Lessons from Pat Baker’s landscapes every photographer should learn


Pat Baker’s career in photography started with rugged Texas vistas and mountaineering and now includes lessons everyone can adapt to master landscapes. 

TEXAS, August 7, 2022 —  Texas photographer Pat Baker found his way to his career as a 16-year-old who purchased his first camera to document his adventures in mountaineering. For the teen, it was a way to continue sharing the journeys following the untimely death of his dad — his earliest partner in adventures. 

Pat Baker of Texas embraces photography full-time

As time passed, photography became the primary hobby, and Baker started branching out into new styles and jobs, including a cover story for a reputable media outlet in his first year as a professional. 

By 1980, photography was a full-time career, and capturing rugged landscapes was a passion. 

Lighting and landscapes

An essential element of Baker’s photography is capturing changing light on rugged vistas with the optimal camera placement.

This can vary based on the environment, but always consider a view that shows the magnitude of the space. Capture the vastness of the landscape. A common way to do this is to include a natural element that provides scale — a tree, a rock, a bush or an animal can help the eye establish perspective and make the surrounding scenery soar by comparison.

Focal length

Pat Baker’s toolkit includes an assortment of lenses to help find the best view for a landscape photo. For some, a wide-angle lens can be best, but in locations with compelling details or a focal point further away, the trade-off of shrinking backgrounds isn’t worth it. 

In these instances, Baker shares a telephoto lens is handy provided a portion of the field of view can be sacrificed. With careful zoom on the subject, the resulting photograph shows the scale of the landscape while strongly centering the focal point within its environment. 

Consider display

For landscape photos, the ultimate purpose can be helpful for establishing the shot. On a shoot for traditional media or a third-party, more careful consideration of focal length and scale is key. 

When shooting for personal satisfaction or prints, the photographer controls the final product and can consider print size, production across multiple panels, development techniques and digital editing to help showcase landscapes. This allows for greater flexibility in composition.