Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

10 landscape photography mistakes every photographer makes

If only it were 10! This article on Digital Camera World will certainly help you to improve your landscape photography

Landscape photography is one of the most popular photographic subjects and there are superb images everywhere to inspire us. But there are a few pitfalls that can trouble even experienced photographers.

Don’t despair, though; our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, has put together a list of the most common landscape photography mistakes every photographer is guilty of at one point or another, and has some great advice to help you avoid any landscape errors in the future.

Landscape Photography Mistake No. 1: Wonky horizons

Some people seem to have a gift for holding a camera level, while others appear have the complete opposite blessing.

Getting the horizon level when you’re shooting from an unusual angle is especially tricky, and if you don’t get it right you’ll have to rotate and crop the image post-capture, especially if there’s water in it.

Landscape Photography Tips: 4 ways to ensure a level horizon

While it’s easy to rotate an image to level the horizon it means cropping out some of your carefully composed image so it’s best to avoid it if you can.

The easiest solution is to use a level to indicate when the camera is on an even keel.

This can be a bubble-level on your tripod or a little spirit-level that slots into your camera’s hotshoe.

Alternatively, many cameras now have a digital level built-in that can be displayed in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen.

Check if your camera has one and activate it to banish wonky horizons forever.

Landscape Photography Mistake No. 1: Wonky horizons
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 2: Foreground and/or horizon not sharp
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 3: Image blurred
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 4: Empty foreground
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 5: Flat, dull light
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 6: Strong shadows
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 7: Sky washed out or the land underexposed
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 8: Obvious graduated ND filter use
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 9: Poor composition
Landscape Photography Mistake No. 10: Soft details

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