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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Find Your Focus

Use the essentials of strong design for better landscape compositions

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Death Valley National Park, California. A 300mm lens flattens perspective and isolates the strong zigzag pattern.
Zoom In
While wide-angle lenses are essential tools for landscape photography, they’re not the only choice. Telephoto lenses crop out extraneous clutter, bring the background closer and make distant objects appear large and dominant. But their most powerful feature is their ability to flatten the perspective and create patterns.

Composition is defined as “an arrangement of parts of a work of art so as to form a unified, harmonious whole.” There’s no better way to unify and harmonize a photograph than with patterns and repetition. A single tree is just a tree. Placing two similar trees side by side creates visual rhythm—order out of natural chaos.

Finding patterns takes practice. Make a conscious effort to look for patterns everywhere—at home, on the drive to work and, of course, anytime you’re behind the camera.

Communicate Your Vision
Photography is about communication. Clarify, in your own mind, what you’re trying to say, what you find interesting or moving about the scene in front of you. Then make sure people get your message by simplifying, finding focal points, creating depth and looking for patterns.

Michael Frye is a widely published nature photographer and a contributor to the OP Blog at www.outdoorphotographer.com/blog. See more of his work at www.michaelfrye.com.


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