5 Locations For Landscape Photography: And Which Filters To Use

5 Locations For Landscape Photography: And Which Filters To Use

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Traveling is a universally appreciated experience, and those of us fortunate enough to be able to visit far-flung places have the ability to share a little bit of those landscapes through the art of photography. Landscape photography is an old and revered form of displaying the wonders of the natural world - from hundred-year-old black and white film plates to modern day globetrotters visiting exotic locales with digital bodies.

Today we’ll look at a few of the most beautiful locations possible to photograph, and cover what sort of filters can help bring out the most in each place.

Patagonia, Chile

Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile - photo by Hector Marquez

Patagonia is one of the most coveted locations in the world for landscape photography. The glacial features and jagged topography is stunning, providing plenty of unique perspectives for photographers to capture. It’s hard to take a bad picture of such a beautiful place, but a few standards for landscape photography still come into play. A sturdy tripod to capture long exposures and a haze filter to reduce atmospheric distortion can always help improve your photos.

Sahara Desert, Northern Africa

Sahara Desert

Erg Chebbi, Merzouga, Morocco - photo by Mark Kuiper

Across the ocean from Patagonia, and almost totally opposite in everything, the Sahara is an otherworldly place which offers both surreal landscapes and incredibly helpful guides in the form of the Berbers, who can help escort photographers to the most scenic places in the dunes. The problem with photographing in the Sahara is the sand: it doesn’t end, and sandstorms can whip up at any moment. Not only should you have a fairly waterproof camera bag, but you should also make sure to keep a UV filter or polarizer on top of your other filters and your lens so that you protect the delicate glass from tiny scratches. You don’t want to sandblast your expensive telephoto lens...so use a filter!

Yosemite, California

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park - photo by Andrey Grinkevich

Nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is the source of some of the most iconic landscape photographs in the world. Made famous by Ansel Adams’ large-format photography with unparalleled focus and depth, the vistas of this national park have to be seen to be believed. The famous “tunnel view” has inspired thousands of photographs, with El Capitan and Cathedral Peak towering over the valley. There are countless different ways to photograph the scene depending upon light and weather. Consider using UV filters to cut haze, star filters for a sunset scene, or even using graduated neutral density (ND) filters for longer exposures, while retaining aspects of both the sky and the ground.

Southern Alps, New Zealand

New Zealand
Franz Josef Glacier - photo by Gil Gildner

The Southern Alps is a mountain range that trails down the western coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Rugged with glacial features, the range is over 300 miles long and includes the majority of New Zealand’s highest peaks. A few incredible glaciers end at the coast, including the Franz Josef Glacier, which actually ends in a rain forest. Capturing the ice and water in the glaciers is greatly helped by a circular polarizer filter, to cut out unwanted reflections and get the maximum depth in your compositions.

Iceland

Iceland
Mývatn, Iceland - photo by Vincent Guth

Iceland is a cornucopia of options for the landscape photographer. From the sulphurous springs of Myvatn in the north of the island, the black sand beaches in the south, the glaciers and volcanoes in the middle, and the countless waterfalls all across Iceland, there isn’t a lack of unusual and beautiful scenes to capture. For most of the year, the aurora borealis is also visible. But our suggestion here is a bit unusual: you don’t want to use a filter while capturing the aurora! The aurora borealis can actually cause unwanted aberrations and unusual aspects to your photos if you use a filter in this situation.

The Cokin Traveller Kit provides a set of filters useful for many different types of photos, no matter where you travel. Of course, these five locations aren’t the end-all of landscape photography, but merely some of the most famous. Amazing photographs can be taken of any location on earth: but those locations are up to you to find!