Humans love photography. There is a natural human drive to capture images of those things we find beautiful or emotionally impactful. We fill albums and frames with pics and keep them where we can reflect on the images as we move through our days. We pay to enter galleries and museums full of photographs. We buy coffee table books with page after page of powerful visuals. All things considered, Instagram‘s popularity is no big surprise.
But it can be frustrating to encounter a breathtaking landscape while you are on a hike or waking along the beach and be unable to truly capture it. It’s an irritation that a lot of people feel and that’s because becoming an adept photographer takes time, patience, and serious learning. Everyone thinks they have a good eye, but do they have good technique?
Rather than leave you to flail about independently with your camera or phone, we’re bringing you expert advice. Jerad Armijo blipped on our radar when he was featured as part of the #Nikon100 campaign on Instagram, which introduced a new talent every day for 100 days. We saw his nuanced, textured landscapes and knew he needed to give us insight into his craft.
Born in New Mexico and raised around the world as an Air Force brat, Armijo has found a home in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his husband and their dog. The proximity to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest gives him a neverending parade of subject matter for his incredible landscape images. Beyond the excellent technical aspects of his work, what may make it acutely special is that he aims to include a piece of himself in every image that he takes. He wants the audience to know when he is happy or sad, and that communication is critical to Armijo in his growth as a photographer and as a person.
We asked Armijo to lay down the rules for excelling in natural landscape photography. This advice will help you level up as you take this hobby more seriously.
#1: Take Time to Plan
I’m a huge planner. I usually scout an area before I actually go and shoot the area. After examining that area with certain lighting, I know it’ll look fantastic in certain spots. A lot of my shots are actually pretty strategic.
I’m a huge avid planner who uses different apps: multiple weather apps and sunrise/sunset apps. That way, when I do go there with a weather type, I’ll make sure I get the shot I want. But usually, I think about it in my mind. I create the image in my mind beforehand, even the landscape with the proper lighting so I have an idea of what exactly I want.