6 Tips for Stunning Landscape Photos with Smartphone

Why not shoot stunning, colorful landscape photos on your next vacation? Employing these tips, you will return with pictures that you can be proud of.

Once you reach the location, enjoy your surroundings. Take a moment to look around. Do not hurry, be cool, be there. Now you are ready to shoot. So lets begin.


Best time to shoot photos is evening or dawn. At this time light is even and colors vibrant. Just before sunset, magic happens – light becomes soft and golden with long shadows. For best results, plan to shoot at this hour. Look the following picture shot at sunset.

Road at Sunset


Landscapes photos have objects in far distance but foreground and mid-ground elements provide depth to the picture. Add some foreground element to make your photo more interesting. Observe foreground stones in the photo below.

Landscape hill and grass


Try different camera angles. Using a high vantage point gives photos more scale and perspective. For example, rooftops and balconies are possible options for city landscapes. Change angle to avoid any undesired protruding elements. If you cannot do so, crop them out of picture in software.


  • Use natural frame like leaves and branches at the edge of your image, for framing the picture.
  • Use panorama mode for vast spaces that do not fit in a frame.
  • Instead of placing horizon in the center, place it in upper one third (if picture is about land) or lower one third (if picture is about sky). In the following photo horizon is placed in the upper one third.

Sea horizon

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

In HDR mode, camera shoots multiple pictures with different exposure and combines them to create a perfectly exposed image. Use HDR for colorful landscapes and still motion images. Do not use HDR for moving elements or when you need high contrast.

Black &White

High Contrast pictures look great in black and white. Consider changing such pictures to black and white. Also if you do not get good colors in any photo, consider converting it to black and white.

Watch the chapter on Landscapes in our Photography video book before you pack your bags for vacation. And remember there is no replacement for practice. So start shooting photos and analyzing them, noting down what you could have done better and soon you will be ready for your next landscape shoot.


Photo Attribution
Joshua Sortino
Paul Summers
Kortni Williams

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