I used to think the best landscape photos were sweeping images of grand vistas. The type of images you only get in the National Parks. However, sometimes you can get some great landscape images in really small places. You really don’t have to travel far and wide to get the best photos.
Take these mushrooms for instance. I took this photo just outside a cabin we were staying in. There was a tree stump out front, and on one side there were a couple of cool looking mushrooms. Looking back, I would have composed this image slightly differently, but the point is that it makes for a nice landscape image.
This second image was actually taken in Yosemite, a place that has no shortage of grand vistas. However, this shot was taken on a very small scale, and it turned out to be one of my favorites from the trip. What I like about it is that it summarizes some of the amazing life in the park and surrounding region, even on a smaller scale. The Redwood is a signature tree in the northern Sierra mountains, which makes this photo unique to that particular region. Each Redwood is pretty majestic on its own, but it can be pretty amazing how much smaller scale life is supported by each of these larger trees. The green moss in this photo really captures a whole other world at a smaller scale.
This last photo was actually captured in our backyard a couple of years ago. We just had a big snowstorm come through, so I went outside to take some photos. I got quite a few shots of the mounds of snow that were everywhere, but one of my favorites was this close-up shot of a pine tree. A lot of people will see the snow-covered tree and appreciate its beauty, but if you spend the extra time to look more closely, there is a lot of beauty and detail even on individual branches. In my eyes, the ice crystals on this branch were more amazing than the snow covered tree viewed as a whole.
I guess my point is: don’t wait until the next time you are on the trip of a lifetime to take a photograph. You can make some really great shots just by spending some time to look around in your own backyard.