When you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to travel light. Carrying a heavy and bulky DSLR camera can be challenging for photographers.

A smartphone can be all you need for your next landscape photography adventure. With some tips on finding the best exposure and other techniques, you can capture stunning images using just your smartphone.

In this guide, we will share 15 of the best smartphone landscape photography tips for your next nature travel!

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  • Tips for Landscape Photography Using Your Smartphone
    • 1. Finding the Best Exposure
    • 2. Use the Rule of Thirds
    • 3. Ensure a Straight Horizon
    • 4. Check Camera Settings
    • 5. Shoot Too Early or Too Late
    • 6. Use Autofocus or Auto Exposure Lock
    • 7. Try Wide and Zoom Lenses
    • 8. Post Edit Landscape Photos
    • 9. Get Low
    • 10. Use a Tripod or Stabilizer
    • 11. Try Timelapse
    • 12. Feature a Strong Foreground
    • 13. Flip Your Phone to Get Close to the Water
    • 14. Play with Distance in Smartphone Photography
    • 15. Try Burst Mode for Moving Objects
  • Know Your Smartphone Camera
  • Smartphone Landscape Photography

Tips for Landscape Photography Using Your Smartphone

Ready to get started?

Here are some tips that will help you capture the best landscape photos using just your smartphone.

1. Finding the Best Exposure

Sometimes the exposure levels may be too high when shooting during the sun’s peak time. To adjust the exposure on an iPhone, slide up or down the screen. On an Android phone, look for a light bulb icon at the bottom and slide left or right to change the exposure.

2. Use the Rule of Thirds

Compose your shot using the rule of thirds. Add grid lines to your camera app to help with composition. Position your subject off-center to create a more visually pleasing image.

3. Ensure a Straight Horizon

Use the grid lines to make sure the horizon is straight in your photos. This saves you time from straightening the image in post-production.

4. Check Camera Settings

Explore your camera settings and switch to the “pro” mode if available. Adjust settings like ISO, shutter speed, and white balance to have more control over your photos. Editing apps like Moment, Lightroom, or MuseCam can also help modify these settings.

5. Shoot Too Early or Too Late

The time of day is crucial in landscape photography. Capture photos during sunrise or sunset for beautiful lighting and colors. Avoid shooting during midday when the sun is directly overhead and creates harsh shadows.

6. Use Autofocus or Auto Exposure Lock

Utilize the autofocus feature by tapping on the object you want to focus on. Long-press the screen to lock in the exposure and focus settings. This feature is especially useful for iPhone users.

7. Try Wide and Zoom Lenses

Enhance your smartphone camera capabilities by using different interchangeable lenses. Wide lenses can expand the field of view, while telephoto lenses allow for digital zoom without sacrificing image quality. Experiment with different lenses to capture unique perspectives.

8. Post Edit Landscape Photos

Consider post-editing your landscape photos to enhance colors and remove distractions. Install editing apps like Snapseed or VSCO for free or paid options like Lightroom and Photoshop. These apps provide tools for adjusting brightness, contrast, sharpness, and applying filters.

9. Get Low

Getting closer to your subject can add intrigue to your photos, especially with the wide-angle lenses of smartphones. Emphasize the foreground by getting low and capturing interesting elements like plants and rock faces. Use the rule of thirds to create a balanced composition.

10. Use a Tripod or a Stabilizer

Invest in a good tripod or stabilizer to minimize camera shake and capture sharper photos. While smartphones have built-in image stabilization, using a tripod or stabilizer can further enhance the quality of your images, especially in low-light situations or long exposures.

11. Try Timelapse

Create captivating time-lapse videos with your smartphone. Set up your phone on a tripod or stabilizer, select the recording speed, and let it capture the passage of time. Use time-lapse for capturing slow-moving changes in the sky, weather, or busy city scenes.

12. Feature a Strong Foreground

Add depth and interest to your landscape photos by incorporating a strong foreground element. Look for objects like tree stumps, rocks, or flowers to draw the viewer’s attention and create a sense of scale.

13. Flip Your Phone to Get Close to the Water

To capture reflections in puddles or get closer to the water surface, simply flip your phone over and start taking pictures. This technique can also be used for photographing small subjects like flowers or fungi close to the ground.

14. Play with Distance in Smartphone Photography

Note: Keep a safe distance from wild animals while photographing them. For dull or distracting backgrounds, get closer to your subject for more impact. Experiment with medium and far distances to create different perspectives and highlight the scale of the landscape.

15. Try Burst Mode for Moving Objects

When capturing moving objects like animals or vehicles, use burst mode to capture a series of photos. This increases your chances of getting a precise and sharp image. Touch the shutter button to start and stop burst mode and choose the best photos later.

Know Your Smartphone Camera

To make the most of your smartphone camera for landscape photography, familiarize yourself with its settings and features. Each smartphone model may have different capabilities. Consider investing in a small tripod or phone stand to stabilize your phone and save time.

Smartphone Landscape Photography

Using your smartphone for landscape photography is a convenient and accessible option. Ensure you have enough storage space for your photos and editing apps. Look for smartphones with larger camera sensors and night mode features for better image quality in various lighting conditions.