When to BREAK These “Rules” of Landscape Photography (VIDEO)

There are numerous “rules” of photography, many of which apply to shooting landscapes. There’s the Rules of Thirds, certain “must have” filters, the importance of paying attention to hyperfocal distance, and many more.

But like other pursuits in life, there are times when some of these accepted guidelines should be ignored. In the tutorial below from a very accomplished landscape photographer you’ll see three instances in which conventional knowledge held him back.

Mike Perea is an Arizona-based pro, known for stunning images of the American Southwest. He’s also a popular instructor, and he says the three tips he provides in this episode are based upon “lessons I learned the hard way.”

As Perea explains, not all of the techniques we learn are useful for every situation. Put bluntly, he insists there’s a big difference between “knowledge” and “wisdom,” and it’s this thought-provoking distinction that he demonstrates today in less than six minutes.

He begins with a discussion of the circular polarizer,” a tool considered indispensible by many landscape photographers. This inexpensive accessory enhances saturation in leaves and foliage, removes reflections and glare from water, and darkens pale blue skies.

The problem is that this knowledge can hold you back, because hard-earned wisdom reveals there are times when a polarizer has a detrimental effect on your results. Like with his other tips, Perea provides before/after images that illustrate his advice.

Perea introduces his second tip by noting, “We all want razor-sharp photos from front to back.” And photographers obsess about focus points, camera settings, focus-stacking techniques and more in an attempt to meet this goal. But once again, depending upon the scene at hand, that’s not always the best approach.

The third tip Perea discusses involves the “rules” of long-exposure photography, and it’s equally powerful. So take a close look, loosen up a little bit, and once-in-awhile feel free to ignore what you learned in the past.

You can find more helpful tips on Perea’s YouTube channel and in the tutorial we posted from another pro recently, explaining how to edit landscape photos for stunning results.