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How To Take Impressive Landscape Photos With Your Phone's Camera



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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The latest generation of cell phones like iPhone 11, 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, OnePlus 7 Pro or Google Pixel 4 has cameras that can take beautiful photos as you would normally expect from expensive DSLRs. I already tested the iPhone 1

1 Pro on a tour of Scotland and was amazed at the results.

In this guide, I'll show you how to capture landscape photos on your iPhone Make phone calls, whether you're out in the country or deep in the heart of the mountains. While some of the tips for newer handsets have multiple lens options, many are relevant, regardless of whether your phone is three months or three years old, Apple or Android.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Get your gear

Of course, you can only take great landscape photos with your phone. However, there are some additional parts of the kit that can help you find something special.

Attachable Phone Lenses
If your phone does not have a built-in wide-angle mode (such as the iPhone 11 ($ 699 on Amazon) or Galaxy S10 Plus), take a look at the selection of attachable ones Momentary phone lenses available for all current iPhones, Galaxy Phones, Pixels and OnePlus Phones. They are made of high quality glass, and with the wide-angle lens you can capture a stunning, sprawling view in a way that's simply not possible with the standard view of your camera.

Filter adapter for your telephone
Moment also manufactures filter adapters for 62 mm screw-in filters, eg. With filter adapters, you can also use professional grade square lee filters that can be inserted into a holder connected to the adapter via a 62mm adapter ring. They are something that I usually use on my Canon 5D Mk4 and that makes all the difference when it comes to turning a picture from a simple snapshot into a professional-looking work of art. Of particular importance are the graduated neutral filters, which selectively darken only the upper half of the image. They are perfect for keeping the bright sky under control when shooting wide landscapes.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Portable Phone Charger
A portable phone charger is also a good idea if you want to hike in the wild and take pictures all day long. I use the Anker PowerCore 20.100, which has enough juice to recharge my phone several times – perfect for a weekend outing in the mountains where there might be few outlets.

Outdoor Clothing
Finally, do not underestimate the importance of proper clothing. When hiking in the mountains for your photos, sturdy boots are essential to prevent your ankle from slipping when climbing over loose ground. I use the North Face Hedgehog Trek boots (now upgraded to the Hedgehog FastPack boots), which are tough enough to handle all of Britain's hills, and have the added benefit of being waterproof, meaning I'm not soaking wet Freezing home brings cold feet. Speaking of which, a good waterproof coat is a must if you want to keep the items at bay, and a light, packable mid-layer – like the Arc & # 39; Teryx Cerium SL down jacket – is great for stowing away in your pocket begins to sink.

Sorting Your Phone's Camera Settings

Your phone may be capable of taking a cracked landscape photo in standard auto, but let's move on.

If your phone has a "Pro" mode in which you can manually control the settings, switch to this mode. Otherwise, you can use apps like Moment, Lightroom, or MuseCam to adjust settings such as ISO, shutter speed, and white balance.

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In the Pro mode of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, I was able to choose a slow shutter speed and blur the movement of the water as it cascades over the rocks.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

With these apps you can also shoot in raw format. Raw images do not store many of the auto camera settings that your phone typically uses for JPEG images, such as White balance or sharpening. The result is an image that lets you change the white balance, change hues, and remove details from the highlights and shadows much easier and with less image degradation than with a simple JPEG. I will go into more detail in the following section.

In landscapes, it is often crucial to change the white balance. It is important to be able to soften some of the highlights of a bright sky or highlight the shadows in the foreground. If you can change the white balance after shooting, you will get much more flexibility in editing (especially those) occasions when you want to warm up the sounds, for example, in a beautiful sunset).

The drawback of raw shooting is that your images need to be edited in an editing app, such as Lightroom or Snapseed, before you can share them. Photographing landscapes is often a slower, more methodical process, and spending time editing is part of the experience of creating a beautiful picture.

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Time of day is all in landscape photography. When I found my location in the early afternoon, I was able to capture this great sunset shot in due course.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Taking pictures early, staying out late

In the landscape photography, the time of day is everything, as the lighting changes completely at sunrise. The best time of day for really dramatic light is either at sunrise or at sunset. The sun is low in the sky at both times of the day, resulting in directional light and long shadows over the scene.

Noon is usually the worst recording time, as the skylight does not affect the shadow details, resulting in scenes that may look flat and lifeless.

