Composition is so important in creating an image and it’s a cornerstone of the four key elements that make up a photo: subject, light, timing, and composition. However, one of the hardest things to learn in landscape photography is seeing that image and putting the elements together in the most pleasing arrangement.
I am always looking at ways to more easily see photos and improve my photography. Above is a followup to my popular video last year on composition. In this new video, I share 7 more tips that can be used when you are next out in the field.
Here is a brief summary of the 7 tips that I talk about more in the video:
#1. Think about mood in your images: Try and get to a point where you think beyond the mountains, tree, rivers, and oceans and start to think about the mood you want to convey. Next time you are out, think about that and how you may encapsulate the mood of the day or maybe just how you are feeling in the photo.
#2. Look for lines and especially diagonals: Diagonals are powerful elements in composition. They help to keep the viewer in the photo.
#3. Embrace triangles: Things work well in odd numbers and the 3 corners of the triangles are a great way to arrange elements in your image. Take this shot for instance.
#4. Choose your horizon line carefully (and then switch it): Placing the horizon in your image in different places can completely change the feel of the image. Think about it really carefully.
#5. Symmetry: Symmetry is one of the easiest ways to get a pleasing image. Our brains love symmetry as it occurs a lot in nature. Faces are symmetrical, as are many other naturally occurring parts of nature.
#6. Asymmetry: Although not as obvious asymmetrical images can be really powerful and add balance to an image. Take this shot for example. It has a line of symmetry horizontally but the real power of the image comes from the asymmetry between the red door on the building and light on the grass.
#7. Less color is often better: The more you add into an image the more complicated it becomes to get a pleasing composition. The same is true of color. Try and look for images with just one color and you will be surprised how powerful they can be. Take this image for example.
Check out the video to see more examples of how to use these 7 simple compositional tips.
About the author: Nigel Danson is a landscape photographer based in the UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Danson’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.