Dark landscape photos can be more powerful and thought-provoking than standard landscape images.
To take moody images, you need a great view, the right weather, and a few pieces of camera equipment.
8. Find a Moody Location to Intensify the Dark Landscape
Take a moment to analyse your favourite moody landscape photos. Do you notice any patterns?
Find a location with a great view. It should be spacious and give you a full view of a landscape.
If you shoot from a low angle, the landscape will look even more powerful and superior. This is an easy way to intensify the moodiness in your shots.
7. Take Photos When It’s Cloudy or Foggy to Create a Haunting Atmosphere
Another way to improve your dark landscape photography is to take photos in specific weather conditions. Gloomy weather may not be ideal for portrait photoshoots, but it’s perfect for dark landscape photography.
Even though this will cost some money, it can help you take some pretty cool photos.
6. Adjust Your Camera Settings Manually to Avoid Taking Dull Photos
Many of today’s cameras have automatic and manual modes. Automatic mode is suitable for taking good photos in well-lit conditions. If you want something more specific, you’ll need to adjust your camera settings manually.
If possible, shoot in RAW mode. This will preserve more image data, which will help you be more flexible when you process your images later on.
As its name suggests, dark photography usually involves a small amount of light. Don’t be afraid of using a slightly higher ISO number than you’re used to. You can remove any unnecessary grain in a professional editing program like Lightroom.
5. Use a Tripod for Sharp Photos and Stunning Long Exposures
In dark landscape photography, this is perfect for photographing the movement of clouds and water. You can even use it to shoot the movement of stars in night landscapes.
Put your camera on a tripod and use slow shutter speed. The longer it is, the smoother the movements will look in your photos. There’s no specific setting for this, but you can start with 5 seconds. Make sure your tripod doesn’t move because of you or the wind, or else your photos will turn out blurry.
4. Use Manual Focus to Ensure That Your Photos Are Sharp in the Right Area
Your camera might find it challenging to focus on the right subject in low light conditions. If there are foregrounds in your shot, your lens might focus on an object that’s closest to it.
To avoid this, focus manually. This technique will take more time and effort, but it will ensure that your photos look as sharp as you want them to be.
3. Shoot Through Objects to Create Depth
You can also use colourful foregrounds to make dull photos look more vibrant.
If your landscape looks empty, shoot through objects like branches or grass. This will add more interesting elements to your photo and create depth. Together, these things will make your dark landscape look more eye-catching.
2. Shoot in B&W Mode to Create Dramatic Landscape Photos
Black and white landscape photography is one of the most common kinds of photography. The reason it works is that it focuses on shapes and tones. Without colour, the world looks much more dramatic and gloomy.
You can approach this in two ways:
- take photos in B&W mode
- convert your pictures to B&W in an editing program
Many photographers prefer the second method because it gives them more control over the tones in their photos. However, the first method can be beneficial if you want to take creative images.
Seeing the world from a different perspective can help you come up with exciting new ideas for your landscape photography.
1. Enhance Dull Landscape Photos Using the Graduated Filter in Lightroom
Even if your photos don’t end up looking too gloomy, you can enhance them using moody processing techniques. In Lightroom, you can achieve this using the Graduated Filter.
Next, hold the Shift button and drag your mouse from the top of the sky to the horizon. This will create three separate sections.
The dark circle in the middle will be your focal point or the area that’s affected the most. The other parts will fade out to create a natural look.
Drag the Exposure slider to the left. This will darken the sky. You can adjust the horizontal sections to make the effect stronger in some places and less intense in others.
You can also use other sliders, like Highlights and Shadows, to make your sky look more dramatic.
When you’re done, you can move on to the other panels in Lightroom to make your entire landscape look gloomy. You can achieve this by colour correcting, desaturating specific colours, and adding more contrast.
Common Landscape Photography Questions
What Camera Settings Should I Use for Landscape Photography?
Make sure you shoot in Manual mode. Pay careful attention to your shutter speed, aperture, and colour temperature. If you want sharp images, use fast shutter speed. For dreamier landscape photos, use slow shutter speed.
How Do You Shoot a Low Light Landscape?
When shooting in low light conditions, always use a tripod. This will help you keep your images sharp. Shoot in Manual mode and make sure your pictures are RAW. Don’t be afraid of using a high ISO. You can reduce any unnecessary noise in your preferred editing program.
How Do I Take Nighttime Landscape Photos?
Make sure you use a tripod and a remote to ensure that your landscape photos look sharp. Use a high ISO number, but make sure it’s not extreme or your photos will look too grainy. Last but not least, use manual focus and a large aperture.
You can take dark and gloomy landscape photos with the help of a few tools and techniques. Remember to choose the right location, take pictures when it’s cloudy, and use a tripod at all times.
You can take your landscape photos to the next level by using moody processing techniques in Lightroom or a similar program.