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Photographing landscapes

  Instead of just making a record of a scenic landscape, you can create truly impressive landscape pictures with these suggestions.

Include a strong point of interest 
Your eye needs a place to rest in the picture, so include something of interest—a clump of colorful flowers, a cloud in the sky, a mountain, a tree, a boat.

Include an interesting object in the foreground 
A branch, a boulder, a fence—include an object in the foreground to add depth to your picture.

Place the point of interest off-center 
The picture will be more interesting if the horizon or your point of interest is not in the center of the picture. Put the horizon a third of the way down from the top (or up from the bottom) of the frame, or the subject a third of the way in from the left or right. Experiment until you find a composition that appeals to you.

Include people for scale 
The cliff may not look all that big, especially in a photo—until you put a person next to it. In some scenes, including a person adds a sense of awe by showing the sheer size of your subject.

Use lines to lead the eye 
Lines, such as a road, a river, or a fence, direct attention into your picture. Select a spot or an angle where major lines in the scene lead your eye toward the main center of interest.

Wait for the right light 
The best light is in the early morning, shortly after sunrise, or late afternoon when the sun is low. Noonday sunlight is harsh and less appealing, so if you have the option, take pictures early or late in the day.

Take pictures, even in bad weather 
Don't let rainy days discourage you from taking pictures. Polished by the rain, colors seem to glow. On overcast days, try to include a spot of color to brighten your picture.

Turn off your flash 
For more effective lighting when you're outside in dim light and your subject isn't within flash range (more than about 10 feet away), turn off your flash and capture the scene in the existing light. Hold your camera extra steady or use a tripod, and be sure to use a high-speed film if you have a film camera.

Capture a panorama 
If your camera has a panoramic format mode (P), you can use it to capture the grandeur of a wide vista.

Avoid distractions 
Is there a trash can in the foreground? A telephone wire overhead? Check everything in the viewfinder and reposition yourself to eliminate distractions.

Share your pictures 
Pictures double in value if you share them! Turn your photo story into a special wall or tabletop display. Create greeting cards and online albums. Have a favorite picture put onto a mug or T-shirt, and be ready to answer, "Who's that?" or "Where was that taken?"