6 Tips (and Phone Settings to Change) for Taking Stunning Landscape Photos

Well known telephones like the Apple iphone 13 Pro, Google Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely have remarkable cameras that can snag the form of beautiful pictures you’d ordinarily expect to see coming from professional-level DSLRs with sky-large costs attached. Even more mature or much more very affordable telephones like the Apple iphone 11, OnePlus 9 or Pixel 5 can consider beautiful shots that’ll impress your Instagram followers.

In this guide, I am going to exhibit you how to consider landscape shots with your cell phone, whether you’re heading into the countryside or deep into the coronary heart of the mountains. Whilst some of the recommendations implement to current handsets with numerous lens alternatives, several are applicable no matter whether your telephone is 3 months or 3 a long time previous, Apple or Android. 

Let us dive in and really don’t fail to remember to test our tutorial to the finest phones, and head more than to our telephone pictures 101 tutorial for a lot much more photography guidelines. 

Sort your cellular phone camera options

Your cellular phone is likely able of having a cracking landscape picture in its default vehicle manner, but let’s acquire matters a bit even more. 

If your phone has a “professional” manner that gives you manual manage of options, change into that. If it would not, an app like Second, Lightroom or MuseCam lets you get control of configurations like ISO, shutter pace and white balance. 


By enabling the Apple iphone 12 Pro Max’s ProRaw operate I was capable to pull back a lot a lot more highlight and shadow depth when enhancing this impression.

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Crucially, these applications also let you shoot in uncooked format. Uncooked visuals will not preserve lots of of the automatic digital camera options that your cell phone would commonly apply to a JPEG impression, these as white harmony or sharpening. The outcome is an picture that lets you transform the white stability, change shade tones and rescue element from the highlights and shadows considerably much more effortlessly — and with considerably less image degradation — than you can with a basic JPEG. I’ll come back to this far more in the modifying section beneath.

Apple’s the latest phones, this sort of as the 13 Pro and 12 Pro Max, can use the company’s new ProRaw format, which utilizes some computational images techniques like HDR mixing but still generates an effortlessly editable DNG file. Tapping the Uncooked button on the digicam display will change on raw shooting.

In landscapes, altering white stability is usually vital. Being ready to tone down some of the highlights from a shiny sky or deliver up the shadows in the foreground is vital, and being capable to change your white stability soon after you’ve taken the shot gives you a lot additional overall flexibility in your enhancing (notably all those occasions when you want to warm up the tones in a wonderful sunset, for example). 

The draw back to capturing in raw is that your pictures will need to have some perform in an enhancing application like Lightroom or Snapseed ahead of you can share them. Photographing landscapes is frequently a slower, a lot more methodical procedure, and paying time in modifying is all part of the practical experience of crafting a lovely image. 


Time of working day is all the things in landscape photography. By location my alarm for 3 a.m., I was in a position to get to this beautiful location in time for sunrise. 

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Shoot early, keep out late

Time of working day is every thing in landscape pictures, for the reason that the lighting changes wholly as the solar passes overhead. The most effective time of working day to catch spectacular light-weight is either at sunrise or at sunset. The solar is minimal in the sky both equally occasions of day, ensuing in directional light-weight and prolonged shadows forged over the scene. 

Midday is typically the worst time to shoot, as the overhead mild won’t produce a lot in the way of shadow element, ensuing in scenes that can glimpse flat and lifeless. 

If you have a individual spot in head, it truly is worth placing your alarm and acquiring out early to see what you can seize all through the dawn. If time enables, test and return to shoot the similar scene at unique moments of working day to see when it looks greatest. 

Check out the weather conditions

Weather performs a huge section in any out of doors images, but none additional so than with landscapes. Diverse climate situations will rework your scene, totally altering its temper, lights and colors. But do not suppose that poor weather conditions signifies poor shots.


The moody temperature adds a beautiful, ethereal haze to this scene overlooking Edinburgh.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Individually, I enjoy the foreboding, moody environment of a landscape with darkish storm clouds billowing higher than. Usually the mild that comes just after a storm can appear particularly extraordinary. So when the hike to your picked spot could possibly be a depressing slog in pouring rain, retain your spirits up by imagining the lovely photo you might get at the conclude. 

