Seven composition tips to boost your landscape photography now

Tips & Techniques

The composition is one of the key elements to create a captivating image that will make an impression on a viewer. In this video, Nigel Danson shares seven tips to help you improve composition in your landscape photos. You can follow them at your very next shoot, and they’ll help you to level up both planning your shots and taking them.

1. Creating mood

The first tip from Nigel is to create mood in your landscape shots. You can see some examples in his video, and the whole point is to think about the emotion you want your photos to convey. The mood can be all about colors and where you incorporate them in the shot, but it can also be about textures. It’s more than seeing a scene and capturing it – you should try and share the mood you felt while taking a photo, the mood of a particular day and the like.

2. Finding diagonals

The second tip is to look for lines, especially diagonals. Diagonals can make an image seem more powerful, and they can be either obvious or implied. Either way, a diagonal line leads the viewers’ eye within an image.

3. Powerful triangles

Using triangles in your compositions can create some pretty powerful images. Just like diagonals, triangles can be obvious, such as mountains; or implied, such as imaginary lines that connect the elements in your image.

4. Your horizon

Where you put the horizon can make a big difference in your shots. Nigel has two fantastic examples in the video: in one photo, the horizon is in the upper part of the image, so the foreground creates drama and the feeling of vastness of the cliffs. In the other one, the horizon is in the bottom part of the image, so the clouds are the elements that create drama.

5. Asymmetric balance

Generally speaking, symmetry creates a sense of balance in the images. Still, you can create a sense of balance even with asymmetry (and it’s one of my personal favorites when it comes to composition). Nigel notes that you can achieve it by using complementary colors or other elements that complement each other in the image, creating visual balance.

6. Highlights and shadows

You can play with highlights and shadows to make your images appealing and more powerful. Nigel points out that it works best if you don’t have highlight and shadows in a similar amount. In other words, it’s best to have a small amount of highlights and lots of shadows or the other way around.

7. One color

Using one color or several tones of a single color can create a very powerful composition. In combination with highlights and shadows, this can help you create some very captivating images.

All these tips are something that you can pay attention to at your very next shoot and create some captivating shots. Another great thing is that you can combine them. I believe it will help you learn and practice, but it also creates that moment of playfulness, which I always appreciate. Nigel shared seven more composition tips in a video from last year, so if you’d like to learn even more, you can watch it and read the write-up here.


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