Tips For Shooting Good Scenics

by William Lulow

Decide that you want to make photographs, not just take snap shots.

Plan trips with making photographs in mind.

  • Think about early morning
  • Think about evening shots as some lights are coming on
  • Look for interesting subject matter
  • Find a “lead in” angle
  • Look for interesting lightings
  • Look for interesting shapes
  • Shoot a popular site from a different angle
  • Frame monuments with something in the foreground
  • Use small lens openings to increase depth-of-field and sharpness
  • Focus on things in the foreground
  • Find angles that lead the viewer’s eye INTO the image
  • Use filters for certain effects (Darken sky, star for night scenes, etc.)
  • Try to keep people out of scenes
  • Do a portrait in front of a famous place, but only show just a hint of the place
  • Think about waiting for the right moment, don’t just snap a picture because you’re there
  • Set up as many scenes as you can
  • Use a small tripod whenever you can
  • Travel as “light” as you can. Wear a photographer’s vest or jacket with big pockets so you don’t have to carry a bag
  • Wide angle lenses provide greater depth-of-field
  • Telephoto lenses bring you closer
  • Use wide-angle lenses mostly
  • Shoot slowly – until you feel you have exhausted the image-making possibilities of a place
  • Try to decide what you want to say about a particular place

Here are a couple of examples:

BowBridgeCentralParkNYC(c)

This image contains reflections, darken sky (post processed), interesting foreground framing.

EastHamptonRockyBeach(c)

This image is focused on the foreground. Good depth-of-field, shot with a 20mm wide angle lens.

LakeShoreDriveChicago(c)

Interesting angle, sweeping composition.

ChappaquaSnow16(c)

Early morning, just before sunrise, interesting angle, interesting lights.