If you love photography and you have some skills, teaching others can be a great way to make money. It could be a side hustle that brings in some extra money outside of your job, or it could be the source of a full-time income. And not only can you make money by teaching something that you love, but you’ll also have the privilege of helping others who want to learn more about photography.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some specific ways that you can earn money by teaching photography to others.
1. Teach a Class
You may be able to teach a course at a local college, art school, or some other type of school. This will partly depend on the types of schools and academic institutions that are in your local area, and it can also depend on your experience and qualifications.
2. Create an Online Course
Another option is to create your own course and sell it online. Video courses are extremely popular, and this can be an option regardless of where you live. Another benefit is that you can create the course one time, and then sell access to it over-and-over again.
There are a few different ways you could go about creating your own course.
Sell it at your own website. You could host and sell access to the site on your own, and there are many different platforms that make it possible. You could use Teachable as an easy way to host your course, and then simply promote it at your own website. The course would technically be hosted by Teachable, but you have full control over it.
Another option for selling at your own website would be to use a WordPress membership plugin. Many of the leading membership plugins allow you to sell access and protect content (text, video, or downloads) to be sure that only paying customers are getting access to the content. (We’re using a WordPress plugin for our course, Lightroom for Landscapes.)
Sell it at a marketplace. If you’re willing to give up a little more control, you could sell on a marketplace like Udemy. You’ll have some control over the pricing, but they do run a lot of sales and special promotions. Udemy has a big audience and an established reputation, so they can help you to reach a bigger audience.
Skillshare is another marketplace that you could use. While Udemy sells access to courses individually, Skillshare offers a membership that gives customers access to thousands of courses for one price. As a course creator, you can make money based on how many hours of your video courses are watched, and you can also refer customers to Skillshare through their affiliate program.
3. Lead Workshops and Seminars
Photo by Matheus Bertilli / Pexels License
While workshops and seminars exist for all different types of photography, this is an approach that is especially popular with landscape photographers. Leading workshops of small groups can be a great way to make money. There is a high demand for beginner and hobbyist photographers who want to be able to learn from a professional in a hands-on experience.
Leading and hosting workshops can be a great option if you’re able to establish yourself as an expert in your local area. You can become known as the go-to source for landscape photography in your region, and others will be willing to pay for you to teach them and to help them find the best locations in your area.
The prices of workshops can vary drastically depending on who is leading the workshop, what it includes, and where it is. But for many landscape photographers, leading workshops can be an important part of their income.
If you like to write, starting a blog can be a great option. The only downside to this is that you’ll have to put in a lot of work before your blog starts to make money.
A blog could be a way to make money with a photography hobby, or it could be a full-time business.
The blog itself won’t make you money, but there are a few different ways that you can make money through the blog:
Sell advertising space. Join an ad network and make money from people who want to advertise to your visitors.
Promote other people’s products as an affiliate. You can earn money when you refer someone to another website and they make a purchase. For example, you can use affiliate links to recommend cameras or lenses from Amazon.com and when a visitor clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission.
Create an sell your own products. You could sell info products, or resources like Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions.
License your photos or sell prints. Use a blog to get more exposure for your photos, and then sell more prints or license more of your work.
Another option for those who enjoy writing is to freelance. While starting your own blog means that you’ll have to put in the time to grow the blog before you start making money, you can earn money right away by freelancing. There are plenty of blogs that need new photography-related content on a daily basis, and that can be a great place to start if you’re looking for freelance work.
Aside from writing for photography blogs, you could also write articles for magazines as a freelancer. Many magazines have information on their websites about how to become a writer.
6. Write Books or Ebooks
Books and Ebooks are an important part of the learning process for many photographers. I know I learned a lot by reading from many different photographers, including Michael Frye.
You don’t have to be a well-known photographer in order to be able to write a book, and you don’t even need to have a publisher. Anyone can write and produce an ebook pretty easily. That ebook could be sold on your own website or blog, or you could sell it at Amazon. Many writers make great money (part-time or full-time) by writing ebooks for Kindle.
If you want to sell a paperback book, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program makes it easy (and without a big upfront cost).
7. Partner With Someone Who Has an Audience
Doing something like writing an ebook or creating an online course may be intimidating if you have no existing audience or reach. Although there are platforms like Udemy and Amazon that make it possible to sell without an existing audience, there is no denying that it’s a lot easier (and more profitable) to sell if you have an audience.
The last option that we’ll talk about is to partner with someone who has an audience. Most likely, this would be a blogger or website owner who has a large audience of enthusiast photographers but does not have the time or desire to write their own ebook or create their own course. It’s possible to partner with someone like this. You’ll create the course or the ebook and you’ll split the revenue (those details could be negotiated).
This could be a great option because you’ll be able to focus on the product that you’re creating, and your partner will be able to focus on promoting it.
What’s Your Experience?
Have you ever made or tried to make money by teaching photography? If so, please share from your experience in the comments.
When it comes to photography composition, there are many different rules and principles that you can follow. One of the most effective ways to create interesting photos is to make use of leading lines that guide the eye of the viewer.
When you’re photographing landscapes and urban landscapes, there are a number of different ways to use leading lines. Sometimes the lines be appear in nature, and other times it will be man-made objects that create the line. Some of the options include:
Roads and railroads
This page showcases 30 photos that should provide with inspiration and spark some creativity about how to use leading lines in your own photos.
Whether you are an experienced photographer or just starting out, the truth is there’s always room to grow your skillset and improve your photography.
This is certainly the case when it comes to landscape photography. From harsh weather conditions to challenging environments –not to mention the difficulties of working with quickly changing lighting conditions –there are a plenty of variables and a lot to consider when you’re out with your camera. When it comes to landscapes, it can be difficult to capture amazing images; ones that are in line with your artistic vision.
