Many staff headed to the U. S. National Staff Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, consider Rocky Mountain National Park a must-see. Its rugged mountain terrain, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and crisp mountain air make it a great place to get away from the rush of life. For many, capturing its majesty with their camera is all part of the experience.
Start practicing these six quick landscape photography tips to create memorable pictures (all images are from the park).
When photographing a landscape with a wide-angle lens it’s best to have a strong anchor in the foreground to catch the eye of the viewer. The old log in Horseshoe Park in image 1 helps break up the monotony of the empty grass.
Although wide-angle lenses are usually everyone’s first choice for landscape photos they aren’t necessarily the best for them. Image 2 of Longs Peak shows how telephoto lenses offer a unique perspective to landscape photography by focusing on one important aspect of the landscape. They also compress the elements of an image together making a nice tight photograph.
One benefit of wide-angle lenses is that they usually allow for maximum focus. In photo 3 the foreground of Upper Beaver Meadows is in focus as well as Longs Peak in the background.
Get a good quality tripod (don’t use a Walmart special). A tripod was used on every photograph displayed in the gallery. It keeps your camera still and forces you to think about what’s in the view finder.
When you see something worthy of a photograph take a little walk and change your angle. Many visitors to the park photograph Alberta Falls and many shoot from the overlook along the trail. Image 5 was taken about 15 feet from the trail down below the overlook. It’s very unique compared to other photos of the falls.
Get up early and stay out late. The best lighting comes within an hour or two of sunset and sunrise. Be there at least a half an hour before sunrise and 20 minutes after sunset before putting the camera away. Image 6 was taken in early morning late which lights the Aspen Trees in Horseshoe Park while leaving shadows in the background.
Click on the images in the gallery to zoom in. In May I’ll discuss wildlife photography.