Intro to Landscape Photography

Learn the fundamentals, planning and execution of a great landscape!
Gus Cantavero
493 students enrolled
English [Auto]
How to setup and execute a landscape photo
How to process raw files for landscapes
We will cover tools for landscape photography
Apps that can make your planning easier
Some landscape art history
Lenses and focal lengths and their effect on a landscape
Udemy APAC

In this course students will learn the basics of landscape photography by getting a dose of art history, a discussion about the fundamentals of composition and info on some technical details and challenges. We’ll talk about pre-planning your photos and the different effects you might be interested in undertaking like capturing a sunrise or sunset, astrophotography, night cityscapes and light trails. We’ll finish off with a raw processing demo in Luminar 4 to explore the effects of raw processing on an underexposed photo of the Milky Way Galaxy.

As this is a beginners course you should expect to not be overwhelmed with technical details and instead be given a solid educational foundation on what landscape photography communicates. Many courses will explain the tools and send you on your way, but we’re going to discuss creating art through your photography and thinking a about your shot rather than overloading you with technical jargon.

Pre-requisite: It’s expected that students will understand the basics of their camera and how to achieve a proper exposure. If you’re unsure of yourself in this area it’s recommended that you try “Camera Basics” first, or purchase the full Intro to Digital Photo course.

BONUS: Includes an interview with urban landscape photographer Malcolm Webb and the Intro to Black and White module to get you up to speed on shooting and processing a black and white image which make for great landscapes!

Intro To Landscape Photography

History and fundamentals of landscape

Time Codes:
0:30 Why landscape comes after Still Life
1:30 Pre-Planning
3:05 Power of landscapes
6:25 What we can learn
10:43 Planning and effort
11:51 Hit and miss
14:10 What gear do you have?
17:57 No correct focal length
20:12 Ansel Adams
24:19 View camera
27:45 Zone system
29:25 David Muench
31:21 Peter Lik
32:41 So much great work out there
37:24 Altering images
42:40 Apps for planning
45:51 Assignment

Find two landscapes that speak to you and write 2-4 sentences on each one describing why those images are successful. Start scouting for a landscape location to shoot. Be mindful of private property and all posted restrictions.

History and Fundamentals of Landscape
Directing attention, angle of light and angle of view

In this unit we’re going to be discussing how to direct your viewer’s attention using framing and leading lines. Furthermore we’ll discuss the angle of view and how the angle of light can add drama to your image.

Time Codes:
:25 Direct attention
2:11 Foreground, Middle, Background
4:10 Leading Lines
9:45 Dramatic sky
10:55 Heavy and light tones
14:42 Angle of light
17:55 Sunrise vs. Sunset
21:35 Low angles
23:38 High angles
26:18 Assignment

Shoot 3 versions of a landscape location of your choice. Shoot 1 high angle, 1 normal and 1 low angle. If all three angles aren’t possible at the same location you can change it up. Be safe and observe all posted signs and private property boundaries.

Directing attention, angle of light and angle of view
Sunrise and sunsets

In this unit we’ll discuss some of the details of capturing a sunrise and sunset and what to look for in your composition.

Time Codes:
:23 Sunset intro
1:10 Sunrise/Sunset phases
5:26 Image examples
15:09 Metering
18:45 Histogram
24:35 Metering demo
26:59 Raw processing and dynamic range demo
28:33 Tone curve
31:22 Auto mode
32:26 Assignment

Shoot a bracket of 3 images of a sunset. Shoot one that is -2EV, one that is 0EV and one that is -2EV. Examine the exposure differences and see which one is best. Submit your best shot.

Sunrise and sunsets
Intro to astrophotography

In this unit we’re going to discuss some basics of astrophotography. When the light level is low you will need to adjust your exposure settings accordingly. Cameras have some technical limitations in that they have a maximum aperture and ISO. The aperture cannot be opened any further than what the lens’ design will allow. The camera body will also have a maximum ISO with which it can operate. And that maximum is not usually very pretty as it will produce very dramatically visible digital noise in the image. Usually the usable maximum ISO will 2 stops lower than the maximum, and even that will exhibit a lot of ugly “artifacts” (blocky colors and ugly sandpaper-like texture). Enjoy this lesson as we talk about photographing the stars, the Milky Way Galaxy, car headlights, city glow and much more.

For a helpful page on reading a bit more about the visibility of the Milky Way check out this resource:

0:30 Lowlight challenges and surprises
4:50 Camera support
6:49 Self timer
7:20 My first low light photo
9:00 My first color low light photo
10:33 Cityscapes
15:16 Malcolm Webb
15:55 Light trails
18:50 Light pollution
23:08 Milky Way Galaxy
25:30 RAW file
26:05 500 rule
28:45 RAW processing software
30:15 Luminar 4
40:18 Experimentation
42:23 Assignment

Shoot 2 images in low light. Composition and situation are up to you! Be prepared with camera support to shoot a long exposure. Submit your samples in the quiz.


Intro to Digital Black and White

Intro to Digital Black and White

In this unit we’ll discuss several aspects of digital black and white photography. We’ll talk about several photographers who effectively use black and white in their art. We’ll talk about processing your black and white images using raw processing software and using film simulation or a monochrome effect to preview your image in black and white.

Time Codes:
0:30 The fundamentals of b/w
1:15 “Tones” rather than colors
3:33 A matter of taste
5:30 Historical examples
10:25 High contrast “oscillation effect”
11:56 Contemporary examples
15:40 Digital simulation and filter modes
20:15 Portraits
21:15 Auto conversion vs custom conversion
22:30 Raw processing in Lightroom
26:55 Raw processing in Luminar 4
30:40 Assignment

Assignment: Shoot and process 3 black and white images. 1 landscape, 1 portrait and 1 abstract.

Digital B&W

Bonus: Urband Landscape

Interview with Malcolm Webb, Urban Landscape Photographer

A special interview episode with urban landscape and street photographer Malcolm Webb.Malcolm is a graphic designer and photographer living in New York City. As a graphic designer by trade he's attracted to and inspired by the geometry, lights and color of the big city. Recently he was approached by legendary camera maker Hasselblad to take one of their cameras for a test drive to see how it worked for someone with his style. We talk about his motivations, his method of working and what inspired him to get started. We also talk about being self critical and why an artist creates work: Is it for yourself or for social standing? Check Malcolm out at​ and on Instagram at​ or @dubsbydesign.

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