Fortunately, though, there’s a lot that you can do to improve your skills –and your resulting images. By being prepared, and knowing what to look for when shooting landscapes –you can prepare yourself for anything the day might bring!
If you’re looking to take your landscape photography up a notch, here’s a look at a few tips that’ll help to make a difference.
1. Look to Include a Focal Point
Every image needs a focal point. Without it, your viewer will simply become lost in the details of what could have been an amazing shot. Landscape photographs often end up looking bleak and empty without a main point of interest so try to include some eye-catching details that can serve as the main focal point in your photos. You’ll also want to carefully consider its placement in your composition, and look for supporting elements like leading lines to help draw the eye into the image, and on towards the main focal point.
While most landscape photographs are captured using a wide-angle, if you are looking for ways to change it up, you might consider trying a zoom lens. Using a telephoto lens could help you to see landscapes a bit differently; allowing you to capture the details or patterns in landscapes that are otherwise easily overlooked. Experimenting with a different lens can open a new perspective that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Lighting, without a doubt, is one of the most important factors in photography –and being able to make the most of available light is key to amazing landscape images. When capturing landscape images, you’ll want to keep your eye out for spectacular lighting conditions, the light that’s found just before, or after a storm –along with the early morning light, or lighting conditions in the late afternoon is ideal.
4. Get Creative With Your Foregrounds
Getting creative with the foregrounds in your landscapes can be a great way to change up your photographs. Your foregrounds play an important role in setting your images apart from the rest. Adding an interesting foreground can also help give your image a sense of depth and dimension, grabbing your attention and leading you deeper into the images.
Image by Lukas Bieri | Pixabay License
5. Try Framing
Speaking of foregrounds, when shooting with a wide-angle lens, it’s easy to frame your composition with elements that are softly blurred. Foliage or overhanging tree boughs make ideal objects for framing images, helping to add some context and extra interest to your composition. Or get down low and shoot through some grass or wildflowers –another way to frame your shots.
Image by Free-Photos | Pixabay License
6. Use a Narrow Depth of Field
The depth of field plays an important role in your landscape images. While most landscapes have the entire shot clear and in-focus, you might consider playing around with the depth of field, using a wide aperture (smaller f-stop) to capture an image with a narrow depth of field.
You can use the depth of field to help simplify a busy composition. A wide aperture allows you to bring out the small details that you’d like to emphasize while blurring the rest into the background. Likewise, it’s a great way to help add balance to an image that would otherwise be too distracting with competing elements.
7. Try Using a Slow Shutter Speed
Photo by Jeremy Thomas | Unsplash License
Using a slow shutter speed is a popular technique when it comes to capturing captivating landscapes. Consider using a slow shutter speed to gently blur movement –such as floating clouds, a choppy sea, or rustling fields of wheat, rendering it as softly blurred. This is a great way to create dreamy, ethereal landscapes with a beautiful, peaceful feel to them.
Both ND and polarizers are great pieces of gear for landscape photography. One of the biggest challenges for landscape photographers is finding that balanced exposure between the sky and foreground. Graduated ND filters, though, have part of the can help make it easier to find this balance by compensating for the differences between the bright sky, and the darker foreground. Polarizing filters can help reduce unwanted reflections on water or shiny surfaces, as well as help to boost the saturation of the sky, and foliage as well. If you’re planning on using a slow shutter speed in the day, then you’ll want to get ahold of an ND filter to help block out some of the extra light, preventing your image from becoming overexposed.
In most cases, you’ll want to avoid relying on your camera’s auto white balance setting. Generally, this will result in images that are lackluster with colors that are desaturated. Instead, try setting a specific white balance –such as Daylight for sunny conditions and Cloudy for clouds for striking images with deeper, more saturated colors.
10. Stay Original
It is great to look at the work of others for inspiration. And these days, you don’t have to go far to find inspiration. By looking at the work of others –and emulating their style, you can work to develop your own signature style as well. Just remember it takes practice to develop your own style, so don’t give up.
While landscape photography is something that takes a considerable amount of time and practice to perfect, it’s also tremendously rewarding. By implementing some of the above ideas –and with plenty of patience and practice soon you’ll be capturing some amazing landscape images.
What has helped you personally to improve your landscape photography?
Taking a road trip can be a great way to have fun, regardless of whether you’re traveling by yourself, with friends, or with family. Photography may be the main purpose of your trip, or the trip may be more about having time with people who are close to you. Either way, you can come home with some beautiful photos if you keep these tips in mind.
What is the purpose of your trip? Are you going on the road trip specifically for the purpose of photography? Is it a family vacation and you’re just hoping to get some good photos to remember the trip?
It’s important to recognize your priorities. If you’re traveling with family, photography is probably not your main priority, and that’s ok. The priorities of your trip will determine how you plan and how you spend your time.
2. Plan Ahead
Photo by Jack B / Unsplash License
With your priorities in mind, plan your trip ahead of time. If photography is just something you are hoping to do along the way, your destinations and timing will probably be dictated by things other than what’s ideal for your photography. But if photography is the main goal of the trip, you should plan to be at the right places at the right time. Think especially about sunsets and sunrises, and try to be at the most important locations along your journey at the times of the day that are likely to produce the best lighting for photos.
Although planning ahead is important, you’ll also want to leave some room for flexibility. A big part of the appeal of a roadtrip is that you’ll come across some things that are unexpected. Allow yourself the flexibility to see and pursue the things that interest you along the way.
One of the main reasons to take a road trip is that you’ll have a lot more control over your schedule when you’re traveling by car. If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll need to be at the airport at a specific time. Your flight will arrive at your destination at a certain time (and delays are outside of your control). With a road trip, you have much more flexibility. Embrace that flexibility.
