At current, most of my landscape shots are tourist-like and very generic. How can I take photographs which are more interesting without using the cliché technique of long exposure landscape photography?
You say your photos are too tourist-like. So, try avoiding taking pictures the way tourists usually do:
- using a wide-angle focal length around 28mm (35mm equivalent)
- with small aperture and/or sensor
- from eye height
- trying to frame as much of the view as possible
- not trying out different views
- at a place where tourists usually go
- single frames wherever it happens feels beautiful
- whenever you happen to get there
- not researching the area beforehand
Instead, try using:
- ultra-wide or telephoto lenses
- larger apertures, a large sensor
- alternative heights for your camera (crouching, climbing up somewhere)
- framing and composition to bring out what's so special about the view
- different views from the same place to choose from afterwards
- scouted out locations off from regular paths
- several pictures connecting into a story
- timing your shooting for the best light coming from an angle you need (e.g. golden hour, weather that carries the mood you need)
- researching the area beforehand (this might mean you have to visit same place multiple times before you get a shot close to full potential of a spot)
Landscape photographers only photograph for half an hour a day, 15 minutes in the dawn and 15 minutes in the dusk. If you want to get the same pictures as they do, you have to wait for the light.
However, you can still improve your images beyond tourist snaps if you want to photograph landscapes at other times:
- Use a wide angle lens
- Use a small aperture (and perhaps a tripod), to get a DOF that makes everything sharp
- Get closer to the ground (you don't see tourists crawling on the ground to photograph landscapes)
For some of those you can also try the opposite, i.e. a really wide aperture, or climbing up to get a different angle.
Imre mentioned Framing and Composition, and I'd like to expand on it. The single biggest improvement I made to my landscape photography is when I'd read about including something from the foreground to give your composition a feeling of depth. So way the 'tourists' may take a picture of a mountain lake with the water and the mountains behind, try to include something nearer to the camera in the frame, maybe a fallen log on the near shore line, or an interesting rock formation or flowers in the corner of the frame. You need to remember that this object is not the key element of the shot, but more of something to guide the viewer's eyes into the shot.