5 different sub-genres of landscape photography to try

First published:
March 8, 2022
February 14, 2024

5 different sub-genres of landscape photography to try

First published:
March 8, 2022
February 14, 2024

Cover photo by Rafal Mieczkowski

Diversify your shooting habits and try something new with these 5 detailed guides on different landscape photography niches

As photographers, it's easy for us to get caught up with shooting the same subjects over and over again. This is absolutely fine - it's important to have a subject area to master your expertise in, but now and again it's also good to try something different. Not only will you learn about a new area of photography, but by doing so you'll be improving your skills and photographic range.

Landscape photography in particular includes many sub-genres that require a completely different way of thinking. Here are 5 guides on different landscape sub-genres that do exactly that:

1 How to photograph waterfalls

"Colourful autumn forest by the edge of Casoca waterfall, Romania" - photo by Tiberiu Sahlean

Why are photographers drawn to waterfalls? They’re little more than the joint effects of water, gravity and erosion, they flow unpredictably and according to recent rainfall, and they’re often hard to reach on foot. Thankfully, no two waterfalls are the same, and many are off the beaten path; searching them out takes you through some of the world’s most beautiful and most hidden landscapes.

From plunges and cascades to trickles and torrents, here's our guide to help you creatively photograph waterfalls.

2 How to photograph mountains

"Prayer flags at Thukla climber's memorial for those lost on Mt Everest." - photo by Base Altitude

Whether you’re in the Rockies, the Alps or the Andes – or just out in the hills close to home – our planet’s peaks, ridges and glacial lakes provide some of nature’s greatest backdrops. Armed with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a tripod and a camera backpack you can take your own mesmerising mountain photos right away.

Here are some of our top tips to photograph mountains.

3 How to photograph the desert

'The desert landscape along the coast in western Namibia" - photo by Chris Stenger

Despite the extreme conditions, a sensibly planned photography trip can yield spectacular compositions. Clear skies, excellent light and striking features abound in the world’s arid desert regions, which makes them hugely popular places for landscape photographers. They’re places of extreme temperatures where insanely hot days can be followed by surprisingly cold nights, but a sensibly planned photography trip – and with plenty of water in your backpack – can yield spectacular compositions.

Learn more with our beginner's guide to photographing the desert.

4 How to photograph seascapes

"Boddam Lighthouse" - photo by Rafal Mieczkowski

Seascape photography is an exciting genre that can result in amazing images. There are, however, a few extra steps and precautions that need to be taken before venturing out.

Capturing the sea is a hugely popular subject among outdoor photographers. It's not as straightforward as ‘regular’ landscape photography, however. But by following just a few simple steps, you’ll see that your images instantly become a lot more interesting.

See our beginner's guide to photographing seascapes in order to get started.

5 How to photograph clouds

"Nature's cotton candy" - photo by Roi Brooks

It’s a cloudy day so best leave your camera at home, right? No way!

Forget any notion that clear blue skies are interesting (they are not) and appreciate that if you want your landscape and urban photography to really stand out then what you really want are clouds. Done correctly these floating clumps of water drops or ice crystals can add a dynamic, textured and even colourful dimension to your outdoor compositions.

Read on for our top tips for photographing clouds.

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