4. Enjoy the Journey
Don’t plan your schedule so tight that you have to rush from one location to the next. Plan it so that you can take your time and enjoy the journey. If you see something interesting, pull over and photograph it. This could include scenic views along the road, attractions and points of interest that you weren’t aware of, or anything else that you come across. A road trip is all about the journey, so be sure to enjoy it.
5. Take the Scenic Route
Photo by Justin Luebke / Unsplash License
If you want to get the best photos from your road trip, be sure to take some scenic roads. In general, Interstates and other major highways will not provide the best views and photo opportunities. Other roads may be slower to drive, but you’ll have more photo opportunities along the way.
Many areas have roads that are well known as being scenic drives. With a little bit of research prior to the trip, you can find the most scenic roads and plan out your path accordingly. You could even choose your trip specifically to drive along the most scenic roads. If you’re looking for some ideas, see my article on 10 of the Most Scenic Drives in the U.S. for Landscape Photographers.
6. Always Be Ready
Always have your camera somewhere accessible, because you never know when you’ll come across a good photo opportunity. Don’t pack up your gear and head from one major point of interest to the next without looking for photo opportunities along the way.
7. Have the Right Gear with You
Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash License
Another benefit of a road trip, as compared to traveling by plane, is that you’ll probably be able to bring more with you. You may not need everything at each stop, but throughout the course of your trip you’ll probably use several different lenses, filters, a tripod, and other gear.
Here are a few items that you definitely what to remember to take along on your road trip:
Extra batteries. You’ll probably take a lot of photos, and that means you’ll use up batteries pretty quickly.
Battery charger. A charger with a car adapter is ideal, so you can be charging your batteries right from the car. But if you’re staying in hotels, you can also charge batteries overnight.
Extra memory cards. When you’re taking a lot of photos, memory cards fill up quickly. Be sure to have enough storage for your trip.
Backup storage. You should be backing up your photos as you go, so if one of your memory cards fails, you’re not losing those photos. Have an external drive or some other way of storing the photos each day of your trip.
8. Include the Road in Your Shots
Photo by Johannes Plenio / Unsplash License
Some of the best photos from a road trip are the ones that actually include or showcase the road in the photo. In many cases, these photos are taken on quiet roads that have no traffic and are surrounded by a vast or beautiful landscape. It could be a desert road with wide open surroundings, a road with mountains in the distance, or a road through the forest. Keep an eye for interesting scenes and be willing to stop and take a photo when you see something that catches your attention.
If you are photographing from the road, be sure to use caution and don’t take any risks. Don’t photograph from the road around curves or anywhere else where drivers wouldn’t be able to easily see you.
Sunrise is possibly the best time of the day for landscape photography, so if your goal is to get great photos, be sure to start your day early and take advantage of the sunrise. This might mean that you need to plan be at a certain place overnight so you can easily get into position for sunrise. Or it may involve stopping and photographing along the road when the lighting conditions are just right.
Keep these tips in mind and I’m sure your road trips will produce plenty of great photos.
Understanding exposure and how it works is essential when it comes to using manual or any of your camera’s semi-automatic modes.
There is more that takes place inside your camera than meets the eye, and learning how all the components work together can help you improve your photography and understand how to create and capture better images.
Here are the three key elements that, together, create your image’s resulting exposure.
The aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. The aperture controls is the amount of light that is allowed inside your camera’s lens. The lower the f-stop, the wider the aperture, and the more light is allowed in.
• Shutter Speed
The shutter speed determines how long the shutter will stay open. The longer it is open, the more light is allowed to pass through. A fast shutter speed allows less light in, while a long shutter speed allows more.
Finally, the ISO determines how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to the light. The higher the ISO the more ‘grain’ or ‘noise’ your image will have.
These three components work together to give you the right amount of light in any situation. Understanding how the exposure triangle works will help to put you in control and can make a big difference in your photography.
With so many different shooting modes to choose from, knowing and understanding the difference between them is important. Like they say, if you’re just using your camera in auto, you might as well be using a phone camera or point-and-shoot! One of the main benefits of using a DSLR is that it gives you tremendous control over your camera’s settings; allowing you to adjust how exactly how much light reaches the sensor.
Many point-and-shoots as well as some DSLR cameras have “icon” modes. These appear as icons on your dial. You can usually choose from landscape, portrait, macro, sports, and night mode. These icons are easy to use, but be forewarned: they don’t always produce the best –most reliable results.
• Aperture Priority (A or Av)
Aperture Priority allows you to adjust the aperture yourself, while the camera compensates with the correct shutter speed. This is a helpful setting when you’d like to control the depth of field, or the amount of your image that’s in focus.
• Shutter Priority (Tv or S)
Shutter speed mode allows you to adjust the shutter speed while the camera adjusts the aperture. This can be a great mode when doing night or low-light photography, when shooting moving subjects, or when capturing images where you’d like to blur movement, or freeze it.
• Program (P)
In program mode, you can set either the aperture or shutter speed, and the camera will adjust the other one automatically to maintain the right exposure.
Manual mode requires (or allows) you to set all the settings yourself, choosing the aperture and shutter speed as well as the ISO. This setting is the most challenging to master but it’s worth doing if you’d like the most freedom and flexibility over your images.
If your image isn’t focused properly, then your image will not be what you were expecting.
Achieving the right focus starts by understanding the focus modes on your camera. Aside from autofocus (which allows your camera to do it’s best at guessing where to focus) there are two modes you should be familiar with.
