What’s an epic location? For this article, it’s any spot that’s naturally photogenic. A stunning mountain is the most obvious example — it’s hard to take a bad photograph of Mount Fuji or Rainier. Another epic location might be the striking skyline of Hong Kong or the beaches of the Maldives.
The thing about epic locations is that sometimes they’re too easy! A photo of the Grand Tetons or the Himalayas is so striking by nature it’s almost cheating. Anyone can point a cell phone at a place like this and get a stunning image. So how does one actually get a GOOD photo, and one that will stand out, when your subject is already amazing? Here are a few tips.
GET OUT THE MAP!
If your epic landscape location is a city or near a highway, start looking at maps. Scenic overlooks are aptly named and if you can find one they are great places to do all sorts of photography. Cityscapes are still a form of landscape photography. Skylines are often as scenic as mountains, or better yet, combine them both in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles.
Photos with car trails are another interesting type of epic landscape. You’ll need time to find the right combination of low shutter speed, neutral density filters, ISO, and a sturdy tripod. But the results are striking when done well.
Not every natural landscape photograph needs to be free of human artifacts. A road, boat, or even a vacationer’s sunglasses and hat add a sense of context to an image that would otherwise simply be about the scenery. What story are you trying to tell with your photography?