Landscape photography looks sweeping and graceful, but it has pitfalls that can ruin your shoot. Here are few lessons you don’t have to learn the hard way.

If you watch any of the big photography YouTube channels, you’ll see impressive shots of mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and oceans. But, what you might not see is all the frustration and stress that comes with a photo shoot out in the elements. Like me for example: dropping my camera within the first hour of the first day of my trip. Photography is a tricky game, and it takes time and patience to master. Here are a few of the mistakes I made — and eventually learned from.

1. Don’t Bring Too Much Gear

4 Landscape Photography Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid — Too Much Gear
Image via

You shouldn’t bring too much gear. But when you’re standing over your camera bag, and you have to choose what you can and can’t carry with you, the decisions become difficult. The key is to not second-guess yourself; later, you can adapt accordingly out in the field. If you want to get a certain shot, but you don’t feel like you have the right lens, adapt and make it work. Photography largely relies on your creative gut, so trust it.

2. Don’t Get Lost

4 Landscape Photography Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid — Don't Get Lost
Image via everst.

This may sound obvious, but don’t become disoriented. If you’re on a hike, this might seem simple. But when you’re taking photos, you might find yourself looking through the viewfinder up at the trees, down at the ground, and everywhere in between. If you do this long enough and then stop staring through the viewfinder, you might be turned around entirely. Make sure to leave clues and markers around you so you know which way you’re going.

3. Tell Someone Where You’re Going

4 Landscape Photography Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid — Share Your Location
Image via Jacob Lund.

Surprise: there’s little to no mobile service in the mountains. So, it is critical to tell someone where you’re going and when. No photo is worth getting lost or hurt, especially if you can avoid it with a simple text.

4. Bring Enough Power

4 Landscape Photography Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid — Battery Life
Image via Janaka Dharmasena.

Charge your batteries, obviously. But, there are also a few pieces of gear you can buy to prevent your batteries from dying. For example, the new RODE Mic Pro + turns on and off with your camera, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off (if you’re shooting landscape videography). I’ve even gone as far as sticking a little piece of gaff tape on the camera and writing “turn off camera” so that I’m constantly reminded to turn off the camera when I’m not using it (which saves even more power than the camera’s auto shut-off).

But, most importantly don’t drop your camera.

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