Landscape Photography Manifesto

Landscape Photography is the passport to adventure.
Mark Jansen working with a client

Beyond everything else, and I think you’ll agree, the greatest thing about landscape photography is that it is a passport to adventure.

The camera has always been an excuse to explore nature’s wide open spaces and capture its beauty. The prize is to bring it home and perhaps print it and hang it above your fireplace mantle.

Much like hunting and fishing throughout history, with photography (unlike in these pursuits), you will always come back with something hopefully nice. That is, once you’ve learned how to recognize what you’re seeing, conceive it, and capture a compelling image with a strong story.

If you’re new to landscape photography, being relaxed and understanding the great outdoors is a good way to start. There are a few more things I’d like you to consider.

After playing and working in the outdoors on a creative level for over 25 years through the lens, I seem to be able to drop into nature’s rhythms and see its patterns of color, light, and shadow. I’m also good at passing this on to others in the field. Partially because of my outdoor pursuits beyond photography, paired with running creative businesses over the years.

Excelling in landscape photography takes some time to develop. You’re most likely reading this because you’re just getting started, or you’ve been hitting some serious walls of rejection or confusion on the whole process. Maybe you’re looking for some consistency in your landscape photographs, beyond the hit and miss method you’ve been using for years. Or you’re hoping that next new camera, lens or Lightroom fix will do the trick.

Don’t get me wrong, new gear is great! But nailing down some hands-on fundamentals is a lot cheaper in the long run and you’ll never need to be upgraded to a new model.
California Central Coast Photography Workshop

Learning how to see compositions and then piece them together in nature may seem impossible for some. Nature is dynamic and always changing before our eyes and can be overwhelming.

Creating a good photograph seems so simple at first when looking around on a beautiful spring day or when you are experiencing freshly fallen snow in a forest. Anywhere we look is extremely beautiful to our naked almost 3-dimensional eyes. We live in a beautiful world!
Yosemite Valley Private Photography Workshop
Yosemite Valley Private Photography Workshops ©MarkJansenPhotography

Learning to sort through a busy scene, packed with obvious and shiny distractions is challenging with any camera. But let me tell you, I’ve been in the business teaching landscape photography for years.  Anyone can sort through most any landscape and create a wonderful scenic photograph. This can be learned if you are open to some type of live mentoring, instruction, and yes, some thoughtful criticism of your present methods.

The first trick is to boil down the fundamentals of photography. Pulling from those fundamentals, learn to create not only a representative landscape but a compelling one with a strong story. You want your photographs to state more than the obvious snapshot of a sunset, pretty clouds, trees, beach, waterfall or wave.

You need to know and understand photographic composition. You also can’t get around learning what f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO’ s physically do to a photograph, where to focus and how all this affects your compositions.

You can’t get by on that random setting someone told you they used at one time, or for that matter that photographer’s settings standing next to you who looks like he knows what he’s doing. All photographs benefit by being intentionally conceived. By using this knowledge, you will have a solid chance at success. This is where we can help you and have helped many photographers over the years.

In the near future, we’ll be featuring 2 interesting destination workshops: The California Central Coast and Yosemite Valley during the magnificent dogwood, poppy, and fruit tree blooms. Both provide the uninitiated with proper guidance and instruction and a higher than average chance at magnificent landscape images. They both contain an ever-changing array of possibilities and challenges at every turn. With intimate knowledge of these locations, we can help any beginner or intermediate landscape photographer bring out more story than their obvious beauty. Both locations can be privately optioned workshops as well at any time.

Both of these amazing locations have highly accessible natural features. They also happen to be our favorite teaching locations for beginners and intermediate landscape photographers wanting to take their photography to the next level. Each has unending landscape photography possibilities to construct solid images for our clients by using our specific teaching methods.
For more information on our private and group photography workshops, go to
All the best and take the next step!
Mark Jansen

If you like this blog, consider checking out our other articles on a similar topic:

 Pictures with Purpose

Separation and Gesture

Do You Need to Upgrade Your Camera?

Complete the Creative Circle with your Photography

Photographing with Lazy Eyes Reveals Nothing New!

Will that new camera make you a better photographer?

Is Your Photography Any Good?

300 California Landscape Photographs Installed!

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Mark’s interest in photography and love for landscape photography draws him into some amazing places and he freely shares this knowledge on his photography workshops. He researches his subjects extensively, making many trips to selected areas waiting for the perfect light, an interesting approach to the subject, and just the right moment. His goal of "freezing time for others to enjoy" is what drives him to create his visions and teach workshops.

Mark offers photographic workshops in numerous U.S. and International locations with his business, Jansen Photo Expeditions. He is an expert and personable instructor, expedition leader and award winning, visionary photographer. 

Mark has over 25 years of professional fine art and photographic experience. He has a passion for landscape and classic aviation photography and provides large scale commercial installations of his fine art photographic murals and print works throughout California. He works with both small and large corporate businesses in helping them project a powerful impact through his images.


About Mark and Holly
Mark and Holly Jansen
Jansen Photo Expeditions
(805) 701-8807 or


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