your ISO to its lowest value; then, expose the picture for as long as possible. People may come and go in the frame, but unless they stay still for very long, the camera won’t register them – all that will show up on the final image will be that which did not move.

Step 7: Take landscape photos just after sunrise and right before sunset.

These are known as the “Golden Hours”, and are characterized by a low-hanging sun, warm-coloured light, and long, expressive shadows.

Step 8: Don’t shoot into the sun.

Not only do you get sun flare and washed out colours, you could be damaging your camera.

Step 9: Process the landscape images in PicsArt.

Turn the brightness down a little and the contrast a little up to make the colours pop without looking over-saturated. If the colours aren’t particularly beautiful, try turning the image black and white and see if the shapes and tones aren’t more interesting. Add borders and effects if desired, and then share them with the rest of the community!