• Autofocus-Single (AF-S)
As the name suggests, this is the best setting to use when shooting stationary subjects, or those subjects that won’t be moving continuously. Subjects such as landscapes, buildings, or even some portraits can benefit from the AF-S focus mode. To focus, simply press the shutter button down halfway to lock it in for as long as you hold the shutter button. Once you release the shutter, you will need to refocus.
• Autofocus-Continuous (AF-C)
AF-C on the other hand is best used when shooting action shots, such as wildlife. By pressing the shutter release halfway, your focus will be locked onto that specific subject. When the subject moves, your focus will move with it, refocusing each time you take a shot.
While there are a range of various autofocus modes, these two are the most important and useful and will help to get you started. It is also important to not confuse the focus modes with the AF/MF (autofocus/manual focus) switch that is found on your lens. This switch simple allows you to override any autofocus techniques your camera may be using. To make use of the aforementioned focus modes you need to ensure that your camera lens is set to AF.
Photo by Janko Ferlič | Unsplash License
The white balance has a significant impact on the color tone of your images. While looking at your photographs, you may notice a certain color cast to them, perhaps a blue or orange hue that wasn’t in the original scene. This most likely, is due to your white balance settings. Different lighting situations give off different color temperatures and if not handled correctly, can give your image an unappealing hue. Setting the white balance is fairly simple, and can be done either by pressing a button that’s called WB and located at the top of your camera, or by going in under your camera’s menu and shooting settings and changing it there.
If you’re just getting started and not sure where to begin, consider working your way through this list, one setting at a time. You can also try taking a test shot in auto mode, then paying attention to the settings that your camera chose –and looking to recreate the shot, using the same –or slightly different settings. This will help to give you a good starting point that you can use to get familiar with your camera’s settings, before branching out and doing your own.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the settings, don’t be afraid to start trying new things Remember, it takes a lot of time and practice to perfect your techniques, so don’t worry about how your images look at first –we all have to begin somewhere. Start now, and keep shooting! You’ll get there soon enough!
When it comes to setting up your equipment, you have a lot of choices to make. Do you go Nikon or Canon? What type of lenses should you start off with? One of the other choices that need to be made is what kind of filter you use.
Actually, this is a series of different choices: neutral density? Coloured filters? Graduated? Ultra-violet? Infra-red? There are so many things to think about, and that’s before you even get into the fact that you can pick up your filters in either glass or resin.
The big, important question is which of these will work best for you. Every photographer can agree that sharpness is really important – we want to be able to rely on our focus. That’s why we are looking at which is sharper – a glass or resin filter. We’ll also consider some other elements, such as which is the most durable and which requires the most care to use.
Let’s look first at the results that you can expect from a glass filter. This is assuming that you use the best possible filter on the market, or at least one which is very high quality. It should also be kept free of marks or scratches, and dust – that’s a given for either of the filters you use.
If your filter does end up getting scratched, you should replace it straight away, as these marks can end up visible as artefacts in your photographs. However, this is good news – as otherwise those scratches would have been on your lens itself, which would be significantly more expensive to replace.
Generally speaking, as long as these conditions of quality are met, you should see no change in the quality of your focus when using a filter or not using a filter, particularly in the centre of the image. This is because the filter is made out of the same material as the lens – glass. Therefore, no serious effect should be found except for the noted purpose of the filter (for example, an increase in contrast).
Photo by Atharva Dharmadhikari | Unsplash License
Testing has discovered that some filters made of glass may cause a loss of up to 20% sharpness in the corners, in contrast to the nearly-zero in the centre. Light filters tend to be the worst culprits, but different brands produce different quality of sharpness, so it’s worth doing your research.
Keep in mind that sometimes the more expensive filters do not perform as well as the less expensive ones – you may wish to look into which filters on the market are currently reported as being in the best in order to reduce the effect. However, with the right brand, the difference should be unnoticeable in almost all situations.
However, things are not so straightforward when using a resin filter. Reports from those who have tested different filters on the same camera and lenses suggest that a drop of around 15-20% sharpness may be encountered when using a resin filter instead of no filter at all.
This effect may even be increased when shooting at very high resolution or using filters which are intended for different purposes. Some results suggest as much as a 30% drop in sharpness – the equivalent to ditching your high-powered DSLR for a much less expensive model. All by putting a filter in front of the lens!
It’s also worth noting that some photographers have reported warped light from the use of resin filters, which may be related to scratching – which we will look at in a moment.
After seeing these results, which suggest that resin filters are seriously inferior to glass filters, you may be wondering why we still even bother to manufacture the resin type. The reason is that there are some distinct advantages that can be found from using a resin filter.
One key point is the fact that they are very flexible. This means that if you drop them onto a hard surface or push them up against something by accident, they are unlikely to break – they simply bend instead. They don’t shatter when placed under pressure. Photographers often feel that it is better to use them when out in the field as a result of this fact.
Of course, with every upside comes a corresponding downside. The resin surface is quite vulnerable to scratches, which can appear all over the lens even after moderate use. This will not necessarily affect your sharpness, but it will introduce more artefacts to your image and can also cause ghosting and flare, as well as reducing contrast across the image as a whole.
As mentioned, there is a downside to every upside – so it is worth mentioning in the interest of fairness that glass filters need a lot of care when being handled. Pressure will simply shatter them – and if they are attached to the camera when this happens, there is a chance that the shattered pieces of glass could then in turn scratch the lens itself.
They need to be transported more carefully, kept in padded cases – which means you might have to increase the weight of your overall kit or even invest in a larger bag. Dropping them after a moment’s fumble will mean that you need to get a new filter, and could interrupt your shoot.
They are less prone to scratching, but they are also vulnerable to touching from fingers. The oils on the skin are not great for filters, and at the very best case you will often end up with a smeared fingerprint which is difficult to remove when touched.
