Quick Photography Tip
A few seconds spent on composition can transform a dull picture into something magical
One of the favorite subjects of most photographers is outdoor landscapes. There's so much beauty and majesty in nature, and many of us want to capture the moment and take it with us forever in the form of a snapshot or photograph. Unfortunately, the photo often doesn't live up to our memory of the actual landscape scene. Here then are a few tips on how to take better landscape photographs in the future.
1. If your landscape scene includes the horizon or distant mountains, try to look around for something of interest that you can put into the photograph in the foreground that will bring better balance to the composition. There are lots of things that can work to accomplish this goal, including fences, flowers, tree branches and much more. The key is to be on the lookout for foreground subjects of interest, and not just focus all of your time on the distant horizon instead.
2. A favorite trick of professional photographers to greatly improve the appearance value of their photographs, is to look for ways to lead the eye of the beholder into the photograph and especially toward the main subject of the photo. Again, this is something that you have to generally look around for to find when you are outdoors. But look for things like a road, a fence, a river, or anything else that has a directional line to it that can be used to point the way to the main subject of your photo. This greatly enhances the overall appearance value and provides one of those simple but meaningful professional touches.
3. When photographing distant landscapes such as mountains, lakes, forests and so on, it's very easy to lose a sense of scale in the photo. So what was huge and impressive in real life becomes compressed and uninteresting in a snapshot if you aren't careful. A good way to avoid this is to place something in the photograph that gives a point of reference for scale. For instance, just including a person in the photograph of a large landscape can help you begin to get a feel for the size of the area that you are viewing.
4. Try to place the main subject of your landscape scene slightly off-center rather than in the dead middle of the photograph. Many photographers have a tendency to want to naturally place their main subject in the center, but actually the best photographs are those that have the subject slightly off center either vertically or horizontally in the photo. So a good way to remind yourself to do this, is to divide the scene up into thirds both up and down and across and then place the main subject on one of the spots where the imaginary lines converge. That should help ensure that your photos have more drama and interest in the composition.
5. The very best landscape photographs are taken when the light from the sun is at its best. This is usually very early in the day or very late in the day, when the sun's rays are longer and shadows provide more detail. The harsh midday sun can flatten and wash out many landscape photographs making them uninteresting and bland. So most landscape photography is best done in early morning or late afternoon.
In addition to the tips provided above, digital photography presents its own set of challenges for landscape photographers. Film cameras simply required that you bring along enough film for the trip. Digital cameras require that you bring enough media storage to make sure that you have enough for all of the photos that you want to take. Remember there are most likely not going to be any stores close around, so plan accordingly and use the tips provided above to be able to take better landscape photographs with your digital camera.