If you have a specific location in mind, you should set the alarm and get up early to see what you can do during sunrise. Time permitting, try recording the same scene at different times of the day to see when it looks best.

Watching the Weather

The weather plays a huge role in any outdoor photography, but no more than in landscapes. Different weather conditions change your scene and change their mood, lighting and colors. But do not think that bad weather means bad photos.

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The rain clouds give this scene a real sense of drama.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Personally, I love the moody, moody atmosphere of a landscape with dark storm clouds piling up. It is often the light that comes after a storm that can look particularly dramatic. So, while the hike to your chosen location could be a miserable mess in the pouring rain, keep up your mood by imagining the beautiful photo you might end up receiving.

The worst weather for landscapes is the plain, miserable gray sky, where the clouds have no texture, no interesting light in the country and no contrast to the scene in front of you.

Keep an eye on your preferred weather app and make the decision based on the predictions. As long as you have the right clothes packed, you can brave the worst weather. If it gets too bad, use Google Maps to navigate to the nearest pub for a good drink.

Experiment with wide-angle and zoom lenses.

If your phone has a wide-angle mode, you can try it now. And as mentioned earlier, you can use extra lenses to get the same effect if your phone does not have a widescreen mode by default.

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I used the super wide-angle lens of the Galaxy S10 Plus to capture as much of this scene as possible.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Superb landscapes can be particularly dramatic as they capture so much of a scene in a single image. Pinnacles that would otherwise not be in the picture are suddenly captured in all their majesty, while beautiful rivers are now seen in their entirety and snaking into a scene.

But once it was exciting to see the scene Use your phone's telephoto zoom lenses fully to focus on some of the details it contains. Watch out for interesting rock formations, patterns in the landscapes, or unusual shapes in the scene – all things that can suddenly stand out as you zoom in and out of other disturbing elements.

Concentrating on the composition

It's easy to believe that using the largest possible angle is the guarantee of a cool landscape photo, but that's not the case. To get the most out of your wide-angle shots, you need to think more about the composition.

Foreground Interest
Pay attention to the foreground interest in your scenes. Tree stumps, moss-covered rocks, and even some pretty wildflowers can be used to turn the viewer's eye into a scene. When you're on top of the hill to take your shot, look for a few minutes for something to put in your shot to bring the scene together.

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The road here is an obvious guide that directs the view into the picture.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Guidelines
Guidelines are also great elements to look for a brilliant landscape composition. Look for paths, beautiful walls, or other long elements that continue to worm your way into the scene – it's this tortuous perspective that allows your viewer to look along this line and into your image.

Even Horizons
If you see gridlines or a leveling tool on your phone screen, make sure your horizon line is straight. Then check again if you are not accidentally cutting off the top of your subject, be it a mountain, a building, or some trees. Remember, you can do a great deal to improve a mediocre picture with editing, but you can do nothing to save bad compositions.

Using an editing app

Once you've pressed this trigger, your picture is not ready yet. Just a few changes in an editing app to turn a simple snapshot into a beautiful piece of art.

My favorite editing app is Adobe Lightroom Mobile, but I also get great Google Snapseed results that you can get for free on Android and iOS . I tend to tweak the white balance so that the colors look exactly – or give a beautiful sunset a heat boost. Here shooting in the raw state is particularly advantageous.

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Taken with the Galaxy S10 Plus, this shot of Solomon's Temple in Buxton, England is a breeze, but it's not particularly exciting and you can not see the rusted drain on the outside of the tower , & # 39; does not look good.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

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But with some work in Lightroom to adjust the color balance, darken the sky and foreground, and remove the drainpipe, the picture has a much bigger impact.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

I will adjust the exposure levels, especially the highlights and shadows, to bring some control over a bright sky or to enhance shadows in the foreground. A little extra contrast can help to further enhance the scene.

My advice is to cook a coffee to your heart's content, sit back and play with the sliders in the selected app. Try the different filters, experiment with layering different effects by saving and re-importing your image. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to handle an image. So enjoy messing around – you can always go back to the original image if you do not like what you have brought out.

I hope that gives you a good inspiration to get out and shoot. For more tips on photographing with your mobile phone, visit our Macro Guide in our Guide to Photographing Cars with Your Cell Phone or be inspired by our Supercar Tour of Scotland the completely recorded with the iPhone 11 Pro.


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