But when all is said and done, there is a clear winner in the debate as to what type of filter is best has to be the glass filter. There’s just no contest – glass filters do not disrupt your focus, and so long as you take care when using them, they can last a very long time indeed without needing replacement.
So, it looks like we have a clear winner in terms of which type of filter is best. However, remember to always research which brand is creating the best glass filter for your lens size – and to keep it protected from scratches and damage at all times.
The best way to protect your sharpness is not to put anything at all on top of your lens – though, of course, filters provide lots of benefits in different situations. Not the least of these is protection from the elements and scratches that would otherwise directly affect your lens.
Death Valley is as formidable a place as the name suggests. People die here from overexposure to the heat, particularly runners or those who are not prepared by bringing enough water and wearing protective clothing.
It’s also a place with extreme settings. When the heat of the summer dies away, it gives way to extreme cold – and the scenery transforms with each change, too. There are heights and depths, extreme dryness along with the other phenomena, and tarmac roads stretching between areas of almost untouched nature.
Here’s what to photograph if you decide to visit Death Valley – and read to the end for some safety advice during your trip.
Image by Johannes Plenio | Pixabay License
This is one of the most popular lookout spots through Death Valley, and offers a glorious view over the rolling and colourful landscape. The observation area is hardly crowded because of the space available and usually allows a great opportunity to get a clear shot – though it is, of course, the same shot that everyone else is going to get.
If you want a bit of variation, hike the trail which is found to the right of the parking area to find a better view. You will be able to see Manly Beacon, the tall point that you will spot in front of you, and the Badwater Basin in the distance, all in one shot. Towards the horizon, the landscape rises again, often right into the clouds.
At sunset, this point is bathed in pink and gold light – as you will find anywhere along the valley. It’s a stunning addition to any photograph which really makes everything come alive, so it is worth considering going at this time of day.
Photo by Johannes Plenio | Unsplash License
So named for the beautiful colours which are etched into the rock, Artists Drive is a fantastic area to visit if there is a storm brewing. Dramatic lighting can really bring out the contrast in the landscape, and bright light at a low angle – such as in the early morning – can help to pick out the coloured slopes against the cliffs behind.
This is a place where you can get truly stunning shots that hardly seem possible in nature, so don’t miss it.
Image by esudroff | Pixabay License
This flat area is absolutely stunning, and offers many photographic opportunities. In the winter and through to the early spring it is flooded with water, which creates lots of small pools across the flat area making interesting formations. The heavy salt deposits give this an atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else.
Even in the summer, this vast white expanse is a startling contrast against the surrounding landscape. Be careful about what you are doing here, and read the signs around you – there are some rare species here that should not be disturbed by walking across the salt, so think and look before you set down your tripod.
If you decide to hike around this area, you might find some very exciting sights. However, pay special attention to safety warnings and be sensible, as it can get very dry out there and you can end up very far from your vehicle.
Photo by Ben Klea | Unsplash License
Mesquite Sand Dunes
Another hotspot for photographers, the dunes form beautiful patterns surrounded by mountains on all sides. This is an exciting opportunity because the wind is constantly reshaping the dunes, meaning that they are likely to look different every time you visit.
Practice your composition skills here by using rules like the golden ratio to set up your images, and finding interesting formations or angles to create focal points. The gentle curves of the dunes can create intriguing prospects, and ripples across the sand are a great way to find leading lines.
The area around the parking zones is always full of footprints, which means you might have to hike for quite some distance to get a clear shot – unless you park further away from the designated area.
If you love the dunes, you can also drive and then hike out to the Eureka Dunes for another choice which is less touched by tourists. They are a bit further out, and will require a more robust vehicle for driving, but they will reward you with fascinating vistas.
This area has long been the source of mystic tales of rocks moving under their own steam across the dry landscape. It’s actually a combination of the elements, led by the wind, that make it possible for these rocks to slide across the area, leaving trails behind them which tell the story of where they have been.
If you want to take shots in the Racetrack, it’s a good idea to find a moving rock and capture its trail, using perspective to tell the story. The mountains around the area provide a suitable backdrop, with a dramatic sky always a welcome addition to the shot. Keeping the rock in the foreground will make an impactful shot, but play around and see whether there are other angles you can use to capture the intriguing nature of this area.
Road conditions are very bad here with a lot of sharp rocks, so you will need a suitable vehicle and plenty of time to get out there. There is a camping area on the site, but it is not very hospitable and has no facilities, so it is definitely not somewhere you want to stay on a whim.
Image by esudroff | Pixabay License
Make sure that you are as safe as possible when visiting Death Valley in order to photograph these stunning locations. It’s best to travel in a car which is fully fuelled, equipped with air conditioning, and also packed with snacks and drinks to keep you hydrated.
In the summer, be sure to wear sunscreen and keep a hat on at all times, as well as sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare. Cover your skin with light clothing to avoid sunburn or sunstroke. Take frequent rests and retreat to the shade if you feel too hot.
There are also wild animals in Death Valley. Stay away from them and keep yourself inside your car if they approach, and don’t be tempted to feed them or get up close for a shot. Some of these animals can be dangerous! They include snakes, foxes, coyotes, lizards, and wild birds. More than that, be sure not to disturb them too much and upset their natural habitat.
In the winter, wrap up warm and make sure that you are equipped for cold weather. Always stay close to your vehicle so that you can enter it easily – and if you are parking outside of designated parking areas, do so for only a short time and ensure that hazard signals are displayed in case of other motorists approaching your location.
Be sure to cover yourself also against the wind – especially in the dunes, it can whip up sand into your eyes and into your camera. Keep everything covered until you are ready to use it and cover your lens with a filter for an extra line of defence.
