The Uplifting Zen Of Photographing Authentic Rural Landscapes
Photographing rural landscapes offers a sense of peace and tranquility that can be difficult to find in urban areas. Photographing these landscapes can help you appreciate their beauty and serenity. It may even inspire you to protect them.
Zen – A state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.Merriam Webster
Rural landscapes provide an opportunity for humans to find some solace after spending time surrounded by modern technology.
Photographing Rural Landscapes
We are constantly connected to the Internet and people through devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops. These devices have made our lives easier in many ways. However, they have also separated us from the natural world that surrounds us.
Focusing your creative mind on rural landscapes gives you a chance to slow down. You get to enjoy some quiet time with Mother Nature. Photographing rural landscapes allows me to feel closer to the world around me and experience a sense of tranquility. In particular, these areas can sometimes be more peaceful than any other location. They offer a chance for reflection and a break from modern life.
Bringing us closer to the natural world
Another benefit of photographing rural landscapes is that it offers the opportunity to learn more about the natural world. You may discover new species of animals, plants, or even insects unique to certain areas.
Photographing rural landscapes, in particular, offers the chance to capture truly amazing vistas. These landscapes are not limited to certain areas but can be found in mountains, deserts, woodlands, and beaches.
Once you understand the benefits of photographing rural landscapes. How it is a great way to learn more about nature and slow down from modern life. You can begin searching for opportunities to photograph these remarkable areas.
If photographing rural landscapes is something that interests you, you can find plenty of opportunities to do it by simply venturing outside your front door. Depending on where you live, there might be a national park, wildlife preserve, state park, or other areas to photograph rural landscapes very close to you.
What makes rural landscapes so special?
Capturing the vast emptiness and beauty of rural landscapes fills you with an appreciation for nature. It can inspire you to protect these places and encourage you to explore and appreciate them for yourself.
For example, try photographing local orchards or vineyards struggling due to hardship or changing weather conditions. Look at capturing them in a way that conveys the beauty of these places. Start by searching for the right composition. This will help you appreciate the farmland for its beauty and the effort that goes into keeping it growing.
When photographing rural landscapes, keep your eyes open for places that speak to the cultural significance or historical events. These photographs can help you appreciate these places more.
Look for old meeting halls or churches where people once gathered. Images of these structures tell a powerful story. These places speak not just about the landscape but what was important to these people at different times.
The same goes for old barns showing where farms once existed but have been lost to time and weather.
Always remember to take photographs of the area surrounding your subject. These surrounding landscapes can act as context for your subject or may even be of interest themselves.
When photographing rural landscapes near cities, photographing signs of urban sprawl. Looking for malls and office buildings encroaching upon the countryside can be a rewarding project. This also reminds the viewer that these rural places are special and should be protected.
How do I photograph rural landscapes?
Rural landscapes often feature large vistas. You will often find rolling hills and mountains, expansive valleys and forests, meadows amid foggy mornings, and more. A challenge when capturing these scenes is how to fit all the features into the frame without making it look too busy.
Here are some things to consider when photographing rural landscapes:
- What does photographing rural landscapes mean to me?
- How do I want this image to make the viewer feel?
- How can I add my style or twist to it to create something unique and different from what you’ve seen before?
Tips for photographing rural landscapes
- Try using your telephoto lens to capture detailed close-ups of these elements without including too much sky in the frame. Zoom in on a small portion of the landscape and fill the frame with it. This way you can create visual interest without reducing the scene’s overall impact.
- When you photograph rural landscapes at sunrise or sunset, try positioning your camera so that it points towards the sun. This produce a golden or orange color cast on your photos. You also may be able to catch some sun rays beaming down on the scene.
- Perhaps the most important element in landscape photography is keeping your horizons straight. Any tilt in the image may cause the viewer to feel stressed. So use a tripod whenever possible and take care to level your camera and frame your shot correctly.
- Photographing the subtle changes in rural landscapes over time with a good depth of field can also be rewarding.
- If your photo contains a wide foreground element such as grasses, trees, or flowers, try to use leading lines. Position these elements so that they lead the viewer’s eye towards the central portion of the scene. Conversly, you may want to use a large object in the distance to draw the viewer’s attention to a specific area of the image.
Many photographers avoid photographing landscapes because they find it challenging to capture nature’s expansive beauty. However, with a bit of effort and creativity, you can compose strong landscape photos that convey a sense of peace and tranquility.
Now, get your camera bag, warm up your inner zen and go on out there and find some peace.
And while you’re at it, here are some quick tips on getting great shots and my favorite places in Yellowstone National Park.
If you want to see more of my explorations, check out the Explore section on my site.