5 Composition Tips for Landscape Photography

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To get impressive landscape images, you have to think outside of the box and beyond the stunning vista before you. Composition is a key component in any image, but it can take an average vacation snapshot and transform it into a true work of art. Below are a few key points to look for when composing your landscape image.

Leading Lines

Landscape images call for a viewer to look across the entire frame to take it all in. This is accomplished much easier when there’s a leading line guiding the viewer. Whether literal lines like the boardwalk in the image below or strong horizon lines such as a mountain range or treeline, leading lines can easily direct the attention where you want it.

 

Boardwalk

Photo by Christopher O’Donnell

 

Minimalism

Sometimes the best landscape images are the ones that say the least, using negative space and contrast to make a prominent point. You can either isolate part of your photo by composition or by using a wide aperture (shallow depth of field)  - either way, it’s a fantastic method to create a stunning landscape in a clean, crisp manner.

 

Minimal Landscape

Photo by andi.vs.zf

 

Layers

Landscape images are known for creating layers within a composition, both subtle and prominent. They can come in the form of sharp lines across several mountain ranges, or the gradual transition between foreground and background. Whatever your image is composed of, layers of color or content can make for a powerful landscape photo.

 

Landscape

Photo by Linda Tanner

 

Purple Mist

Photo by Christopher O’Donnell

 

Patterns

When you have a repeated pattern in your image, it can create a visually striking composition. Patterns can come in the form of textures, colors, or physical elements in your scene (such as the rows of lavender plants below).

 

Landscape Composition

Photo by K. Hurley

 

Foreground Interest

The power foreground interest can bring to a landscape is considerable – it can take a beautiful vista and turn it into a well-balanced image with multiple focal points. While many beginner landscape photographers may focus on a beautiful backdrop of a sunset or hillsides in the distance, someone with a bit more experience would look for a strong focal point in the immediate foreground (such as the rocks below) to bring the image together, creating a complete and breathtaking photo.

 

Winter Reid

Photo by Christopher O’Donnell

 
These are just a few of the many composition tips you can follow to create stunning landscape images. The goal is to create a photo that is unique, but also strong in presentation. Once you’ve developed your own sense of style, finding a powerful composition will be like second nature, where incredible photos come naturally to you.

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  1. bycostello

    great images, great tips…

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  2. Brian Elliott

    Great tips. These will surely improve my landscape photography.

    • Reply

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