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Sunday, July 1, 2007

10 Tips For Visionary Landscapes

There's a random element in any landscape. Learning to bring some order to that chaos will enable you to make your best photos.

10 Tips For Visionary Landscapes4 Less is more.

In language, there’s not much sense taking 10 words to make a point if you can articulately say the same with four. The same is true of photography. Try to identify the elements that capture the essence of the location and mentally subtract areas of the composition that simply don’t add value. Ask yourself repeatedly, is everything in your frame adding value, or would the composition be stronger without its inclusion.

Create the eye path.

This is, to me, the most important aspect of any successful image. Our eyes read from left to right, and by the use of creative composition, we need to lead the eye on an uninhibited path through the image. This often separates a great photograph from a mediocre one. Visionary photographers are able to go into areas of visual complexity and create images that lead the eye through the image from start to finish.

10 Tips For Visionary Landscapes6 Look for images within the overall landscape.

If you’re on location and there’s no light, there’s little point in trying to shoot "big" pictures. A high, diffused, overcast sun is usually perfect for shooting intimate renditions of the natural world—the absence of shadows and the soft luminance is ideal for this type of photography, but it’s not good for the
big landscape.

7 Remember the rules of composition when you’re shooting intimate landscapes.

I often see examples of work where photographers have played with patterns, textures or colors in a landscape and seem to feel that because they have recorded a group of natural elements, they can abandon the basic rules of composition. Whether you shoot tight or wide, you must ensure the eye path has been created and that the basic principles of composition are respected.


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