The worst climate for landscapes is that simple, depressing grey sky in which there’s no texture to the clouds, no intriguing gentle on the land and no distinction to the scene in entrance of you. 

Continue to keep an eye on your most loved climate app and make the choice primarily based on what is predicted. As extended as you’ve got packed the right clothes, you can courageous the worst of the climate, and if it receives much too bad then navigate Google Maps to the closest pub to sit it out with a very good consume. 

Experiment with your large and zoom lenses

If your cellphone has a vast-angle manner, then now’s the time to give it a consider. If you never have a wide manner on your phone as standard, you can use added lenses to get the same impact. 


By switching to the Apple iphone 12 Professional Max’s ultrawide lens I was in a position to continue to keep the smaller fishing boat on the remaining and the mooring publish on the right in the body, building it a substantially a lot more eye-catching composition overall.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Superwide landscapes can be especially dramatic, as they seize so considerably of a scene in a single image. Mountaintops that would if not be out of frame are quickly captured in all their majesty, whilst lovely rivers can now be viewed in their entirety, snaking their way into a scene.

But at the time you’ve got experienced the pleasure of viewing the scene in entire, try out working with the telephoto zoom lenses on your cellular phone to focus on some of the details in just it. Glance for exciting rock formations, patterns in the landscapes or abnormal designs in the scene — all of which can stand out when you zoom in or crop out other distracting aspects. 

Concentrate on composition

It’s easy to assume that just using as vast an angle as attainable is a assurance of a amazing landscape picture, but that is not the case. In actuality, to get the very best out of your broad pictures you want to assume about composition even much more. 

Foreground interest 

Appear for foreground curiosity in your scenes. Tree stumps, moss-covered rocks, even some really wildflowers can all be applied to draw the viewer’s eye into a scene. When you happen to be at the leading of the hill having your shot, invest a pair of minutes acquiring a glance all around for some thing you can spot in your shot to support bring the scene together. 


I’ve positioned the topic (myself, actually) in the right 3rd of the frame listed here, with the lake in the still left third. It in a natural way draws the viewer’s eye by the scene.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Leading lines 

Main traces are also wonderful elements of a amazing landscape composition. Continue to keep your eye out for pathways, pleasant walls or other extensive things that wind their way farther into the scene — it really is particularly that winding viewpoint that lets your viewer’s eye to comply with alongside a line and into your impression. 

Straight horizons 

If your telephone reveals grid strains or a leveling instrument on the monitor, use that to make sure your horizon line is straight. Then double-check you happen to be not unintentionally chopping the best off your issue, be it a mountain, a setting up or some trees. Don’t forget, you can do a whole lot to increase a mediocre impression with modifying, but you won’t be able to do everything to rescue negative composition. 

Edit your photographs

Your picture is just not finished when you’ve hit that shutter button a couple of tweaks in an modifying application is all it can take to remodel a straightforward snap into a wonderful piece of artwork. 

My favored editing application is Adobe Lightroom Mobile, but I also get wonderful effects from Google’s Snapseed, which you can get for absolutely free on Android and iOS. You can examine out my roundup of the ideal modifying applications, which include things like several options for those people of you who like to get a bit wild with your modifying. 


Taken on the Galaxy S10 Additionally, this shot of Solomon’s Temple in Buxton, England. is a wonderful snap, but it can be uninspiring and the rusted drain pipe on the outside the house of the tower doesn’t search very good.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


With some function in Lightroom to adjust the color harmony, darken the sky and foreground and remove the drain pipe, the image has a lot extra effect.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I have a tendency to start out by tweaking the white harmony so the shades look correct — or to give a heat raise to a wonderful sunset. It can be below that capturing in uncooked turns into notably valuable. I will tweak the publicity degrees, notably the highlights and shadows, in order to deliver a vibrant sky a bit a lot more beneath management or to improve shadows in the foreground. A bit of more distinction can aid insert some punch to the scene as nicely. 

My tips is to make a espresso, sit back again and perform with the sliders in your chosen application to your heart’s content material. Check out out the various filters and experiment with layering unique outcomes on top of every other by preserving and reimporting your impression. Don’t forget that you will find no suitable or erroneous way to edit an picture, so enjoy the entertaining of taking part in close to — you can always go again to the initial graphic if you don’t like what you’ve got come up with.