23 Natural Landscapes to Photograph Before You Die (And Some Tips)

You don’t have to travel far and wide for great photos. You just have to go outside and explore magnificent natural landscapes near your home. Your cues are the seasons, the rise and fall of the sun, and other natural occurrences. Combine those with the landscape and camera techniques.

Here are 23:

An island as you approach it

Five stars if you can get an aerial photo of it.

23 island

Northern lights

It would be a dream come true to see the so-called aurora borealis so you have to plan your shoot. They say March and October are the best times. Any landscape would be perfect, but go somewhere without light pollution. Set your ISO to 400 and shutter speed to 10 seconds. Mount your camera on a tripod; the shot would be impossible without it.

22 northern lights

Forest with tall trees

A clump of trees with high canopies that allow the light to shine through looks picturesque.

21 trees with high canopy

Autumn leaves covering a landscape

Autumn makes even a drab looking place look fabulous. However, do aim for places with lots of trees and foliage to cover vast space or ground.

20 autumn

Lake surrounded by valleys or mountains

Think of Hogwarts’ magical lake.

19 lake

Snow-covered landscape

Any landscape – natural or not becomes a wonderland during winter, especially after a snowstorm. But since you’re after a natural landscape, look for the lake or forest, for example, and see if your photograph will be good in such a setting.

18 snow-covered landscape

Rolling hills in spring

Green against the blue sky with cotton clouds is picturesque. If flowers have bloomed, then your photograph will be awesome. Use Sunny 16 if you decide to shoot at midday.

17 hills

The beach in summer

Perfect when the sky is blue.

16 beach summer

Supermoon on a shoreline

Supermoon is when a full moon is closest to earth, making it bigger than a regular full moon. It happens at least once a year and you need to know when to capture this exciting phenomenon. The same gears and camera settings apply when photographing full moon and supermoon. However, if you want the craters to appear in your photograph, you need to use a long lens, starting from 300mm.

15 supremoon

Landscape with a mountain backdrop

Snow-covered mountain? Mountain top on a hot summer day? Perfect.


Cirrus clouds over a green valley

Try the different kinds of clouds as well.

13 cirrus clouds

Forest on a foggy morning

You have to be early at the scene with your gears. Wait for the sun to shine over the whiteness of the landscape. Your shutter speed must be slow and focal point between f5 and f7.

12 foggy forest

Wetland or marsh during migration season

Water birds flock on wetlands before they set off to warmer places in time for winter. The sight is spectacular. Camera setting is normal; just adjust the shutter speed to get the right exposure.

11 wetland

Cherry blossom-lined landscape

When the flowers are in full bloom, the scene will look fabulous.

10 Cherry-Blossom-Desktop-Wallpaper-Free

Sunset anywhere

Everybody loves the sunset. Like sunrise, it’s spectacular anywhere. I took this photograph right outside my window while editing essays for my writing assignment. The camera I used? My iPhone. Yes, auto camera settings work, too.

9 sunset

A prairie of wild flowers

Setting: ISO 100, f8-11, shutter speed 1/250. Pretty.

8 prairie

Sea of clouds beneath a mountain top

You have to be at an elevation to capture this scene. When you arrange a trip to a mountainous destination, make sure to check the weather on the day of the shoot. It has to be fair or sunny. Set your camera as if you’re photographing daybreak.

7 sea of clouds

Magnificent waterfalls

To make the water look like a white sheet, use this setting: 2 seconds shutter speed, f22. Use a tripod or your shot will turn into a blurry mess.

6 waterfalls

After-sunset sky on an empty beach

So the sun is gone. Do you pack up and leave? No! Observe the streaks of pink, orange, yellow, and grey in the sky after the sun has set. The after-sunset sky is as magnificent as daybreak so basically, you use the same camera setting.

5 after-sunset beach

Full moon anywhere

The usual landscape setting to photograph a full moon is when it’s over a mountain or sea. If you’re nowhere near these natural landscapes, you can try photographing it when it’s between buildings, right above city lights at night. Try capturing it in other places, too. As for the setting, use the Sunny 16 rule. Tripod is a MUST.

Heading Out Under a Full Moon

A vast green meadow

Clear blue sky, grazing cows, flowers, and butterflies would be a marvelous plus to the scene.

3 meadow

Sunrise in a middle of nowhere

Sunrise anywhere looks great. But if you want your photograph to be unique, try other perspectives and landscape settings. Camera setting: ISO 100, f5-6, and shutter speed of 1/100.

2 sunrise

The day breaking

It’s fun to take photos of the day breaking because of the different colors it produces in the horizon. The setting is not very difficult – set your ISO to 100 or 200 with high shutter speed (1/30 and below) and focal point between f4-f6). If you want it to look spectacular, look for an unobstructed horizon, such as an open sea or a vast field.

1 daybreak

Savannah Elwood is a literature student, traveler, writer, and photography enthusiast. She loves photographing sunsets and cloud formation best. Follow her on Google+

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