I like to shoot landscapes. Generally rule of third's is preferred while shooting. What are some other composition techniques that will improve photographing landscapes???


2 Answers 2


I've been struggling with this myself lately. Some things that I've learned include:

  • Using leading lines to direct the eye towards interesting things in your photo
  • Isolating your subject (which can be something interesting in your landscape) using focus, depth, color, or other properties
  • Have some interesting foreground in photos of far away things
  • Use other objects to frame your subject (such as a tree branch, or a naturally formed arch)
  • Go to hard-to-reach places to get the shot
  • Go when the light is nicest - even if it means getting up early or staying up late
  • Experiment with perspective - 1, 2 or 3 point perspective, Forced perspective

First of people have asked this question already before you: What are other popular composition techniques in addition to The Rule of Thirds?

Here's my point of view: In painting these tips are the same. Research painting composition techniques instead of photography for composition. Painting's out there for a much longer time. A lot of photography elements have been adopted straight from painting anyways. Look up Jeff Wall, he's an artist who made large composite photography tableau's which have straight-up links to painting.

  • You have already mentioned the rule of thirds. Also google the 'golden ratio'.
  • Use leading lines. Lines that lead the eye of the viewer to the subject. For example a shore line which leads to a bridge.
  • Diagonal lines make an image more dynamic.
  • Something I like to do is having a nice subject in the foreground, with a wide angle lens, you are able to make shots which have an interesting foreground, middle plan and background and by consequence a dynamic image. This creates depth in your photograph. Taking pictures with a long focus lens makes images flat.
  • Play with negative space. For example, great fields of water/sky taking up the majority of your picture.
  • Repoussoir and vignetting are handy tricks to lead the viewer to the subject.
  • In post-work, get the hang of dodging and burning to enhance your composition. There are quite a few tutorials on this subject online.
  • Try out different points of view. Get low, get up high. Don't just stand there with your tripod at eye level. Everyone is used to those lines of perspective. I highly recommend looking up the 'New Vision' or in German 'Neues Sehen' movement in photography, which doesn't mainly consist out of landscape photography but you'll be able to find some inspiration for interesting points of view.
  • When getting the hang of it, try tilting your camera a bit. Try out different focal lengths, for example a fisheye lens. Experiment.

After getting the hang of the basics and the 'rules'. Break 'em. You have to learn the basics and where photography comes from to be original and fresh by coming up with something that has your own swing to it.

In the end, 'art' (oh, how I hate that word) is subjective. You'll get the hang of it. Follow your stomache. Rules are their to guide you, not to prison you.

Good luck.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.