Once in a while you encounter an awesome looking landscape you just have to share with your friends. You get your smartphone out of your pocket and decide to take a photo of it.
It’s just, the cool looking landscape just doesn’t work on your photo. How do you make sure it does? In 6 easy steps, you can make professional looking photo’s of any landscape you will see.
Step 1: Set your camera to manual exposure
Why? Well, this gives you full control over the end result. With a smartphone you can usually see the end result live on your screen, so there is no need to be afraid to ruin the photo. Also a good thing about landscape photography: your subject doesn’t run away. Take as many photos as you need to get that one shot you really need.
If you use a Huawei P10 like me, you just have to slide up on your screen to get the controls. They usually are all set to automatic. Start tweaking them to your flavor.
Step 2: Shoot in RAW
Not all smartphones can do this, but most of them can. Why would you shoot in RAW? The file gives you the possibility to go deeper into editing and getting a better result. Apps like Lightroom Mobile and Snapseed allow you to edit RAW photos. The only disadvantage to shooting in RAW is the bigger file size.
You can shoot in RAW on a Huawei by sliding to the left in your camera app and sliding the RAW function on. It only works if you have to exposure menu open. You can just leave everything on automatic if you want to, it just has to be visible on the screen.
Step 3: Hold your phone horizontally!
These days everyone has the tendency to hold their phone upright. Which is logical if you are scrolling through Facebook or are making a selfie for your Instagram story. However, a landscape is best shot (not always though) horizontally. This has to do with humans having a wider view because of the placement of our eyes.
So make sure to shoot your landscapes in horizontal mode. Feel free to make a vertical version too if you really want to.
Step 4: Use a foreground to add depth
Now you have your smartphone ready, you can start taking photos. If you have found the landscape you want to shoot, it’s time to find something that is close-by and interesting enough. This will be your foreground. It can be silly things like a rock (which works excellent for lakes), a fence in a field, or just someone looking over the landscape.
This will help you put extra depth into the landscape, making it more impressive for your viewer.
Step 5: Put the horizon on the thirds
Ah, the famous rule of thirds. If you are not sure which third to put your horizon on, this can help you to decide:
Is the sky the most interesting part of your photo? Put the horizon on the lower third so you have more sky in the frame.
Or is the ground more interesting? Put the horizon on the upper third so there is less sky in your photo.
Step 6: Edit the highlights and shadows
Click, you made the photo. Now it’s time for a bit of editing. You can use different kinds of apps, but I recommend to use the native editing (I have a tutorial about how I do that on my Huawei P10). One of the most important edits I suggest you make it reducing the highlights and enhancing the shadows a bit. This will add more detail en dynamic range to your photo.
Tadaam! Your photo is ready for Instagram, Facebook and more. Let the likes flood in!