Linear perspective is widely used in landscape photography to create the impression of depth on a 2D photo. Automated understanding of linear perspective in landscape photography has several real-world applications, including aesthetics assessment, image retrieval, and on-site feedback for photo composition, yet adequate automated understanding has been elusive. We address this problem by detecting the dominant vanishing point and the associated line structures in a photo. However, natural landscape scenes pose great technical challenges because often the inadequate number of strong edges converging to the dominant vanishing point is inadequate. To overcome this difficulty, we propose a novel vanishing point detection method that exploits global structures in the scene via contour detection. We show that our method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods on a public ground truth landscape image dataset that we have created. Based on the detection results, we further demonstrate how our approach to linear perspective understanding provides on-site guidance to amateur photographers on their work through a novel viewpoint-specific image retrieval system.