If you hike off the road, be aware that the ground can be very slippery, especially in wet or snowy conditions. It can be difficult to navigate the trails with your camera gear on your back or shoulder, so it’s a good idea to travel with company.
If you are planning a trip to Greece, no doubt you will want to bring your camera along to take advantage of your temporary location. But there’s a big difference between vacation snapshots and professional landscape photography – and often it’s all about the ‘what’, not just the ‘how’.
Here’s a list of some of the key points to photograph in Greece – and how you can get a different view to the average tourist that would be more in line with a portfolio.
Image by Cari R. | Pixabay License
Close by to the shore, Mount Kallidromon forces you to go through a small pass which is known as the Thermopylae Pass. You will have heard of it if you have seen the movie 300, or studied ancient history. This is where the Spartans made their last stand against the encroaching Persian army, sacrificing their lives in order to protect Athens.
This historical moment makes Thermopylae a real destination for tourists, but the dramatic landscape makes for a great setting for landscape photography as well. Try to use angles when photographing this location: go up higher on the mountain to photograph down into the pass, or stay low by the shore to capture the vista stretching up into the sky.
Keep following the pass and the road through it in order to discover more natural scenes which are stunning in their own right, even if they don’t have as much history heaped upon them. This area is one of high contrast with the mountain crashing up against the shore, so take advantage of this by emphasising scale in your shots.
Image by Herbert Aust | Pixabay License
The Corinth Canal is an iconic sight – a manmade slash through rock that allows ships to pass through, some of them seemingly comically large in comparison to the width of the canal. The images of large ships sailing down this slot are seemingly everywhere, so why stick with the obvious? Of course, it’s an arresting sight, but there are other ways to capture the shot.
An aerial view, if you can arrange it, will be just as dramatic – with the straight line of the canal cutting through the land. Or you can get down lower – perhaps photographing the scene from the decks of a ship yourself.
Playing with distance can also work in your favour here. Head down lower and capture the canal stretching out right into the distance. Play with placing the horizon at the top of your photograph or in the middle and see what a difference it makes.
Image by Walkerssk | Pixabay License
The ruins at Delphi were once the home of the Oracle, a mystical figure who would hand down prophecies and predictions from their perch on the mountain. The view here is just as spectacular and breath-taking as it would have been for the Ancient Greeks, who came here seeking fortune or advice.
The rolling slopes of the forested mountains make for an amazing backdrop to the ruined temples, but of course every shot that could possibly be taken here has already been done. While you may find it hard to resist temptation to take a shot that encompasses the majesty of the whole complex, you could also try going in the opposite direction – the macro.
Try framing shots with close-ups of weathered and worn columns on the side – you can create a composite image from two different exposures to retain sharp focus on both the architecture and the landscape. Angle your camera through the arches or stone formations of old temples and see how they were aligned to the surrounding countryside. Get up as high as you can and see it from above – or shoot from below as the very tips of the surviving architectural structures breach your frame.
Image by Ioannis Ioannidis | Pixabay License
This small waterside town is faced towards the West, which means it is possible to capture incredible sunsets which reflect on the water and paint the buildings in a pastel mixture of orange, red, and pink. This is a landscape which can be shot both ways: from the land out over the water towards the sun, or with the sun behind you to admire the beautiful cove.
Bringing the human element into play here creates much more dynamic images. Capture the fishermen of the town as they bring in their boats, or tourists standing on the piers to gaze into the setting sun. The buildings are as much a part of the landscape as anything else, with an historic appearance and plenty of quaint charm.
Image by Martina Bäcker | Pixabay License
Meteora means ‘the middle of the sky’, and this is where the Greek Orthodox monks chose to build their monasteries. They are nestled on top of sandstone pillars which soar up above the surrounding landscape, creating both natural defences and a necessary isolation – perfect for religious reflection.
There are so many possibilities here. Capturing the monasteries with a wide shot showing their context within the wider landscape works well, and each of them also provides opportunities for a closer frame. Playing with contrasts – such as the juxtaposition of a stone manmade wall with the natural stripes and curves of the windswept cliffs – can be very effective, as can the use of angles. Showing the size of the drop below your feet, or standing below and capturing the height of the columns of sandstone above you, will allow you to create a sense of perspective.
Image by Christian Hardi | Pixabay License
This town has a rich history, and also provides one of the most beautiful vistas across the sea. The seaport was very important during different eras of the past, and is topped with the ruined Palamidi Castle – which happens to form a very excellent vantage point over the rest of the town and the sea below.
There is also the tiny fortification at Bourtzi, located in the middle of the harbour – which happens to hold a shape fairly similar to some of the ships passing by, making for good comparative shots putting the old and the new up against one another. The traditional houses and old-fashioned square are also very photogenic.
Get up onto the fortress before sunset in order to capture the pinks and golds settling over the harbour and the sea, painting everything in lovely shades.
There are plenty of these in Greece, from the famous Acropolis to smaller temples and monuments across the country. Many of them date back to Ancient times, and bear the marks of both weather and man’s carelessness from thousands of years of history.
Capturing them as part of a landscape is often challenging, as they are thronged with tourists who may enter your shot. However, there are some general rules of thumb: sunset often works best because of the spectacular colours it can produce in the rock, as well as the fact that more people tend to observe rather than getting into the frame. Travel at off-peak times to reduce the number of visitors you will have to compete with.
If you can’t get the frame as far back as you want without including people, try changing your angle. If they are still in the background, you may have to try some composites which remove visitors from your shots. Try to find your own unique perspective at each place, instead of taking the same shots as everyone else. Could you go closer? Further away? Higher or lower? Can you see an area of contrast or juxtaposition that would work well? What if you use the ruins to frame the landscape, rather than using them as your subject?
