Composition and Landscape Photography

Elevate Your Composition With This Simple Element

Feb 07, 2023

Composition in landscape photography is an enormous topic for discussion and learning. I've told this story many times, but I think it's worth mentioning again...At the beginning of my landscape journey, I neglected to recognize the importance of composition. I thought it was enough to stand in front of a beautiful landscape setting and capture a photo. But today, I know that thoughtful composition will help elevate the overall visual aesthetic of an image.

One of my favourite compositional features in landscape photography is using lines. Intentional use of lines can infuse depth and dynamic storytelling into an image. 

Reference the image below as an example. Through the intentional use of the line, I can create an environment in which my viewer can take a visual meandering journey through the icy foreground of the image out towards the main subject and warm sunset light. The line in the ice tells a story of contrast between warm and cool and infuses a sense of depth.  

ISO 100, 14mm, f5.6, 0.4 seconds

Spring melt will soon begin, and perhaps it already has in your part of the world. As chunks of ice break apart and recede here in the Canadian Rockies and where you live, there's a beautiful opportunity to find lines that lead into your main subject. 

Regardless of the season, it's always an excellent compositional choice to look for opportunities to infuse leading lines into your landscape images. Lines leading straight into or meandering back into a frame will help infuse a sense of depth and three-dimensional real-life feeling. 

Horizontal lines should usually align with the Rule of Thirds and be positioned at one-third or two-thirds within a frame.

Next time you are out in a landscape setting, if you want to elevate your composition, look around your landscape settings for line and consider incorporating this element into a photo to create a more dynamic and visually strong image.


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