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Lessons in Landscape Photography

Photographer and former Picture Editor Eamonn McCabe, presenter of The Spoken Image, shares his top tips for great landscape photography.

1. Get a good pair of shoes
As Magnum photographer David Hurn says, invest in a good pair of shoes - you may not know how far you'll be walking, or if you'll need to run through mud for your shot, so make sure your feet are equipped for the journey.

2. Never pass a loo or a cup of tea
If you have the opportunity to use facilities en route - whether for the toilet or for refreshments - grab it while you can. You may not know when the next chance will come along.

Eastbridge © Eamonn McCabe

3. Use the best camera
The best camera is the one you've got with you right now! Pixel envy puts you in a negative frame of mind and will limit your creative juices. Embrace the equipment you have and be inventive with it - if you've only got your smart phone to hand, try shooting in black and white, or square format.

4. Look
Some days, you won't get the shot you hope for, so learn to enjoy the process of looking. Shift your focus from getting a great picture to the practice of observation itself.

5. Keep it simple
Don't carry too much equipment with you. Decide on a lens before you start your day. A bag of lenses, tripods, monopods and accessories will limit how far you can walk and therefore how much you can see.

View of the Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon Lagoon by Lou Souza Photography

6. Use music to unleash your creativity
Playing your favourite music before and / or during a landscape photography shoot can really open you up to the possibilities of the landscapes you're looking at. As you hear the sounds, your brain automatically makes different connections to the ones it makes with ambient noise or silence.

7. Don't be lazy
Invest time in looking and moving. Go higher, lower or sideways to get an unusual angle. Get out of the car if you spot something that grabs your interest rather than take a snap through the windscreen.

8. Use the golden hours
The moment you realise you're not photographing a subject, but photographing light, you'll get a whole new perspective on the craft. The warm hues of late afternoon are particularly good for landscape photography. In addition, the shadows are more interesting and the contrast less harsh than at midday.

Budle Bay by Olivia Landsberg

Listen to The Spoken Image to hear about Eamonn's favourite photographs.