Photo by Spencer Davis | Unsplash License
There are always ways to see a landscape in a new way that has not yet been done before, even if it might seem an impossible task. And while your shot may not be totally unique, so long as it is not the usual well-beaten track that anyone with a camera phone could take, then you’re doing well!
Landscape photography is a favorite hobby of many, but few are able to turn it into a full-time income. If your goal is to make money with your photography, taking a specialized approach is something that you should consider.
In this article, we’ll look at why you might want to focus on a specialty, as well as several options that can work well with landscape and nature photography.
Before we get into the details of different ways that you can specialize, let’s first look at some of the most convincing reasons why you may want to specialize.
Stand Out in a Crowded Industry
Simply put, choosing a specialty makes it much more attainable to stand out. There are so many landscape photographers out there, and in order to stand out you will need to 1) have a world-class portfolio, 2) be an expert marketer, or 3) specialize.
Looking at the three options above, specializing is the easiest, and it’s something that anyone can do.
When you choose to specialize, you are in control over how you will be viewed. Specializing will allow you to brand yourself, and you can choose a specialty that aligns with the type of work that you like to do and how you want to be known.
Become the Expert
It’s a much more realistic task to become known as an expert when you take a specialized approach. This goes along with the previous point about branding. With a specialized approach, you choose what you become known for, and if you do it well, it’s a realistic outcome that you will start to be known as an expert or the go-to source in your area of specialization.
Later on in the article when we’re looking at the ways you can specialize, you’ll see some real-world examples of photographers who have done a great job of branding and becoming known as an expert through their choice of specialization.
Increase Your Income
When you’re viewed as an expert, increasing your income is a lot more realistic. Photographers who have effectively branded themselves and established their expertise can make more money by selling more prints, charging higher prices, writing articles for magazines and websites, speaking at events, leading workshops and seminars, and creating online courses and ebooks.
Photo by Milada Vigerova / Unsplash License
Getting exposure for your work can be a lot easier when you take a specialized approach. One simple example is through Google search. Do you think it’s easier to rank at the top of Google for the search phrase “landscape photographer” or “Tennessee landscape photographer”?
Of course, the specialized approach is a lot easier because you’ll face much less competition. Not only will you face less competition, but the people who are looking for you will be highly targeted and likely to be very interested in your work. They are looking for exactly what you have to offer.
Ways to Specialize
If you’re convinced that specializing is a good approach, let’s take a look at some of the most popular options.
Specializing in a location is a great way to get more exposure for your work and to brand yourself as an expert. You could specialize by photographing the landscapes in your home state or region, and brand your work accordingly. Some photographers also use this approach to become known for their work at a particular national park or area of interest.
James Grant is an excellent example of a photographer who has specialized in a particular location. Although James photographs in many different locations, he’s known for his work in Peak District National Park (England). James has written a guidebook on the Peak District, leads photo workshops (mostly in the Peak District), and his website prominently features his work within the Peak District. He’s a perfect example of what’s possible by specializing in a particular location.
You could also specialize based on the subjects of your photos. The possibilities really are endless, but here are a few examples:
There are also some possibilities to specialize based on technical details related to how you take photos. One example is to specialize in film photography. Jon Paul is a Lake Tahoe based landscape photographer that is known for his work with large format film photography. His photos are beautiful, and the fact that they are captured with a large format film camera helps him to be unique and stand out.
Destin Sparks is an Australia-based landscape photographer who specializes in panoramic photos. His portfolio really stands out because of this unique approach. If you’re on a desktop, check out his Instagram profile to see a creative use of his panoramic style.
It’s also possible to use a particular style to brand yourself. For example, you could specialize in black & white landscapes, or you could use a consistent style with your approach and post processing to give your photos a consistent or recognizable feel.
Photo by Tj Holowaychuk / Unsplash License
The last option we’ll look at isn’t really impacted by your photos, but it is impacted by how you choose to promote your work or gain exposure. You can use a particular medium and become known for your work there. Instagram and YouTube are two excellent options right now.
Michael Breitung is a photographer from Germany who produces some excellent videos on YouTube. I don’t know how much his YouTube channel has impacted his work overall, but I suspect it has had a big impact (I know that’s how I found his work).
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you might want to specialize and some different options that you can choose, think about what might be a good fit for you. Don’t rush into this decision because it’s a long-term approach that will impact your branding and you’ll want to make sure that you choose a specialty that works well for you.
Once you’ve chosen an area of specialization, use your website, blog, and social profiles to communicate your area of focus (just look at the photographers mentioned in this post for examples) to start branding yourself.
Yosemite National Park by Rodrigo Soares / Unsplash License
National Parks are not only popular with tourists, they’re also among the best locations for landscape photographers. Our national parks are filled with plenty of natural beauty, but if you want to come away with the best photos, you need to be prepared.
In this article, you’ll find a collection of tips that will help you to get the most out of your trip to a national park and come home with photos that you love.
You may be interested in our detailed photography guides to these parks:
In order to get the most out of your time photographing a national park, it is critical that you plan ahead. Planning is an important part of any landscape/travel photography trip, but it’s especially important when you’re headed to a national park. Here are a few reasons why:
Most national parks are BIG. Getting from one location to another can take a few hours and may not even be that easy.
Because the parks are so big, you can easily miss out on some of the best locations if you don’t plan.
You won’t be able to drive to every location that you want to photograph. You’ll need to know how to get to the places you want to photograph.
Planning will help you to prioritize so you get to see and photograph the things that are most important to you.
National parks tend to draw a crowd. Planning can help you to avoid the worst crowds, or at least minimize their impact on your work.
