Landscape Composition

Landscape subjects continue to inspire and intrigue photographers and viewers alike and I feel it will be fun to analyze and emulate some favorite landscape images to help us capture the world around us in a way that is powerful as an image. Some of the technical characteristics that seem to be present in many landscape images include:

  • Wide angle lens settings
  • Everything in focus (small aperture setting)
  • Foreground subject (and often middle ground subject too)
  • Slightly downward angle of view (to achieve a foreground subject)
  • Dramatic side lighting (achieved by shooting in morning or late afternoon/eve)
  • Polarizing filter if blue sky is included, and other filter options.

A distinct foreground subject is very important and helps the photograph express more of a feeling of depth and space.

having a foreground middleground and background subjects can help create a sense of 3 dimensions and exaggerate space

pushing the horizon up above the center, can help create a strong foreground subject

sidelighting can help create color saturation, contrast, and texture/depth

When the sun in setting, you can often capture subject matter that is inside and outside of the sun's light and create a dramatic separation of lighting

using a polaraizing filter and side lighting can make skies much more blue

often overcast days can give you much nicer colors and tonal range, the sun can tend to wash out colors and create too much contrast

Using a small aperture and wide angle lens can ensure that you get everything in focus

backlight can be another dramatic option, but you may need to obscure the sun