4 Landscape Photography Composition Tips that will Change Your Photos for the Better
If you’re like me, you love everything about landscape photography…
The scenery, the fresh air, the vastly different landscapes from one location to the next, the fantastic evening light – you get the point. Of course, not every photo that we take of landscapes is a winner. But with these landscape photography composition tips, you can learn how to use landscape composition rules to give your images a helping hand.
Add a Splash of Color
The human eye loves color. More specifically, our eyes like contrasting colors. You can use that characteristic to your advantage by adding a splash of color to your photos to help draw people’s attention. In the image above, the contrast between the dark blue color of the water and the dark gray color of the roadway with the bright pops of yellow in the trees makes for one eye-catching image. These colors might not be perfectly complementary, but they nevertheless work together beautifully.
Find the Beauty in Minimal Landscapes
Sometimes, landscapes can be so packed with details that they can be a little overwhelming and even chaotic. A fast fix for that is to compose minimal landscape photos that focus the attention of the viewer on one or two details. In the image above, you can see this compositional trick at work. There’s really nothing in this shot beyond the line created by the highway, yet the result is a gorgeous example of minimal landscape photography.
Compose Left to Right
In many languages, reading occurs left to right. So, if you speak one such language and most of the people that view your work speak one such language, it only makes sense to use this photography composition idea to compose left to right. Doing so feels natural, and allows viewers to inspect the image from front to back.
In the example above, our eyes are drawn first to the waterfall in the foreground on the left, and then they follow the silhouetted forms of the landscape to the right where we finally inspect the setting sun in the background. This type of composition can be difficult to master, but if you focus on having a strong subject on the left side of the shot and then elements like leading lines that bring the eye to the right, you’ll have a winning shot.
Try Centering the Subject
The best-known of the landscape composition rules is to use the rule of thirds to offset the subject to the left or right of center. And in most cases, that rule works like a charm…
But sometimes breaking that rule and placing the subject smack in the middle of the shot is the way to go. In the example above, the sticks protruding from the water are positioned in the middle of the shot, giving this image beautiful symmetry from left to right and top to bottom. This also gives this image excellent visual balance that’s quite striking with the minimalist composition.
But you don’t have to create minimalist landscape photos for this photography composition idea to work. As you can see here, again, the trees are placed in the middle of the frame to allow the viewer to see both the trees and their reflections.
If you’re photographing landscapes that include water, give your landscape photo composition a boost by placing the subject in the middle of the frame.