Tips for Spectacular Mountain Photography

by Tristan Taylor August. 16, 2017 817 views

Can you honestly name a better subject than a majestic mountain peak for landscape photography? I honestly can’t.

In my opinion, a lofty mountain peak compliments a landscape photo more than anything else. Here’s a case in point.

A breath-taking mountain photograph depends on a number of factors ranging from the position of the photographer to the availability of light.

In here, I have discussed 10 amazing tips for spectacular mountain photography. If you are a beginner of the subject, you may benefit tremendously from this article. So let’s begin.

1. Understanding lighting

There are three primary categories of light on any landscape:

  • The quality of light: Soft (constitutes overcast weather conditions) or harsh (constitutes sunny weather conditions)?
  • The direction of the light: Is the light coming from the size of the subject or is it coming from the front or the back?
  • The temperature of the light: What’s the actual color of the light? Warm (like sunrise light) or cold (like at dusk)?

You need to keep these three categories in mind while taking the shot.

Create a balance between all three to the best of your abilities, and you might just get that extraordinary picture you had dreamt of at the start of your campaign.

Early morning photograph (Taken mostly in warm light)

2. Plan ahead for the best results

Planning is always important, no matter whether you are shooting a landscape photograph or a mountain photograph or a wildlife photograph, or anything involving a natural entity in your shoot.

There are specifically a couple of reasons for which I think an organized plan is necessary for an effective mountain photograph:

  • You may need to do a whole lot of hiking and travelling (on foot) for capturing the best outlooks of a mountain in your photograph.
    An organized plan may help you a lot in such circumstances by getting you to the right spot at the right time which, at the same time, may result in an exceptional image right out of the blues. Here’s an example:

  • Lighting can really be a challenging factor for you, especially when mountain photography is concerned. Peaks or clouds may block out the sun which, at the same time may result in the formation of deep shadows blocking out everything in sight. Here’s an example:

The natural creation of deep shadows

An organized plan may help you anticipate the conditions and the lighting of your targeted place based on which your campaign should take shape accordingly.

3. Change the perspective (if possible)

A mountainous area usually includes a great deal of variety in its topography.

A simple change in perspective, even one that includes variation in the smallest possible amount can make all the differences in the world.

So try to incorporate the same sort of thinking in your photographs. Change your perspective occasionally and look at the results from the neutral point of view. You might just get lucky you know.

Aerial view of mountains

4. Include water in your frame if possible

Mountains and lakes are simply a match made in heaven.

Both can complement each other more than anything else. And if you can incorporate a few subtle reflections in that frame of yours, it’s going to be an icing on the cake for sure.

Mountains and lakes are simply made for each other

5. Use a lightweight tripod for your shoot

A tripod must be an essential part of your photo shoot because it can help you keep your camera shake at bay in the best possible manner.

But in mountain photography, you will be engaged in a host of activities involving things like hiking, climbing, camping and other things related to the same. Having a heavy tripod won’t help you a lot in situations like that.

A light tripod should, therefore, be your way to go.

6. Last but not the least, use a small aperture for the shoot

A small aperture can help you keep the entire scene in focus.

In a mountain photography, you would definitely want to keep as much of the scene (including the main subject and the background) in focus as possible. A small aperture should definitely be your way to go in situations like that.

Lastly, I would like to remind you your limitation lies only in your imagination. If you can channelize it in the right direction, you can get something extraordinary out of the blues in no time. Here’s a “good luck” to you with that endeavor of yours. Bye!

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Heike 3 years, 8 months ago

Wonderful photos, thanks for the tips !

3 years, 8 months ago Edited