2. Consider Seasons and Weather
Olympic National Park by Ryan Stone / Unsplash License
When you’re planning your trip, seasons and weather should play a big role in when you go. If you’re traveling with family you may not have as many options, but if you have some flexibility with your schedule, make sure that you are going during an optimal time.
Of course, each park will be different, so research things like the average temperature and typical weather at different times of the year. Also, consider what you want to photograph and the seasonal highlights of the park throughout the year.
Aside from just the weather, timing will have a big impact on the crowds as well. Most parks tend to have the biggest crowds in the summer, so you may want to keep that in mind.
Some parks will also have limited windows for certain locations or activities. For example, Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is only open part of the year due to snow. The dates depend on the weather, but it may not open until late June and it typically closes in October.
3. Capture the Iconic Shots
Zion National Park by Jamie Hagan
Most national parks have a few locations or views that are very recognizable. As a photographer, you’re probably more interested in coming away with photos that are original and unique, but don’t disregard the iconic shots.
If you sell prints or license your photos, many people will be interested in the iconic shots, so it’s a good business move to go ahead and capture them for yourself.
4. Get Off the Beaten Path
Although it’s a good idea to get the iconic shots, don’t stop there! The majority of national park visitors stick to the locations and views that are easy and convenient. Roadside overlooks, prominent locations with plenty of parking, and the most well-known spots in the park that can be easily reached.
Some visitors are in a hurry and don’t have time for anything else. Others aren’t able to hike or travel to harder-to-reach places. Some visitors simply don’t know about other spots in the park. And some don’t want to go to the trouble of getting to other locations.
If you want to come away with unique photos and get the most out of your trip, you’ll need to get off the beaten path. This usually involves hiking, and thankfully, most national parks have plenty of trails that are well marked and well maintained.
With a little bit of effort you can get views that most tourists will not see. For example, at the Grand Canyon you can hike to the bottom of the canyon. The views along the trail or at the bottom give you a different perspective than most travelers see at the popular viewpoints from the rim. Another option is simply to walk along the rim or the roads and explore a little. Instead of taking the shuttle bus, you can walk from one viewpoint to the next and you’ll find some opportunities for great shots along the way.
5. Research Sunrise and Sunset Locations Ahead of Time
Joshua Tree National Park by Sasha Stories / Unsplash License
When you are planning your trip, make sure that you are researching the best spots in the park for sunrise and sunset. These golden hours and blue hours are generally the bets time for landscape photography, so you’ll want to make the most of each sunrise and sunset.
All of our national park location guides include information about recommended spots and views for sunrise and sunset. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to find a good view before the day’s best light is available. Be sure that you are close enough to your preferred spot to get there in time for the best light.
6. Have a Method of Tracking Your Photos
When you get home from your trip to a national park, you’ll probably have hundreds or thousands of photos. You may not remember where every photograph was taken, and even if you do remember right now, you’re bound to forget some of those details over a period of time.
When I’m headed to a national park, or some other destination where I’ll take a lot of photos, I turn on the GPS tracking on my camera. If your camera has this functionality, it’s an awesome feature. You can easily find the exact location a photo was taken if it is tagged with GPS coordinates.
If your camera does not have GPS tracking, you should come up with some way to record the general location of the photos that you’re taking. You could use a notebook and simply record the ranges of file numbers of the photos you take at different places in the park. For example, you could write that photos from one file number to another were taken along a certain trail.
At some point, you’ll probably be interested in knowing where a particular photo was taken.
7. Sleep in the Park, or as Close as Possible
Because parks are so big, it’s best to stay overnight inside the park, or as close to an entrance as possible. Some parks have cabins or other rooms available for rent, and almost all parks have campgrounds. If that is not an option, book a place to stay close to an entrance.
Since you’ll want to make the most of each sunrise and sunset, it can mean very early mornings, and in some cases, late nights. Even if you are staying inside the park, getting to your preferred spot for sunrise can take some time. The longer a drive or hike you have, the earlier you will need to get up. When I visited Acadia National Park in June of 2017 and the sunrise was around 4:40 am, I was glad I stayed near the entrance to the park. I was getting up between 3:00 – 3:30 every morning, depending on where I wanted to be for sunrise. It would have been even earlier if I wasn’t as close to the park.
8. Be Sure to Check the Surrounding Areas
Mono Lake by werner22brigitte / Pixabay License
National parks are filled with beautiful landscapes, but the beauty doesn’t end at the boundaries of the park. Many national parks are surrounded by other points of interest that you may want to visit on the same trip. Here are a few examples:
Mono Lake is near Yosemite National Park
Big Cypress National Preserve is next to Everglades National Park
These are just a few examples. Regardless of what park you are visiting, be sure to research the surrounding areas so you don’t miss out.
9. Use Batch Processing
Since you’ll be taking so many photos, processing those photos can be a time-consuming task. The best way to save time is to use batch processing. Lightroom offers a few options for processing multiple photos at once.
Another way to speed up your photo editing is to apply a preset to multiple photos. This could be a preset that you create, or it could be a preset that you’ve purchased. Our Landscape Legend Lightroom Presets come with a guide to batch processing that can help to save many hours of work on the computer.
10. Be Respectful
Yellowstone National Park by skeeze / Pixabay License
While you are visiting the national park, be sure to respect the other visitors as well as nature. Be courteous to tourists and photographers that you come across.
Respecting and taking care of the nature of our parks is also a big issue. There have been incidents at many parks, but issues at some parks like Yellowstone and Death Valley have received a lot of attention. Don’t do anything that will damage nature or interfere with wildlife.
Now that we’ve covered these tips, you should be ready for a great trip! One final tip is to remember to have extra batteries, chargers, and memory cards. A car charger adapter can be a great item to have with you.