An Overview of the Principles of Successful Landscape Photography

In this photography class you’ll learn from the professionals as Karl and fellow photographer Nick Després discuss and look through some of Nick’s award-winning landscape work to discover what makes a really eye-catching shot and just how much work goes into such great images.

Together they examine what makes an effective landscape image and different techniques you can use to capture great images. At the end of the class you’ll realise that composition and lighting are two key elements and that bad weather can often yield the very best results.

In this landscape photography class we cover the following:

  • Landscape photography: What makes a good landscape photograph
  • Tips for taking professional landscape images
  • How to compose landscape photos
  • Shutter speeds for landscape photography
  • Photographing in bad weather

If you have any questions about this photography class please post in the comment box below.

NOTE: This photography class is available with subtitles.


  1. Hi everyone, I am looking for some advice on the type of equipment I might need for a trip to Norway, more specifically the problematic difference in the amount of light on the top of the fjords vs. the small amount of light reaching the bottom. Should I get some holder with a grad filter? At the moment I have an Olympus E-M1II and only a standard ND filter (Hoya Prond1000 – 10stop light loss), which is not useful in this kind of situations. Thank you !

    1. Hi, I love using grads for balancing exposure but their use is dependent on the angle of the sky and scene that you are trying to reduce in exposure. For example I can imagine in some scenes you may have a steep ‘valley’ of sky which will be a difficult shape to grad. If it is a simple slope in one direction then no problem as you can angle the grad. A 3stop grad is my favourite, occasionally 4 stop. The other option is to plan your exposures (using a tripod) and shoot two or three exposures: one for the sky, one for the mid tones and one for the shadows and then blend them together in post production.

  2. Candez Photography

    Hi everyone, I have just finished watching both, “Introduction to photography” and “Travel Photography” courses and I must say that the fundamentals of photography have been so well explained that I feel I can go out and use my camera in full manual mode without feeling like a fool lol

    This has answered one of my biggest doubts I was having which was “Should I adjust my aperture before my shutter speed, or vice versa” as I now that that it all depends what I’m looking for in my picture.

    1) If I am looking for Depth of field or boke, I would first adjust my aperture and then my shutter speed in order to obtain perfect exposure.

    2) If I am looking for motion blur or a action freeze, I would therefore adjust my shutter speed first and then my aperture in order to obtain perfect exposure.

    I think that just by understanding these two fundamental adjustments, it will allow me to go and shoot my first landscapes in full manual mode and possibly getting some pleasing results.

    Thank you, thank you and thank you Karl !

    p.s The only one who isn’t happy with all of this, is my wallet as I went on a shopping spree after having been guided by Karl on what equipment would be good for my budget : )

    Here is what I ordered:

    -Sony a7R III
    -Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f4 G
    -Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA T* Zeiss
    -Sony FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS
    -Lee 100 holder
    -Lee 100 polariser
    -Lee soft 0.9 grad filter
    -Lee medium 0.9 grad filter
    -Lee hard 0.9 grad filter
    -Lee standard ND 0.9 filter
    -Sony remote
    -Manfrotto Befree 3-way live advanced
    -Backpack/suitcase on wheels

    Going from shooting with my iPhone 13Pro max to soon using all of this is so exciting !

    1. Amazing that is a great collection of kit you’ve got there! Enjoy and remember that most of the features on the camera menus can seem quite confusing but at the end of the day it all comes down to Aperture, shutter speed and ISO and then your choice of lens. Beyond that (especially when shooting RAW files) there isn’t anything else involved. The Lee filters were a good call too. Let us know how you get on.

  3. I’m a new subscriber working my way through all of the available materials. Really enjoyed this conversation and the exploration of technique, both experts in their craft but so much to learn from the two different styles.

    1. Welcome aboard Ian, this is actually a much older class (as you’ll tell from my youthful appearance!) you may also enjoy some of our more recent landscape courses. All the best Karl.

  4. Hi Karl,

    Most of the DSLRs offer minimum 30 sec shutter speed and i often heard that any particular image is taken at 60 sec or 90 sec or even more than that. My question is how can you achieve shutter speed more than 30 second when your camera accommodate only 30, hope that make sense.

    Best Regards

    1. Hi Abdul, most cameras have a long exposure setting either in ‘B’ Bulb mode or Manual mode that allows you to set the shutter speed to whatever you like.

  5. Karl, you are so inspiring, cant wait till the evening, to go to the beach and experiment what I learned from you.

  6. In shots like the final one shown in the gallery, or for any landscape photograph really, how would you set your focal point(s)? Would you go with an automatic or would you choose a set point? Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself in these trainings but it’s something I struggle with in sports photography and could easily see this being something that would trip me up in landscape photography as well. Thank you in advance for your time!

    1. Hi Jamie, in Landscape photography I always focus manually on a key element of interest in the shot, we cover more on this in some specific Landscape modules in this website, I think they are in the Advanced Section but yes don’t get a head of yourself it is a good idea to progress and practise through the other modules first.

      1. Fantastic, thank you so much! I appreciate the quick response and will continue moving through the modules as suggested 🙂

  7. Thank you! This entire series has been very informative. Great shots at the end by Nick and yourself.


  8. Easily the best photography interview I’ve ever seen. All the right questions were asked to get the answers of most use to the viewer. Brilliant images, that have answered my question about whether to get more lenses etc for my medium format (645) or get a 4×5. I still have too much to learn before getting a LF camera and need to fully learn my Bronica first.

  9. Loved this video. Better than last. Nice to get insight. Thanls

    Please do more landcape bw amd color
    Good job.

  10. explaining the technics are really appreciable, I personally like Karl Taylor work and working style very much and that is the reason I joined this program more over it is a great help towards the industry
    Thank you so mych

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