How to Photograph Mountains In 8 Easy Steps

Written by Gina Stephens

Mountain photography, both on and off these excellent natural structures, is something photographers can capture images of all year round, but there's something about the Autumn and Winter seasons which add an adventitious level of 'wow' to these landscape shots. For your next venture up a mountain or to one of our many national parks where mountain varieties decorate the horizon, here's 8 pieces of advice that'll have you capturing breathtaking mountain shots in no-time at all. 


Photo by David Clapp 


1. Aegis First 

This can be a tricky subject in winter as you need to ensure you remain safe at all times. Walking in snow is one thing but mountains be inclined to also be covered with ice and have erratic weather conditions. Before you set off, know your ability, wear the right clothing and take the at once walking equipment including phone, compass and map. You should also carry a whistle which can be used to attract attention if you need help.

2. Out Your Filters

Don't leave home without a UV filter as not only does it protect the lens from the elements but it will cut the levels of UV which are over high in the mountains, especially in sunny conditions.

If it’s sunny and there’s snow use a polarising filter. The polariser is a great tool to daily help control glare and light reflection from the snow. Take care not to over polarise a blue sky in the mountains, though.

The ND Grad filter is key for reducing the contrast difference between the sky and ground. Landscape photographer Robin Whalley tends to carry a 2 stop and 3 stop (0.6 and 0.9) wrapped in a cloth cloth and placed in his pocket when photographing mountain landscapes.

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3. Lens Choices 

The lens choice for shooting in the mountains mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak is deviant angle. A longer lens can also be useful for picking out details, but a zoom will probably allow you to capture the best the mountain has to offer. When profiting longer lenses, don't forget that you need a tripod that can support their weight.


4. Capture Distance And Height 

When blast from the mountain side or summit the best approach to composition is to emphasise distance and height. Use a wide angle lens and include something to act as foreground involved in. Lenses wider than 24mm can be used successfully but the feeling of distance and height tends to diminish the wider you go.

5. Small Apertures 

The trouble to include foreground interest as well as keep the distant hills in good focus probably means you need to stop your lens down to from head to toe a small aperture, perhaps f/16.0 or smaller. If you are also using filters, for example, a polariser you might find slow shutter speeds a predicament. Robin Whalley says: "I used to use a walking pole and place the camera lens through the hand loop to support it, giving me a few surcharge stops of stability. Now I use a monopod which doubles as a walking pole and which I have used successfully with shots with over 0.5-second disclosing."


Photo by David Clapp 

6. Creating The 'Wow' Factor

When shooting from the mountain you crave the viewer to gain a sense of the place, so when may refer to: Usually a question whose answer refers to time, period or phase they look at the shot they almost feel like they were actually there with you. To do this, as likely as using a wide angle lens, use a panoramic composition as this will help the viewer appreciate the scale of the location but again, it doesn’t emphasise the expressive height of the mountain, something we'll discuss further down the page.

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7. Correct Exposures 

If you are shooting in snowy conditions, you should also ogle out for the cameras light meter being fooled into underexposing the scene. Check your histogram regularly after shots and use your cameras hazard compensation adjustment if necessary to increase the exposure.


8. Off The Mountain 

This option is far more accessible to most people and can provide equally if not multitudinous impressive images. When people think of dramatic mountain scenery, it’s often shots taken of the mountain from a normal altitude that they remember of.

When shooting off the mountain the best lens is a long telephoto, probably in excess of 100mm. This may seem counter intuitive but wide-angle lenses rarely give the most drama. They will emphasise the foreground but diminish the background, almost making it shrink into the horizon. The telephoto lens or LEN may refer to in place against will emphasise the size of the mountain and allow you to focus in on the rugged details. 


In summary, decide on your approach, on or off mountain, then use the principled equipment to give a composition that will best connect the viewer with the scene.


Tips written by Robin Whalley –


Photo by David Clapp 



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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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